Yesterday was a perfect, beautiful, sunny day. I savored a quiet morning (Nick had to work early at the farm) of cleaning and boiling Baers Best Beans for some meals this week. I gloried in a long hike in the Hamilton House woods with Lupe...Hamilton House is where we had our wedding pictures taken, and its insanely, ridiculously beautiful...a sloping tangle of trails along the Portsmouth River, behind a stately, elegant 18th century mansion. Lupe and I ran, walked, and climbed and very nearly rolled around on the hillside field, we were that ecstatic. Last night, Nick and I savored our time together-- and we splurged and watched two episodes of The Walking Dead and finally finished season two...we don't have TV and depend on Netflix for our favorite shows so we're always a season behind but OH MY GOSH the ending...wow.
And then, because most the night I was dreaming uncomfortably about zombies, and/or lying awake in terror, I savored sleeping in until 8. I savored a 5.5 mile road+trail run today because I didn't have to wear a jacket, and I know that the days of running in a tank top are very numbered. And nothing, truly nothing, feels better to me than the sun hot on my skin.
And, last night in light of all this, we savored a splurge of a dinner. I am a healthy eater despite my overwhelming love of sweets. I eat a treat daily, but the sugar content in what I bake is low, and I have very small portions...But Nicks birthday is in a week, and he has begun celebrating early by requesting specific meals...including last nights: Chiles Rellenos.
Large, farm fresh red and green chiles stuffed with mozzarella and chedder cheese, savory ground beef, dipped in batter and fried? Don't mind if I do. Add some Calypso refried beans, spicy tomato sauce, and lime cilantro rice and you've got me SOLD, I tell you. Never mind that I don't like peppers. Its all worth it.
Admittedly, part of the splurge is the fact that it is an effort to make this dish. It took FOREVER but its fun and super hands on, which I love.
Ingredients you'll need:
1 28 oz can of salted whole tomato's pureed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 tsp chopped chipotle pepper
1 tsp chipotle pepper sauce (from the can)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt+pepper to taste
3 Carmen Red Peppers
1/2 lb ground lean beef
1 cup (or however much you want) shredded cheese
Salt+pepper to taste
1 box tempura batter mix (you could make your own but this recipe is so time consuming, it makes sense to save yourself a step)
1 cup(ish) boiled Calypso beans
1 bit of bacon rind
1.5 cups Jasmine Rice
1 cup water
1/2 cup chicken broth
juice of 1 lime
Handful of chopped cilantro
In a large, nonstick pan, heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic till translucent and slightly browned. Add in the pureed tomato's and the broth, chipotle, and seasonings. Simmer on low while you make everything else.
In a smaller pan, cook the ground beef with salt and pepper till browned. Place your peppers on the broiling rack in your oven, and broil till the are blackened on both sides. Take them out and try not to burn your fingers (an effort I assure you) and put then in a ziplock bag to 'sweat'.
After they've cooled it on down, peal their skins off and make a slit at the top of the pepper to remove their seeds. Mix the cheese with the cooled beef, and stuff the peppers up. This is super messy.
Then, follow the directions on the batter box, and carefully dip your peppers in until they're well coated.
Meanwhile, put your rice on to cook. I use a rice cooker, because I grew up in Thailand and everyone cooks their rice in one and it makes it perfectly. Combine all ingredients to make the rice.
Heat up a wok full of vegetable oil until it is HOT, and dip the peppers in one at a time.
Warm up a plate in the oven and put your bacon rind in a frying pan. Add the beans and cook on low. Check on the pepper, and turn it over until its golden brown on both sides.
Place the cooked peppers on the warm plate, and if you're feeling super crazy like me, cut up a tortilla and make some quick tortilla chips in the oil (absurdly dangerously delicious with some salt.)
Then, put the rice, beans, and pepper on a plate and pour a generous amount of sauce all over it.
If you're me, you will "dig in" by dissecting your pepper and removing the innards and pushing the fried pepper bit to the side, because you don't like peppers and are a huge baby about them. If you are my husband you will inhale everything on your plate. If you are a human, you will realize suddenly that Calypso beans are THE MOST DELICIOUS BEAN ON THE PLANET. Oh my gosh.
So there you have it. A weekend splurge full of goodness and flavor and local , seasonal ingredients which is always nice, don't you think?