Obviously included in the stuff, would be everything that goes in the kitchen, so I've been itching the past few days to start up legit cooking again (what, you mean eggs, a can of fruit, and cereal three times a day doesn't make a balanced diet? news to me.).
The garden is doing well. It was planted a little late in the season, so it's not as full and awesome as I would like, but I am getting good notes for next year. Anyway, I figured I should try some cooking with the ingredients that I had handy right outside the back door.
I would probably have gone with making salsa, if it didn't mean that I couldn't just eat all the ripe tomatoes straight off the vine each morning. Since that happens to be a habit I have no intention of kicking anytime soon, I settled on making Jalapeños Rellenos (aka cheese stuffed jalapeños).
I only actually ate stuffed peppers once while living in Mexico, but they were made by hand in our kitchen by the wife of a friend while I sat and watched, and it didn't seem too complicated. Plus, while there is only one small jalapeño plant in the garden, it's cranking out peppers left and right, so I marched outside and plucked four from amongst the leaves. Back inside, I recreated to the best of my ability.
If you're curious, here's the "recipe"
(I say that in quotes because like many true Mexican dishes, you learn how to make it by watching someone and practicing, not reading instructions.)
- Fresh jalapeños
- Cream cheese
- Shredded Oxaca cheese (I used a shredded mexican blend today since Harding's didn't have a real big cheese selection)
- Hollow out your peppers.
- Mix 2 parts Oxaca with 2 parts room-temp cream cheese and 1 part egg.
- Stuff dem peppers. The egg will puff up in heat, so don't overstuff them or you'll have a cheesy-goo mess oozing everywhere.
- In this instance, I put them in a 400* oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese gets gold brown. When we had them in Mexico, we grilled them outside.
(I baked them in a muffin tin that I had sprayed with some non-stick.)
They smelled fantastic, and they looked just like I remembered (except the lack of grill lines). So I went to work on hanging up some pictures to wait while they cooled a bit.
going down into the basement
our engagement comic above the bed
A few minutes later, I wandered through the kitchen and rather unceremoniously popped one in my mouth on my way back upstairs to read for a bit. It was pretty yummy, and I knew I would totally be blogging about them today to "toot my own horn."
Once upstairs, I discovered I needed a little better reading light, so I gargled some gasoline, struck a match, and then lit my mouth on fire.
Oh. Wait. No. No I didn't actually do that last part.
But I might as well have.
I don't know what the difference was in the heat of these peppers versus those I ate back in Mexico without any problem. I could speculate that smaller peppers pack more punch. Or that home grown are more potent than the genetically enhanced commercial pepper crop. Or I have simply lost what little tolerance for heat I built up while living in Mexico. Maybe all three to some capacity. Here's what I can tell you for certain: I wanted to rip my mouth and esophagus out of the front of my body in the same gruesome way a hawk rips the innards out of a mouse it just caught. Only, faster and with more screaming.
You might be saying, in all your infinite (and decidedly too late hindsightedness) "milk helps! drink milk!"
I would like to be able to say "um, duh, I like totally know that and I drank milk and was super fine." I do, and did, have this milk knowledge already. However, in the heat of the moment (ha, see what I did there?), I instead just chugged the rest of my coke.
The acidity of coke, plus already burning pepper means I ended up actually screaming while fanning my mouth with my hands in possibly the most futile effort to comfort myself that's ever happened in the history of anything ever. I briefly debated eating the aloe plant.
By the time I remembered that milk was better, my eyes were watering so bad I couldn't see what was in front of my face, and my hand-mouth coordination was less than 100%. So I got about a half gallon of milk down my gullet, and the other half of that same brand new gallon... down my shirt. Like some sub-par wet t-shirt contest in a town right next to Cancun which was not quite cool enough to lure in the college students.
Whatever, it worked.
And between the dog, cat, and the mop the mess on the kitchen floor didn't last too long.
Now after a quick walk back to hardings for yet another gallon of milk, and a vengeful chunking of the remaining peppers straight into the trash (sorry, forgot to take a picture beforehand...), I decided to pamper myself. You know, bounce back triumphantly from the trauma. Like a spartan. They seemed like a hardy people. Naturally in that vein I tried out a pinterest pin where you put shaving cream on your feet, cover that in a towel soaked in a water/listerine mixture, and then tied target bags to your feet to let them "soften" for 30 minutes. Like a boss. Or a moron.
OR A CAPTAIN.
Have you ever eaten something too hot for your delicate system? Is it a funny story? You should share it in the comments.
Similarly, if you know of something better than milk to calm screaming jalapeño-ed tongues, you should share that in the comments too.