Hey – did you think I fell off the face of the earth? I kind of feel like I did. It’s been too tiring to decide whether something is “blog-worthy” or not or if I care enough about something to spend time editing photos and then writing about it. Sorry about that. I’m a terrible blogger, what can I say?
Similar to the jalapeno plants, tomatoes are always present in my summer garden. Beefsteak, heirlooms, cherry, and some sort of plum tomatoes are usually in the mix. Travis loves a good beefsteak tomato sliced onto a sandwich. I feel there’s nothing better than a warm, just-picked heirloom tomato drizzled with olive oil, sea salt, and a chiffonade of fresh basil from the garden. The cherry tomatoes are for salads or oven roasting with garlic (scooped up with crusty baguettes). And the plum tomatoes get crushed and canned or pureed into sauce. I’ve tried growing San Marzano varieties and they don’t do well, so I just stick with the hearty plum tomato starts from the nursery.
‘Tis the season for holiday baking and gift giving. While I have yet to do either so far (we don’t even have a Christmas tree yet!), I have dipped into my stash of jars twice already for potluck-style parties. And, it occurred to me that someone out there might also appreciate having a stash of these goodies for impromptu appetizers. Today I’ll introduce you to the candied jalapenos; tomorrow you can learn about the tomato jam. I’ve found that they are lovely on their own and combined, on top of the fact that they are super easy to make and you really only need to can them if you want to hold onto them long-term.
Every summer, I plant at least two jalapeno plants in my garden. I started doing this because I love bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers and there is nothing more fun that filling up a platter for a summer bbq and popping them in your mouth. With my garden jalapenos, it sometimes becomes Popper Roulette as some peppers end up much hotter than the others. This is completely different than the year I grew both jalapeno and Serrano peppers and got them mixed up in the picking basket (the serranos were huge!)
Ever since we had the backyard renovation, I’ve been wanting to do a whole pig roast. Except, it’s kind of expensive and you need a lot of people to eat the, you know, whole hog. I think for a good sized pig, you can feed 100 people. We didn’t have 100 people at our wedding, where would we ever round up that many people for a party?
So, when I get it in my head to chow down on porky goodness, we try to round up enough people to help us make a dent in a 7-pound pork roast. Not just any pork roast, though, a Momofuku-style pork roast. When we were in New York, one thing we had to do before we left was eat one of David Chang’s steamed pork buns, a pillowy soft bun stuffed with tender pork belly. We couldn’t reasonably take part in his bo ssam dinner, so when we got home I ordered up his cookbook.
Some of the recipes in the cookbook are time-consuming and some have hundreds of steps. Some are time consuming because they have hundreds of steps! But I haven’t been disappointed with a single recipe I’ve tried and his bo ssam recipe, along with the green scallion sauce, have become my go-to dishes. I’ve taken them to potlucks, and we’ve made it while camping. I’ve never heard anyone turn it down.
Learn how I turned a 3-page recipe into just a few key steps…