Thursday, September 3, 2009

Farmer's Markets & Spicy Favorites

The Farmers' Almanac predicts numbing cold this winter. If that will hold true or not only time can tell but it is hard to see that far right now as our days slowly slide the mercury down the thermometer towards something bearable. Many Texans felt we had almost hit a cold spell this past week when temperatures that day only hit 95. I'll be mixing up a batch of those Hatch-a-ritas the moment the Texas temps drop below 80. Something with that much heat needs a little cooperation from Mother Nature!

While Fall is many weeks away here in Central Texas the tiny break we've had from our 100* temperatures gave us reason to hit the Farmer's Markets once again. Hornsfan & I loaded the dogs in the car (note the photo below which shows Jack sleeping in his doggie seat belt) last Saturday & left everyone else snoozing as we hit the road early to visit the Austin Farmer's Markets. We first went to Sunset Valley & bought produce & strolled the vendors booths amazed that so much produce could exist during our intense late Summer weather. Somehow as my backyard garden has sizzled & popped it's way to the compost pile our brave Texas Farmers had great things in store for lucky Austin folks. Next we headed downtown to the Republic Square Farmer's Market & were in awe once again of the produce, plants, live music & array of wonderful locally produced goodies. Our dogs were impressed with the number of Canine friends they met as well as the array of pet items for sale. We even found our favorite Green Chiles at one booth. As you know Gloria is still running her Green Chile Contest over at Food & Flavors of San Antonio. That leads me to the recipes I've cooked up once again using those Sizzling, Sirens of the Spice world! I've been on the go much of this week but still managed to whip out a couple of Green Chile Pepper items for even the most uninitiated Foodie with semi-Spicy interests. I have relied upon my Crockpot more than once recently. Family needs food & I am too busy to stir a big fuss up in the kitchen & "voila" I can slow cook it & be done with it. My Crockpot Roasted Chicken & Vegetables has 2 Fresh Green Chiles in the recipe & while the peppers added flavor they did not make the chicken hot. The Green Chile Mashed Potatoes were delicious the first night, had a bit of a kick but the leftovers the following evening had even more heat! We loved them but fair warning, Green Chiles add heat & at times just keep on adding...

Crockpot Roasted Chicken & Vegetables
1 3-4 lb whole Natural Chicken, remove giblets
4-5 Red Potatoes, cut into quarters
2 Fresh Green Chile Peppers, seeded & halved
1 Red Onion, quartered
12 Baby Carrots
1 Tbsp dried Herbs de Provence
1 tsp Adobo seasoning (Goya brand)
1/2 c water or white wine
1 clove chopped Garlic
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
Prepare the potatoes, baby carrots, and onion, and chopping potatoes & onions into quarters.

Lay 1/2 of the vegetables on the bottom of the Crockpot. Sprinkle Adobo Seasoning and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle the garlic over the vegetables.

Sprinkle dried herbs over the vegetables.

Wash and dry the chicken.

Rub salt in the cavity, place 1 Fresh Green Chile Pepper, seeded & halved.

Rub olive oil on the outside of the chicken.

Lay the chicken breast side up on top of 1/2 of the vegetables and sprinkle with Herbs de Provence, black pepper, arrange remaining vegetables & top Chicken with other Green Chile Pepper halves.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 5 hours.

Hatch Green Chile Mashed Potatoes
4 large baking potatoes, or about 2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup heated milk
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 ounces shredded or crumbled Mexican Cotija Cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Roasted Green Chile Peppers, seeded & diced
pinch Smoked Paprika
Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well.
Put potatoes back in saucepan; stir over low heat until dry, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mash, adding about 1/2 cup milk and the 2 tablespoons butter. Add grated or crumbled Cotija cheese and Roasted, diced Green Chile Peppers. Beat with a spoon, adding remaining milk until desired consistency is reached.
serves 4.