Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ode to Pasta

My latest hobby is to go on the web and find out what day it is. By day, I don't mean what day of the week, but for instance, you know how we have Mother's Day in May, Father's Day in June, so on and so forth....... that kind of day. And I am surprised that there is in fact a day, for every day of the entire year! Well, at least they have come up with a day for every day of the year! Yes, that was a redundant statement...........

And so apparently, today, October 17th, is National Pasta Day! We had pasta just the other day. My daughter whipped up her special pesto pasta, using sea shell pasta. She incorporated peas, corn, carrots, red swiss chard, leeks and a ton of garlic. It was par excellent!

My daughter's delicious Pesto Sea Shell Pasta
Not sure I want to make pasta again tonight, but I thought it would be fun to put up some of my pasta pictures from the past........ sort of like an ode to pasta!

My "Devious" Penne Pasta
Chicken Soup with Farfalle
My One-Pot Pesto Pasta
My rather tasteless Shrimp Scampi made with angel hair pasta
My creamy delicious Orzitto
So there, that's my little ode to pasta. (Yes, I do notice that I tend to make more of pesto/green pasta that the red sauce based kind!) Pasta is versatile, and you can never have enough of it! If you haven't already had pasta this week, go ahead and make some awesome pasta tonight. It is afterall National Pasta Day! Oh, don't forget to wear some gaudy clothes while cooking, because, it also happens to be "Wear Something Gaudy Day!" Are you going, "Geez!" yet?! ;)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hot Stuff!

I love hot and spicy food, and that is the ultimate truth. Of late, I have fallen in love with Naga Bhut Jolokia. Yep, the Ghost Pepper- the hottest pepper I have eaten. Well, it used to be the hottest pepper in the world, until the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion took over. I'm waiting to try that one soon.

Since I love hot and spicy food, I of course have a thing for sauces with a kick. Not your ordinary tomato ketchup kinda sauce, but the gourmet kind. And if the sauce has some ghost pepper action going on, I have to get it! I am proud of my little collection of hot sauces that I have going, and I thought I ought to share it with you.

My lovely collection- still counting.......
In the above picture, starting from the very left, we have Dave's Insanity Sauce, Dave's Ghost Pepper Sauce, Mrs. Renfro's Ghost Pepper Salsa, and finally, Melinda's Naga Jolokia Sauce.

In terms of the heat factor, Dave's Insanity Sauce holds true to its name- INSANELY HOT, followed by Dave's Ghost Pepper Sauce, which can literally rip your taste buds off of your tongue. The ghost pepper salsa is pleasantly tongue-burning hot, and the mildest of all is Melinda's Naga Jolokia Sauce.

Dave's Insanity and Ghost Pepper sauce bottles come with a warning, yes, an actual warning! It goes, "Use this product one drop at a time. Keep away from eyes, pets and children. Not for people with heart /respiratory problems. Shake well and refrigerate after opening." And boy, do they mean it! Heck, the ghost pepper sauce even claims, "It also is a great industrial cleaner and grease remover." And the insanity sauce claims something similar, "Strips waxed floors and removes driveway grease stains." Now you can either take that literally, or treat it like Applied Biology, your choice! ;)

I always have Mrs. Renfro's Ghost Pepper Salsa stocked up in my pantry. In fact, ever since my husband discovered this about a year ago, we don't care much for any other salsa available at the grocery store. It is a brilliant super-hot salsa, and for every bottle sold, a part of the proceeds goes to  The Chile Pepper Institute towards research and education. And I'm all for that! We do know that chile peppers actually have medical benefits, right? Ever heard of capsaicin? That's the stuff extracted from peppers that helps alleviate Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis pains, and even helps regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics. So yeah, it's all good stuff!

Melinda's Naga Jolokia is the mildest of this lot, because even though it has ghost peppers, there are other ingredients, such as carrots, papayas, and passion fruit that totally mask the heat that one would otherwise expect from a sauce that so proudly claims that this is their "hottest offering by far." But hey, no qualms about that. It is still quite tasty. Plus you don't have to worry about any waxed floors getting stripped off!

A year ago, my husband's colleague gave us some bhut jolokia achaar (ghost pepper pickle) that he got from New Delhi, India, and it was killer stuff! Here's a picture that I found on this website. Too bad they are out of it, else I'd have ordered it right now!

So there, that's my collection of ghost pepper sauces for now, and I hope to get a hold of that Trinidad Moruga Scorpion one of these days!