Friday, September 20, 2013

A Green Chile Celebration

Quick, the growing season is nearly over! Go online and order a stash of however many pounds of green chiles make you feel secure for the coming year...or gas the car for a drive to New Mexico. Green chile heaven is too good to miss.

On your way back, open my recent article in the  San Antonio Express-News, for how-to details and recipes, including braised short-ribs and green-chile polenta by innovative Chef Andrew Cooper of Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado de Santa Fe.

In the mood for something quicker? Try chile expert James Ditmore's Turquoise Trail Sliders, which will make you shiver in your seat, the taste is so good.  

And of course you'll want a tingling margarita to go with them, maybe the chile-infused La Posada de Santa Fe Caliente Margarita, recipe here.  

Or my own sweet, tart and powerful Hill Country Margarita.

You're welcome.

Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hoppy Hour at Das Lokal

Hoppy Hour at Das Lokal, the taproom of New Braunfels Brewing Company, starts at five o'clock on Thursdays.  

New Braunfels Brewing Co., "a nano-brewery in historical downtown New Braunfels," makes fresh brews created with a nod to the town's German history and a dash of Texas sensibility.  No sissy beers brewed here.

Denny and I shared a couple of trio samplers on our last visit. Yes, 2x3=6. But sharing sample-sized steins made it a one-beer equivalent.  Small steins, big flavor. 

We started with three mainstays.  

In the LuftWeiss, a Pilsner described as a "clean all-malt expression of the Bavarian Hefeweizen," I liked an acidic edge that made my tongue tingle before a light banana finish. 

Next came the dark Dunkelweisen, made from grain with a dark toast that gave the brew a deep flavor and satisfying coffee finish.

The IPA Hefeweisen was our favorite of the first set, for the balance of hoppy acidity and clean finish. Hoppy enough to spark the palate but not so much it made you pucker. I could see a glass of this IPA with roasted meat or spicy nachos.

The second trio was a trip. 

Sauced Fuego is a transformed Hefeweisen with time sitting on oak, cinnamon and chipotle peppers. Fuego means fire in Spanish but the brew wasn't scorching. In fact, the tang and acidic edges made it my favorite of the night.

Black Fury was Dunkelweisen plus bourbon-barrel aging and a bit of sour. It was the only brew we didn't finish.  

Then we tasted Senor, made from Sauced Fuego plus ghost chiles.  Ghost chilies earned the name in northeastern India where folks said eating one was a path to a paler existence.

We found more heat in Senor but it wasn't as hot as pulling weeds in Texas in August and I'd drink it again without breaking a sweat.

Want your own New Braunfels beer adventure?  Look for NBBC brews at Hill Country spots such as the Phoenix Saloon or the PourHaus.

Or stop by Das Lokal taproom on Thursday, 5pm-7pm. Maybe we'll see you there:

180 W. Mill St., New Braunfels, TX 78130 
(830) 626-2739,

Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Joyce's Homemade Jalapeno Salsa

Joyce is the angel who helps care for my father. She does more than take care of Dad--she takes sweet care of Mom by cooking and helping with heavy housework.  

You can see why we're grateful to and for Joyce.

The last time I visited, Joyce taught us how she makes fresh jalapeno salsa.  Joyce's salsa puts the bottled stuff to shame and it's so easy to make we'll never buy salsa again.

The only caveat is "know what you like"--for just a little heat, use just a couple of peppers.  For a lot of heat, use a lot of peppers.  Mother and I were ambitious.  We made an 8 pepper salsa, which was about 4 peppers more than our taste buds could handle.

Here's Joyce's recipe, along with her good wishes for you.

Joyce's Jalapeno Salsa
Makes between 1 and 2 cups, depending on size of tomatoes and how many peppers you use.

2-8 fresh jalapeno peppers
2 fresh tomatoes
salt (to taste)
1 clove fresh garlic, pressed or minced (optional, but we like the flavor in our salsa)

Put the peppers & tomatoes in a 2 quart saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  

When the tomatoes look done (skin wrinkles a bit), remove the tomatoes and slide the skin off.

Boil the peppers until the color lightens and turns an olive tint, then pour the water off.  Return the tomatoes to the pan, add salt to taste and minced garlic (if you like salsa with garlic) and mash it all together.

Pour the salsa into a clean lidded jar and store in the refrigerator.  Best if used within a week or so.

We like it with chips, on chicken, with pinto beans, over enchiladas, in fact almost any dish where you want a spark of color and hit of heat.

Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.