Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tacos w/ Scorpion Paste

We've been taking pictures of food we have made with the plan of writing a nice blog post for each one, but we seem to be too busy for that to happen, so we decided just to post a bunch of pictures with brief descriptions for each. Here's the first!

The recipe for Scorpion Paste comes from my sister-in-law Gudrun, and we ate it with my standard freestyled tacos (chayote, onion, black beans, chipotle peppers in adodo sauce, fresh herbs, etc. etc.). I posted a very rough guide of what I put in the tacos, and the scorpion paste recipe is below that:

Mexican Beans (from Jon)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion (1 small onion or ½ big onion)
1 red pepper (optional)
4 chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce, minced (they come in cans, save the unused ones)
½ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp Mexican oregano
¼ tsp salt
5 cups cooked beans (black, pinto, it’s all good) or 3 cans
½ cup water
1 lime (optional)
Cilantro (optional)
Salsa (optional)
            Heat up the oil in a skillet, and when hot add the onion (and the red pepper if you’re using it), and sauté for a few minutes until they get soft. Add the chili peppers and spices, and cook for another minute or so until it smells good, then add the beans and stir well. Cook them for a few minutes, then add the water. I like kind of half-refried beans so I just use a masher to break up roughly half of the beans in the skillet but leave some whole, and keep mixing them up. Eat on tortillas, and add lime and/or cilantro and/or salsa if you like.

Scorpion Paste (from Gudrun Danielson)
1 7 oz. jar, or 2/3 cup roasted red peppers
½ tsp cumin, whole or ground
½ tsp salt
4 cloves raw garlic, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
6 (or more, if you're cocky) whole dried chiles (pequin, tepin, Japanese) that have been softened in hot water.

            Combine all in a blender, making sure to scrape down the sides with a spatula once or twice, until it becomes a uniform emulsion.  If using whole chilies, you'll have to blend a bit more, so that the seeds are pulverized, adding their heat to your concoction.  The finished product should be as thick as mayonnaise.  Pack the paste into a small jar, cover with a thin film of vegetable oil, and refrigerate indefinitely.  If you want to add some quick heat to stews, burritos, or curries, or kill a cold by spreading it on toast and eating it, well, this is the recipe for you!  It keeps marvelously well, and increases its potency as long as it has a thin coat of oil on top, and is refrigerated.

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