Archive for November, 2017

Horseradish

Monday, November 13th, 2017
Horseradish

Horseradish

I prepared horseradish sauce yesterday.  I ran the horseradish twice through a food processor, first slicing, then shredding the pieces of root. As I was shredding, I added enough vinegar to keep the horseradish from drying out or heating up. The vinegar helps retain the hot flavor and allows it to keep for a while in the refrigerator. It will last a couple months.  It’s a tasty condiment and it has an impressive list of purported health benefits.

Horseradish Plants

Horseradish Plants

I grow horseradish in the herb bed, along with my plantings of perennial onions, garlic, leeks, and chives.  It is very easy to grow and quite difficult to get rid of once you have it.  I could encourage larger, cleaner, and easier to harvest roots if I grew it in softer soil, but it’s not high enough on my list of priorities to give it the treatment it deserves. I do like to have it around because the finished product is so good.

Horseradish Roots

Horseradish Roots

I dug out several plants. The ground was frozen on top but quite soft below the thin crust. I didn’t try to get out the whole plant. That would have entailed a lot of work. Pieces left in the ground will most often grow back. I brushed off as much dirt as I could. I trimmed off the crowns which I shoved back into the soil where I had harvested, just to make sure there would be some around next year. It was too cold to wash them outside so I brought them inside to do that.

Horseradish Peelings

Horseradish Peelings

I’ve read recipes suggesting not peeling the roots, but just washing them before shredding. The roots I harvest are pretty gnarly, with folds packed with dirt, bug holes, rotten spots, and other imperfections I’d rather not have in my sauce. I think peeling is in order.  The peeling process is where the vapors of mustard oil that make horseradish famous first show themselves. Strong whiffs of horseradish vapors could be likened to tear gas. Usually, it’s just some fun in the kitchen, but I think an overdose of fumes could be a real problem.

Peeled and Washed Horseradish Roots

Peeled and Washed Horseradish Roots

Horseradish: washed, trimmed and ready for the food processor.

 

 

 

Roasted Shishito Peppers

Thursday, November 9th, 2017
Blistered Shishito With Sesame Seed

Blistered Shishito With Sesame Seed

This year was not particularly good for our pepper harvest.  It may have been the location and the fact that the ever so tall Jerusalem artichokes  blocked the east sun from the patch.  That won’t happen next year.  Live and learn.

Luckily we had a late frost so when Noel pulled the last of the pepper plants from the garden on October 30th, we had a bonus – a couple dozen shishito peppers.  We had never grown them before so I thought they were immature wrinkly little things, but it turns out they were exactly as they should be.

I wasn’t sure what to do with them so I did an internet search on the various ways of preparing them.  The simplest way I found was roasting them at 500 degrees with olive oil, salt, pepper then sprinkling with toasted sesame seeds.  Here’s a link to the recipe and video of Michael Symon making them on a television show.

The peppers can also be roasted on the grill, pan blistered, stuffed with cheese, dipped in sauce, etc.  It all depends upon what you’re in the mood for and how much time you want to spend on the preparation.  No matter how you make them they’re sure to disappear quickly.

The seeds were from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.   Check out their amazing website.  And, of course, don’t forget the tool section.  They might just have the CobraHead Weeder and the CobraHead “mini” Weeder in their offering.