Friday, October 8, 2010

Garden to Table Challenge - October

The tomatoes have been pulled out, basil's flowering, shell beans are done, asparagus ferns have flopped, but the pepper bed is hot hot hot!

I dried this week's cayenne peppers in the oven on the lowest setting for a few hours. When I cut them, I noticed all the seeds were falling out. Serendipity - I decided on a milder chili paste this year. I snipped the rest and did a little shake to remove about half the hot seeds.

I love this simple and beautiful chili paste - it's just oil, garlic, dried cayenne pepper flakes, salt. I particularly like the garlic fried first (careful not to burn - it's a very quick process).

Jalapenos will always have a spot in my garden because they're so incredibly versatile. Below are chopped jalapenos and pepperoncini in garlic-infused vinegar and water. I'm hoping the pickling will cut some of the heat and that these peppers will be delicious on Italian subs.

Next, is a delicious sauce my mother made as a condiment to fried whole fish. The fish were caught in my father's pond just before dinner time!

What you see below is an incredible sauce to spoon over the fish. It was originally made by my Hong Kong aunt's housekeeper who is from Indonesia. It's basically lime, lime juice, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, hot peppers, sugar, and the fried Egyption onion scapes that you see in the photo below. You would not believe how perfect the blend of sweet, hot, sour, and salty flavors work together.

And now, to cool off from a spicy week - my sole black diamond watermelon (first time grower speaking). Perhaps a week or two underripe, but sweet and delicious nonetheless. Black diamond is a winner for great watermelon texture and classic flavor.

Below, apples (fuji and suncrisp) we picked the day before, and some of the watermelon we cut off the vine just the day before juicing.

What about you? What are you harvesting or buying fresh from the farmer's market? What are your great ideas to share? Link your post here...OR...if you don't blog about food or don't blog at all, share by commenting below!


  1. Hi Wendy, I am not a good cook. For picture six, we sometimes add tamarind for the fish sauce. Mmm...maybe this afternoon or tomorrow will go fishing, if we can catch something, I can follow your recipe for the fish sauce.

  2. In Indonesia, in Jakarta there is a restaurant that offers 'flying garuda'... whole fish butterflied and fried... serve the crispy fish on the plate and the fish really looks like flying! I can't remember the sauce. I am sure the sauce mentioned here taste good... yum ;-)

  3. I love to throw chili paste, a very tiny amount in tahini noodles.
    I can't believe you make it yourself! You are a wonder!

  4. Yum, chili paste / chili oil is one of my favorite condiments. I'll have to grow hot peppers next year so I can make this!

  5. Chili paste - the thought scares me. LOL We're sissies about spicy stuff here. The hottest we do is a mild salsa. But I'm sure you guys will enjoy the fruits of your labor!

    Catching fish in your dad's pond - that is SO cool. Growing vegetables is great and all, but growing fish? Awesome. :-)

    I'll write out my post tomorrow, I'm too sleepy now to think straight.

  6. I so admire that you do that. It is great to have that kind of stuff on hand!

  7. You even caught the fish! Now that's really growing your own... The sauce looks delicious and so authentic!

  8. Hi Wendy, that is really a hot dish! I can almost feel it in my toungue, however i am not so fond of very hot dishes, though most of my countrymen do. But i certainly have some share of them. I recall in the last local travel i did, where i just posted the sceneries, there is a fish dish which caught our attention and laughter, because the small hot red peppers were stucked in their eyes, as if their eyes are flaming hot.

  9. I guess your kitchen are full of home grown vegetables! You caught the fish too? wow!
    The watermelon looks so tasty!

  10. Those jars are absolutely gorgeous and jewel-like! They should be displayed for all to see, and your post has prompted me to make some chili paste this weekend. Thanks!

  11. That chilli paste looks so hot! That sauce over the fish sounds delicious, I got to try it someday! Wow, you even can catch the fish from your father's pond!

  12. Wow. You have got some yummy stuff going on. I'm harvesting beets today for homemade beet chips (think potato chips) and burgers on the grill.

  13. I would certainly like to taste that fish sauce.

  14. As a fellow food growing gardener, I love the garden to table challenges. Lately I have been rockin a deadly pumpkin muffin!


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