Sunday, December 6, 2015

Affairs and ghost pepper

Think you could be a hero by adding bacon to your oatmeal raisin cookies? I do. But who thinks of these things?
Affairs to Remember catered the grand opening of Saks Fifth Avenue at the Gardens Mall and other spectaculars over 18 years. Chef Sandy Axelrod, her husband, Steve and their son, Brian have lived in Florida more than 30 years and have been making it flavorful and beautiful.
The anecdotes in this book can inspire you to cater your own affairs and have lots more of them.
This book has both ideas and recipes and beautiful photos to guide readers along.

Fig seems like it’s destined to be the next big think since pumpkin everything. Ever considered cooking shrimp with fig jam and preserved lemon?

Gingered carrots, cinnamon nut coffee cake, veal with mushroom sauce and Drunken Orange Pork Salad with Sauteed Mushrooms are other ideas in these pages.
Every good affair has appetizers, and here’s one so easy it doesn’t even need cooking. Try all these “Affairs” this holiday.

Genoa and Provolone Cornets with Hot Pickled Okra
Makes 36
Author’s note: This can hardly be called a recipe. No cooking involved.
36 thin slices Genoa salami
36 thin slices sharp provolone cheese
36 hot pickled okra from a jar, drained
Top each slice of Genoa salami with a slice of provolone cheese and place an okra in the center of each. Roll into a horn shape. Place seam side down on serving platter, cover and chill until ready to serve.

Ghoste Peppers in the house
My friend is a great cook, great gardener and great hostess. I went to a party and left with a box of pecans to shell, her fig preserves, banana peppers and oranges from the yard and salsa made from ghost peppers she grew.
I haven’t had a lot of experience with ghost pepper, but I love heat. Peppers are a routine part of my day, from breakfast to dessert.
She pulled some salsa out of the refrigerator that she said had been made a while ago. It smelled hot and very fresh, because the ghost peppers were acting as their own preservative.
I started with just less than a tablespoon on a Frito. I respected the ghost pepper.
It wasn’t like I was eating just a bite of pepper. There was other stuff in the salsa. It wasn’t soooo hot. I could take it.
I sat there, and let the experience soak in. Literally. The heat sneaked in and warmed me all around. I was ready for it. I let it in. I didn’t cough or gasp or tear up.
I enjoyed it. But, I also didn’t need a second sample. The one satisfied.
Thankfully, she let me leave with a jar full, so I can enjoy the rest over time.

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