Spice it up with homemade habanero salsa

My friend Belinda makes the best fresh salsa, and it’s so easy! The key to punching in the flavor is roasting the peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic over a hot flame or in a hot oven, sealing in the deliciousness.

Beli’s Habanero Salsa

(Normally I can’t do a too-spicy salsa, but this one is my favorite even though it makes my eyelids sweat! The difference for me is flavor in addition to heat — as opposed to pure heat with no flavor — and the key is roasting!)

  • – 3-5 habenero peppers
  • – about 2-3 lbs of tomatoes (use whatever kind of tomato you like, or mix several types)
  • – 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • – 2 white onions
  • – 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
  • – handful of fresh basil
  • – 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • – 1/2 tablespoon boullion (chicken or vegetarian)
  • – pinch of dried oregano

Coat with olive oil and roast the tomatoes, habaneros, onions and garlic whole in an oven or over a grill. Once everything is charred on all sides, remove the onion and garlic skins (and the stems from the tomatoes and peppers) and blend everything together in a blender. You may need to do this in phases if you have a small blender. Add in the oregano, chopped herbs and boullion, and blend completely.

Chef Katherine’s show-stopping sprouts – 3 ways

For anyone who doesn’t like brussels sprouts, this recipe will change your mind. Forget your childhood memories about being forced to finish every last bite, about the bitter bite of the sprout, probably boiled or steamed so as to remove all possibility of flavor.
 
How, you ask, would one make a vegetable so reviled into something spectacular?
 
Same way we make everything spectacular; we fry it and then cover it in bacon. Then drizzle it with some love in the form of balsamic vinegar and good port wine.
 
 
For those who don’t eat meat or would like a vegetable dish that’s not quite so … shiny … I also developed two vegetarian and likely healthier alternatives. I did three versions: the original Bo Beau recipe; one with sesame oil, mushrooms and scallions; and another with a delicious pomodori al forno.
 

Try your own variations of this recipe!

 
The recipe comes from Chef Katherine Humphus at Bo Beau Kitchen +Bar in San Diego, where she serves this crispy sprout recipe every day. It’s one of their most popular dishes and is my favorite of everything I have tried there. Chef Katherine was kind enough to share the recipe with me!
 
Chef Katherine Humphus’s Crispy Brussels Sprouts
 
  • 1 cup sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • vegetable oil for sauteeing
  • 1 tbsp pancetta, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • tbsp shaved parmesean
Crip pancetta and remove from heat; set aside. Heat two inches of oil in a skillet to 375 and fry sprouts for 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon, toss with pancetta, salt and pepper, and plate with balsamic port reduction (recipe follows) and parmesean.
 
 
 
Balsamic port reduction
 
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup port wine
 Place in small saucepan and reduce over medium-high for about 15 minutes until the consistency of maple syrup.
 
 
I also did two vegetarian versions of this whopper.
 
Don’t like bacon? (Then get off my page! Ok .. kidding …)
 
 
Try sauteeing a few mushrooms and chopped scallions with some sesame oil, and toss that with the crispy sprouts instead.
 
 
How about a rustic, summery feel?
 
Try roasting tomatoes with basil and garlic and tossing the mixture with the sprouts. (Note: both variations were drizzled with the balsamic/port reduction.)