Friday, March 30, 2012
It's supposed to be Springtime but we have been greeted lately with 30 degree weather and strong winds. The sun is deceptively shiny, which leads to me choosing the wrong coat and basically freezing. Roman wants to be closed into his stroller with the plastic covering, like a mobile pod to keep the heat in. I'm ready for the temperatures to rise so I can finally regain feeling in my fingers and relax my shoulder and back muscles which tense against the whipping winds.
While I'm dreaming of turning off the central heating in the apartment, I've been kicking it up in the kitchen. I've been through a bottle of hot sauce every week for the last three, made my own pickled peppers (the tiny green ones I bought in Chinatown were great) and made this beautiful Piri-Piri sauce which was gone in two days.
All I've been craving is spicy foods. I suppose once you start eating them, the endorphins make you crave more and more. For the duration of my pregnancy I've given up all caffeine, alcohol, and most sweets. If hot peppers are my only vice, at least they're filled with iron, niacin, riboflavin, folate, potassium, vitamins A and C. It seems there is a logic to some crazy cravings after all.
I've been a bit disappointed because nothing I've tried has felt hot enough. The commercial hot sauces tasted like they could be served to babies. Even this fragrant piri-piri made from red fresno peppers wasn't hot enough, but it did add an amazing amount of bright flavor to everything, including my breakfast omelet. I guess now I'll be turning to habaneros.
Fresh Red Jalapeño Relish
From Marlena Spieler's Hot & Spicy Cookbook
Piri-Piri is a Portuguese condiment also eaten in Brazil and Mozambique. I remember it being much spicier in Portugal- perhaps different chilis were used. I halved Marlena's recipe since this was the first time I was making it. I made no substitutions and it was wonderful as-is. I would recommend it on pasta dishes, vegetable or meat curries, as a spread for sandwiches, anything dish that needs a little livening up.
10 fresh red jalapeños (or red fresno peppers)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves, crushed
Juice of one lemon or lime
Salt to taste
Chop jalapeños (keep seeds in) in food processor.
Combine all ingredients.
May be kept, covered in refrigerator, 3 to 5 days.