Archive | August 5th, 2011

Hatch Chiles: They’re Here, and We Have Recipes

Hatch Chiles: They’re Here, and We Have Recipes

Central Market’s Hatch Chile Fest 16 begins. Check out the events, cooking classes and best of all, freshly harvested and roasted Hatch green chiles, from Hatch, NM.

There is also a recipe contest and more. Central Market is at 4821 Broadway. Or, find more information here.

Below are a few green chile recipes from SavorSA files.


Trevino’s Green Chile Burgers

Hatch Green Chiles Stuffed with Chive Cream Cheese 

Compliments to Chili’s Roasted Corn Guacamole

Stacked Green Chile Enchiladas

Sizzling Pork Green Chile

10 Great Ways to Use Green Chiles

How to Pick a Pepper, Roast it Yourself

Spicy, Creamy Avocado Salsa

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberries and Hatch Green Chiles




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Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberries and Hatch Green Chiles

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberries and Hatch Green Chiles

We’ve borrowed a classic flourless chocolate cake recipe from a true baking artist, Alice Medrich, and applied a Southwest variation using Hatch green chiles. We suggest Chambord as the liqueur, and the raspberry topping, which works so well with chocolate.  Think of some other creative uses for roasted green chiles during the Hatch green chile season in late August.


Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberries and Hatch Green Chiles

If you like a really dark chocolate cake, mix 100 percent unsweetened chocolate with 70-80 percent chocolate. If you’re using a liqueur, think of one that brings out the best in chocolate, such as frangelico for a hazelnut flavor, kirschwasser for cherry, Chambord for raspberry or Grand Marniér for orange.

8 eggs, cold
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup strong coffee or liqueur (optional)
1/4 cup roasted, peeled Hatch (anaheim) chiles, trimmed of seeds and diced (use hot or mild, your choice)

Sauces and toppings:
1 package (10 to 12 ounces) frozen raspberries, thawed, or 8 to 10 ounces fresh raspberries
Granulated sugar, to taste
Powdered sugar, for decoration (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

To make the cake, line the bottom of an 8-inch or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. Set the pan on a wide sheet of heavy-duty foil  and wrap the foil up the sides without tearing it. Set the pan in a larger baking pan or a roasting pan. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.

Preferably using a hand-held mixer, beat the eggs at high speed until the volume of the eggs doubles to about 1 quart, 5 minutes. If you have to use a heavy-duty mixer, use the whisk attachment and speed 6 and beat to the same volume, which will take about the same amount of time. Melt the chocolate and butter, with coffee or liqueur, if using it, in a large heatproof bowl either set in a pan of barely simmering water.

Gently fold one third of the egg foam into the chocolate mixture with a large rubber spatula until just a few streaks of egg are still visible. Fold in half of the remaining foam in the same way. Fold in the diced chiles. Fold the remaining foam into the batter until completely incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the surface. Set the roasting pan on the oven rack and pour enough boiling water into the pan to come about halfway up the side of the springform. Bake until the center has risen slightly, the edges are just beginning to set, a thin glazed crust (like a brownie) has formed on the surface, and an instant-read thermometer inserted halfway into the center of the cake registers 140 degrees, 22 to 25 minutes. Remove the springform from the water bath and set on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight to mellow. Cake can be kept covered and refrigerated up to 4 days.

To make the sauce, if using frozen raspberries, drain them and reserve the juice. Place fresh or drained frozen berries in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly but not until perfectly smooth. Press the purée through a strainer to remove the seeds. Add some of the reserved juice if desired. If the purée seems too tart, sweeten it to taste. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

About 30 minutes before serving, remove the springform pan sides, invert the cake onto a sheet of waxed paper and peel off the parchment liner and turn the cake right side up onto a serving platter. (Do this quickly.)

To serve, sieve the cake lightly with powdered sugar if desired. Whip the cream with the vanilla and 2 teaspoons of sugar or more to taste until nearly stiff. Serve slim slices on a pool of raspberry sauce with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Adapted from Alice Medrich’s classic Flourless Chocolate Cake, from “A Year in Chocolate” by Alice Medrich

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Get Creative with Sweet-Tart Flor de Jamaica

Get Creative with Sweet-Tart Flor de Jamaica

Make an Agua Fresca de Jamaica with lime.

In San Antonio, we most often see flor de jamaica used as the base for a pretty, red agua fresca. Sometimes, the flavor is good; sometimes it has been so diluted as to deliver only a bit of tang and a lot of sugar.

Dried flor de jamaica is readily available in San Antonio markets. (Don’t try to make your own from the hibiscus plant in your yard, though. This is a different variety, Hibiscus sabdariffa.)

You can take a small handful of the dried blooms and put them in hot water for jamaica tea, or cool it down, add a little sugar and make an agua fresca. Add it to hot, brewed green tea, along with mint, fresh lime and some sugar or agave nectar, if you wish. Cool it down, pour over ice, and you have a antioxidant-rich iced tea.

Jamaica has a good, tart flavor that is something like cranberry, along with a background flavor that is a little woodsy and herbal.  It is low in calories and research has indicated that jamaica tea can help moderate high blood pressure. It has antioxidants and vitamin C as well. Read more nutritional information about jamaica at

Use Jamaica Syrup to macerate fruit.

We have found that making a concentrate of this dried hibiscus (Jamaica) fruit or calyxes, the outer part of the flower, is a great way to focus the flavor and make jamaica work in many other ways. The great thing is that it is ready to pour into a glass half-full of water and you have an instant agua fresca. You can use it to macerate freshly diced cantaloupe, pears, mango, peaches or other fruits and make a salad.

Use the concentrate to make a sorbet. Or, add a little vodka, put it in the freezer in a shallow pan, then stir it frequently as it freezes until you have an icy, refreshing granita.

Check out this link for a steak sauce recipe that uses a jamaica concentrate.

Use Jamaica Syrup to make a margarita – the flavor goes well with lime and has the perfect amount of tanginess for the salty rim around the glass. Just make your favorite margarita, then add a few spoonsful of the Jamaica Syrup.  You’ll love the color!


Jamaica Syrup (Concentrate)

Straining jamaica flowers after steeping in hot water leaves a rich, garnet-red liquid.

8 cups water
6 ounces dried hibiscus flowers (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Bring the water to a boil over high heat in a large saucepan. Add the Jamaica flowers. Reduce the heat to medium; cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, then turn off the heat. Cool, then strain into a heatproof container.

Add the sugar and lime juice; stir to dissolve the sugar, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. You can refrigerate the syrup, covered, for up to two months.

Makes 5 cups

From The Washington Post/Patricia Jinich, chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington.


Photographs by Bonnie Walker

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Beer of the Week: St. Peter’s Old-Style Porter

Beer of the Week: St. Peter’s Old-Style Porter

St. Peter's Old-Style Porter

Editors’ note: We’re inaugurating a new feature, Beer of the Week, which is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we’ll introduce you to a new brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out. 

St. Peter’s Old-Style Porter

Porter may be a winter warmer, but once you get lost in an air-conditioned oasis from the heat, you’ll welcome this robust, complex beauty from Great Britain.

The packaging is prime, a green 500 milliliter in a shape that takes you back to an earlier era, perhaps not as far back as the brewery site’s history, as recounted on the label, but it is definitely not modern. It seems the the buildings go back to the time of Henry VIII while the well from which the water used is said to be sourced is even older.

None of that matters once you get the first whiff of the dark beer’s bold aromas that are both woodsy and filled with cocoa powder. The St. Peter’s website claims it is made from a mixture of “a mature old ale with a younger light beer,”  but that offers no picture of the great range of flavors to be had, from fruit to coffee, before leading to a seductive vanilla finish. It also has a great mouthfeel that is neither too sticky heavy, which you might think given its almost impenetrable darkness, nor too watery.

This is a beer that bartender Kelly Vinton of the Lion & Rose at 700 E. Sonterra Blvd. likes to recommend to beer lovers looking for something definitely different. And by beer lovers, she isn’t referring to the Corona set. This is not a beer to be chugged. It’s to be sipped and shared with friends (remember, that bottle is 500 milliliters).

Try this porter with seafood, a steak or even dessert. Try it and you’ll want to try the rest of the St. Peter’s lineup, which we will be introducing you to in the coming weeks. At the Lion & Rose, the pint plus-sized bottle is priced at $10.


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Drought Takes Toll on Local Farmers, Ranchers

Drought Takes Toll on Local Farmers, Ranchers

Peppers are one food in season -- if the plants have survived the drought.

If you go to one of the many farmers markets in the area this weekend, take a minute to talk with the purveyors about the problems they’re facing because of the drought.

Some, like Bob Mishler of Uncertain Farms in Seguin, have watched acres of plants burn in the merciless sun. He’ll still have his pickled and canned goods for sale at the Legacy on Sunday morning, but the fresh food from his farm is over for a while.

Neither he nor Cora Lamar from Oak Hills Farm in Poteet, who is at the Pearl Farmers Market on Saturdays, have any idea when to start fall planting, either, because of having to water the seeds. Many farmers usually begin their fall crops within the next few weeks, but no break in the weather could mean a lean fall for lovers of fresh food.

While not selling their wares at the farmers markets, wine grape growers and vintners are feeling the effects of the weather, too. For them, the news isn’t all bad, according to Becker Vineyards.They started their harvest early this year, says spokeswoman Nichole Bendele.

“Although we have a drip irrigation system in place, we are in a drought. We started the grape harvest about two weeks early, and will probably be finished by the end of August instead of the second or third week of September,” she says.  Besides Stonewall, we have another vineyard in Ballinger, and a third in Mason and also purchase grapes from growers in the Texas High Plains and West Texas areas.  Our winemaker, Russell Smith, says, that because of the drought the overall quantity is down, but because the grape clusters have such small berries, the wines of 2011 will be deliciously intense.”

Farmers and winegrowers aren’t the only ones hurting. Linda Perez of L&M Grass-fed Beef says she’s been feeding her cattle hay for weeks now because the grass is dead, and the hay is not in abundant supply.

Perez, who is also at the Pearl on Saturdays, recently posted the following on Facebook: “Bought the most beautiful hay imaginable today, but it cost me: $65 in gas, 6 hours driving time, one blow out tire to replace, not to mention the price of the hay and the incredible heat to endure (had to have the heater on high in the truck to keep the engine from over-heating!). But you should have seen the look on the faces of the cows and calves when they finally got to taste it. Priceless.”

The cattle aren’t quite so carefree these days because sometimes she’s able to buy only enough hay for four days.

Of course, food doesn’t just magically land on the table because it’s mealtime. We’re learning that this summer the hard way.


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