[Posted by Ruth]
In the last couple of weeks we've gotten quite a few Jalapeno and other hot peppers as well as a bag of tomatillos. Time to go a little Mexican with the farm share, especially since our older son, who spent 2 1/2 years in South Texas, was home for a visit.
For the salsa, I wanted to get a roasted flavor without the fuss of trying to grill the tiny tomatillos so I pan roasted the tomatillos and tomatoes and liked the outcome. A bonus with the salsa was that the next day I added a few more tomatoes and a cut up cucumber to the leftovers and came away with pretty decent gazpacho.
1 small package tomatillos, husks removed
2 medium tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper, or more to taste
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a dry heavy skillet on high heat until a drop of water bounces around when dripped on it. Add the whole tomatillos and keep moving in the pan. They will quickly brown/blacken. Remove when they have a fire roasted look and smell, before they cook enough to begin to break apart. Set aside.
With the pan still on high head, add the two whole tomatoes and roll around until the skins blacken. Again, remove before they begin to to cook down. Set aside.
While the tomatoes and tomatillos are cooling chop the onion and cilantro. When cool, coarsely chop the tomatoes and halve or quarter the tomatillos, depending on their size. Add to the onion mixture and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Let rest for at least a half hour for the flavors to develop and for the tomatoes and tomatillos to give up their liquid.
Bonus Gazpacho the next day.
Add a couple more tomatoes (no need to roast them) and a large cucumber, peeled and cut into small chunks. Adjust seasoning and chill for at least an hour.
These are best done outside on the grill
For the Jalapeno poppers we played with using all cream cheese or all goat cheese and decided that a mixture of both would probably be perfect.
Jalapeno peppers, or other hot peppers
Thick sliced bacon strips, cut in half crosswise
cream cheese, goat cheese or a mixture of both (we liked a ratio of about 1 part goat cheese to 2 parts cream cheese)
Note: if you mix the cheeses, soften them first, blend well and then chill them for about an hour before filling the poppers. The stiffened cheese will be less likely to fall out of the popper when grilling.
Wooden toothpicks, soaked in water for 1 hour
For 7 or 8 Jalapenos we used 4 oz cream cheese, 2 oz of goat cheese and about 3/4 lb of bacon.
If the Jalapenos are very hot cut them in quarters, lengthwise, remove the ribs and seeds. Place a hunk of the chilled cheese inside the pepper, roll the bacon around it, taking care to fully cover the cheese. Secure with toothpicks.
Grill over hot coals, turning gently to evenly brown the bacon. You will loose some cheese as it melts, but if you are gentle and have wrapped the bacon well enough, you shouldn't loose too much.
By the way, if you are a contact lens wearer like me, wear gloves or get someone else to cut the peppers. Every time I forget to do this I wind up red eyed and angry at bed time when I try to take them out.