Monday, October 12, 2009
We had an interesting improvised dinner from the Market this weekend that I thought I would verbally share.
It started when John, the Our Family Farm vendor, offered us a good deal on peppers. it seems the cool wet summer had made his peppers or chilies slow to ripen and now the danger of frost is near. So John had a excess of of many green peppers; bell peppers, wax peppers, jalapenos, and even green Thai chilies.
It is common in Mexican and Thai cuisine to use green chilies when a green sauce is desired, so it seemed logical to make a green dish. We did a variation of the Italian peppers and pasta but instead of using different colored bell peppers we used the variety of green ones we got from John.
The recipe is simple; saute the peppers, onions, and garlic in olive oil, add chopped tomatoes for color. We used all the types of peppers we had. The mild bell peppers, the jalapenos, even the Thai chilies. I sampled small pieces of each type of pepper so that I did not get the mixture too hot. I wanted it warmer than the traditional Italian dish but not super hot. John's peppers seemed quite mild so I used more jalapenos and Thai chillies than I would normally expect to use in this type of dish.
In keeping with the green theme we served it with spinach pasta, topped with grated Parmesan cheese and garnished with parsley. (Pastabilities Fettuccine and Parmesan from Sparrow's Market, parsley from our herb garden.)
It was really good! The process of improvising with available fresh ingredients is one of the things I like about the Market. It reminds me of past home cooking from the garden. To me, this is much more interesting and fun than searching for specific ingredients in the supermarket and measuring them to conform to a printed recipe.
We got the balance of the taste of the peppers and the heat of the chilies just right, but of course that is personal preference. In this case, I liked the result better than the standard dish that was the original basis. This won't always happen but when it does it is very rewarding and that is why I am sharing this experience. Sorry, no pictures, we ate it all.