Mesquite Smoked Salsa Verde

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Our Local Albertsons has a really great produce department, even for Wyoming. To be fair, the other grocery stores have good produce too, it’s convince items that I like. Pre packaged and/or prepped produce, costing a couple dollars more but my time is worth it. This year they added a new item, prepackaged do-it-yourself salsa verde, with instructions! I was a little nervous about FOUR habaneros but it sounded good so I thought I’d give it a try.

In short, the instruction said to blister at 350 on a grill or oven, about 3-5 minutes, de-seed, and put in a blender, salt to taste. When working with peppers, most recipes do not want the peppers cooked, just blistered so the skin can be removed. This recipe uses the skin, I followed the instructions.

My blender was a 30+ year old low tech blender that could not even make a decent frozen drink, (but that’s another story). I did not want to hassle with it so i put the peppers in my manual food processor, it came out like chunky salsa, but I was happy with the consistency but I think it did not work for this kind of salsa. I gave it a taste… HOLY HOT PEPPER BATMAN! The flavor was there but the heat was through the roof. I could not eat it, it overpowered whatever I put it on.

I looked out the back door at our new Treager Smoker Grill and a lightbulb went off… Cooking the peppers mellows the heat, and adding smoke just sounded yummy. Once we cooked a few meals on the Treager and got the hang of using unit, I tried again. But first I purchased a Ninja Blender, and it lives up to all the hype. It makes awesome frozen drinks, and for this recipe it worked perfectly.




I smoked and grilled the peppers and tomatillos per my recipe below. When I took the lid off the blender, WOW, the aroma blew me away, literally. I had to stand back, the heat from the peppers filled the air. I was a little nervous, I gave it a taste, the flavor was there, it still had heat, but the bite from the heat was gone. It did need salt and I have a variety of salts in my pantry. I smelled my concoction, then smelled the garlic salt, not a fit. I did this with my different salts and the Himalayan sea salt was the best fit. I added the salt to the blender and gave it a few pulses. Winnner winner chicken dinner! The salsa came out perfect, just the right amount of heat, the Himalayan sea salt added a great note of flavor, and the salsa was oddly addictive. So, I thought I better write down the recipe so I can repeat the flavor.

Mesquite Smoked Salsa Verde

Mesquite pellets for the smoker
4 – Tomatillos
2 – Anaheim Chili Peppers
4 – Habanero Chili Peppers
2 – Jalapeño Peppers
3 – Santa Fe Grande Peppers
3 – Serrano peppers
Pink Himalayan sea salt to taste

Wash the peppers.

Remove the husks and stems from the tomatillos, clean, and cut in half.

Bring the Treager to smoking temperature (160º) using the mesquite pellets.

Smoke the peppers and tomatillos for five minutes then turn up the heat to 350º, leaving the lid closed until you turn the peppers. When the temperature reaches 350 cook for an additional 5 minutes, turning the peppers when they start making a popping sound.

If your smoker does not have a temperate gauge, the popping started about the same time the smoker reached 350º.

You want the peppers cooked, with some marks, but not charred.

Take the peppers off the smoker and let them cool for a few minutes. Remove the stems and seeds from all the peppers, and cut the larger peppers in half.

Put all the cooked peppers and tomatillos in a blender and purée. Taste the salsa verde and add the Himalayan sea salt to taste, I used about a teaspoon.

Enjoy!

If you make this with a different wood pellet than the mesquite please comment below and let me know how it turned out.



Confessions of a Band Geek

Monday, July 16th, 2018

To make money blogging, one must blog… at least once a week. Bloggers make money by placing adds on their sites and getting page views (about a penny every 100 views), clicks, and in some cases sales. I have 3 main blogs, I’m developing an on line music library program, manage three business websites and one for a non profit, I’m a musician, I’m on the board of a non profit, and have 2 paid jobs outside my home. Then there is the weekend actives and summer visitors common to life in a resort town. So, as you can imagine, three blogs a week is nearly impossible.

My husband and I like to “glamp” on the weekends. We have this rolling piece of home we take to the river and get away from the rat race. I bring my iPad Pro and do a little typing for my blogs over coffee in the mornings. I don’t have internet access by the river so while home I set up blog drafts while on my big computer, copy them to a document on iCloud, and then download them on my device. The subject for this weekend was “I’ve gone to the Dark Side”, it was supposed to be about using my iPad to read music.

I started with a little background about my musical path to get where I am today. I try to keep my blogs under 1000 words, around 600 is best. I don’t want to lose my readers. Holy cow! I got off on all these tangents and before I knew it I was over 1700 words, and still had not gotten to my point. I sat back and gave it a re-look. I had several sub stores, so instead of calling it a fail, I decided to break it apart.

When I got home and a fresh brain I made a list, and set up my drafts dividing it up into separate blogs. I have 6 drafts! Most of which is already written, I just need to edit to read like a individual blog, not part of another. SIX! DANG! I’m a band geek! Who knew? So coming up with a name for my series was not all that hard. I quickly came up with it to 3 choices, Memoirs of a Band Geek, The Band Geek Chronicles, and Confessions of a Band Geek.

I hope you enjoy my series “Confessions of a Band Geek”. Subscribe to my blog for notices when I post a new blog.

411 words… 412 …




Confessions of a Band Geek


Herbie & the Decibel Debacle

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Above: Herbie helping me sort music.
First we need to talk about piles. Most of us have one, if not our own, it’s our loved ones. My husband’s pile is around his chair. I could probably write a whole blog about men and their chairs, but that’s another story. Over the last 29 years I have tried many things to make the pile less irritating. Our first few years of marriage the pile was literally around his his chair, on the floor. I’m sure there is a grand organizing method, but it was still an annoying pile on the floor. Over the years I tried baskets, bitching, and cleaning. Nowadays he has a tray, that I gave him, with his pile on it so I can hide it when we have company. The tray sits on the ottoman by his chair. On this day the ottoman was covered. The tray on the right full of mail in organized piles, a stack of magazines and catalogs on the left, and in the middle a bunch of loose papers with the remotes sitting on top.

Herbie helping me read the news.

When our son moved out and started paying his own bills we actually had money left at the end of the month. Instead of raiding our savings a couple days before pay day, (if there was something to raid), we had money left over from the last paycheck we could add to savings. This is an “Empty Nester” perk. That and the fact that electronics have become more affordable, we have a very cool smart TV with a nice surround sound system, DVD player, and cable box attached. That is four remotes. We have them programmed down to two that we use on a typical day.

My husband and I had both been sick with the Jackson Hole crud. We were both on the mend but the cough still lingered. I had ordered a new tray for my music stand from Amazon.com. It got great reviews, so I was surprised when it showed up with no instructions and didn’t seem to work as advertised. I brought it over to my husband, who was sitting in his chair, to look at and see if he could figure out how to tighten up the mechanism. Of course Herbie, our big furry Maine Coon mix cat, had to be in the middle of it to help. He jumped onto the ottoman.



This all happened in just a few seconds but may as well been in slow motion. I’m standing next to my husband who is sitting in his chair, both of us looking at the new tray discussing how it’s supposed to work. I noticed the volume of the surround sound system was going up, slowly at first but increasing in speed. I turned and looked at Herbie, who was sitting on the ottoman, and I saw the end of the remote to the surround sound sticking out from underneath his big furry bum. I went to reach for it but the sound started increasing rapidly, and with every decibel Herbie’s eyes got bigger and his ears went back further. Then when the level of sound was so loud I was afraid we would blow the speakers… Herbie took off like a bat out of hell! Except he had been sitting on top of my husbands pile. His legs were moving but he wasn’t going anywhere. POOF! All those papers went flying! The remotes, went flying! Magazines, went flying! When he finally reached the bottom of the pile and could dig his claws into the soft fabric of the ottoman his body caught up with his legs and he vanished in a cloud of papers.

Herbie Helping me with my boot bag.

You know how it is when you’re sick with a lung bug and you start to laugh… then cough because of the laugh? I thought we were both going to die. OMG! I could barely get to the surround sound box to turn the volume down, the remote had flowed somewhere that was not immediately known. Once the volume was back at a normal level, I leaned over to catch my breath, looked over at my husband who was turning red and coughing and laughing at the same time too. I stopped coughing, caught my breath, wiped the tears from my face, and went looking for Herbie. He was fine, probably more upset by the indignity of humans laughing at him.

 

Herbie was OK, the speakers were OK, we figured out how the music stand tray worked, and the cough is gone. All is well at Herbie house.