Thursday, September 2, 2010

Open Up The Hatch

Release the flavor of chilies by roasting them is what I am talking about!

This past weekend, my Open Mic crew and I have begun an annual camp out at Parvin State Park. 'Fireside' Open Mic, and I do the cooking. I love it. One summer I was the cook for a Boy Scout camp with my son, and what fun it can be.

Bacon and Asparagus Omeletes for breakfast. Dowel biscuits over the fire. That was a tricky one, no photos of the burnt, stuck to the wood, partially edible mess. Fun memories though.

My father's old tools and camping equipment came in handy- like the hacksaw he may have used in a few heist, uh, I mean work jobs in his business for gathering wood. Our aluminum picnic table I have used for years, and a few TV trays that crack my friends up, because they look retro. Knives with scissors on them for opening up containers...oh, another day, another story.

So we had two options for cooking. A grill up on the deck of the cabin, and a pit fire circle further out. The first day we used the more convenient one upon the deck. I roasted the 'Hatch' chili's I found at Whole Foods. I was so excited when I saw them. Things are moving up here. Before you know it I will have better Tex-Mex, or at least a choice, rather than none. I used some pecan shells, and wood chips I soaked in the wood to do some of the open flame cooking. I brought them back from Arizona Farmers Market.

After putting them in a bag to steam off the skins, I chopped them up and put them into a Quinoa Chili, with sauteed onions, sweet potato (to add some sweetness and balance heat), yellow squash, homemade canned tomatoes, chicken and sausage. Not much meat. I wanted the Hatch flavor to ring out. I added water and the quinoa to thicken it up, make it more filling.

I also cooked fajitas in a grill cage over the open flame with a new concept of smoking I had not done before, and will put that up next...

No photos of the chili- photography for your blog is a tricky thing to explain when it comes to a group of hungry people. So enjoy our beautiful view, and look out for the 'Moderate' Big Foot sighting I photographed on the next post...