The Garden so far: Early Summer

Hello Lovies!  Here are some pics of our garden so far this year.  I’ll get more specific about varieties, if I haven’t already I honestly cannot remember, in a later post.  Right now some crazy person decided she was going to write 10 posts in 10 days while working a full time job and picking back up  training for running.  I’m actually at the point where I almost have everything I want in the garden foundation wise. Shhh don’t tell Babu or he will start relaxing and I just cannot have that.


Spring continues in the Garden

I finally got it together enough to get some shots of the  garden this Spring. It has been the best spring ever, I forgot how much I love spring because it seems we never actually get one.   This year has been at lest 2 springs at once.  The Peppers and Tomatoes I ordered from Gurney’s are on their way and I’ll get them in this weekend.  We are going to buy Tomatillos from the  Chilewoman.com and make the trip to Bloomington, IN to pick them up over Memorial Day weekend.   For those of you local I have  divided Siberian Iris  and some leftover onion starts that may or may not be viable so you can just have them.  Today I hope to get Sunflower and Zinnia seeds in while I am supposed to be nursing my foot, shhh, don’t tell Babu.


Steak and grilled potatoes; Home Made Green Sauce

Last Thursday while I was taking  a mental health day from blogging I decided I would use the extra  few hours  gained from not having to write a post to channel my inner domestic goddess for a little while.  I had ordered locally grown tomatillos and peppers from the produce delivery place with the intention of making a batch of my home made green sauce.  That recipe  involves roasting  things, so I decided to use the grill to make dinner AND green sauce. Hubby gets a steak he didn’t have to cook and I get to make a dinner.  Everybody wins.

Dinner was as follows:

T-bones with Chicago Steak rub, marinated  with the rub on for a few hours, then grilled for about 8 minutes a side for medium well.

Locally grown  mushrooms, sauteed with onion and reduced with Red Wine Vinegar and  beef broth.

Potatoes also done on the grill.  They were locally grown and from the produce delivery place as well. I cut them in halfish, gave them a light coating of olive oil and some seasoning, I think I used a Chipotle rub.  I started these beofre anything else, along with the onions. They were probably on for at least 10 minutes before I turned them to the other side.  They turned out great, almost like crispy on the outside steak fries.

Locally grown corn and a salad with garden tomatoes and locally grown lettuce.  Thinking of the lettuce reminds me that I need to get my fall crop of spinach and lettuce in, though it’s probably way too late, never hurts to try right?

The star of my evening was the green sauce. There is probably an exact recipe for this stuff floating around my house somewhere.  This is a recipe The Husband got and tried first, then I stole the making of it and started experimenting. By this point it’s  make from memory and turns out differently every time.  This is part of why I love cooking but hate baking, I screw with recipes.  I manipulate them based on what I have on hand or what sounds good or what worked best last time.  To me cooking is playing and Baking is an exact-ish science. Though I am still working on making the perfect cobbler, I mostly avoid baking.

This is the basic gist of the green sauce.

Tomatillos, peel papery skins, wash, cut in half. I roasted them on a baking sheet with a lip to hold the juices they release. I turn them cut side down and put the broiler on high. Keep an eye on them, about 15-20 minutes, until the skins get bubbly and brown or black and the pan is full of tomatillo juice.   I also throw the few cloves of garlic on the same pan  and roast them in the juices at the same time.   This batch I got busy and turned the oven off, but didn’t take the pan out.  This caused me to lose a lot of my juice to oven evaporation and make my sauce extra thick.   It was a happy mistake I think, but one I won’t be repeating on purpose.

Onions, peel, cut in big chunks. You can put them on a pan with the tomatillos in the oven but I put them on the grill with the potatoes to get them semi-cooked and roasted.

Garlic,  smash and peel a few cloves, see above.

Peppers, I prefer pabloanos, but I have used all kinds of  peppers for this.  This batch was billed as a pablano/banana mix.  You can either cut the tops off and roast that way or roast whole and deal with the seeds later while you are peeling the stems and skins off.   Either way works, but the cut off in advance method may be a little less messy.  Roast in oven under broiler or on grill on bottom close to the fire until the skins are charred and black.   Then let them rest and peel off as much skin as is fit. There is a picture of the skin carcases somewhere here.

Cilantro, I used two full bunches or more this time, but you should aim for at least 1-2 cups of the stuff. I love it so we use way more than that, see bowl full.

I usually try to keep my ratio of tomatillos to peppers to onions about 1;1;1/2 or so. But honestly it doesn’t matter that much as long as you like the taste so don’t stress over it.

So when you have your veggies roasted and peeled you have a pile of mushy stuff. Shove it all in your blender or food processor and let it go until its whatever consistency you like.  Then start working in the washed cilantro until you have the taste and consistency and color you want.  I’m lazy and don’t cut it, I just kind of tear it or shove it in there in small batches until it all gets worked in.  I did this  over the weekend when I had time.

We enjoy this usually  slow cooked with pork and some chicken broth added.  But you could use it for anything.

Your batch will be as big or small as your volume of ingredients.  This batch made about 4+ cups for me.