Cucumber, Corn and Tomato Salsa

My co-worker gave me some cucumbers she and her husband had grown in their garden. I wanted to use them right away as they were so fresh. This is a variation on a classic cucumber and tomato salad. I added charred corn for sweetness and smokiness. I also added poblano and jalapeno for spice. 

2 small or 1 medium cucumber, diced
2 ears corn
3 vine tomatoes, diced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbls apple cider vinegar
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsps dry dill
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsps salt

I wasn't about to turn on the broiler to cook the corn. It's been in the 90's here. Instead, I used the same technique often used to char bell pepper. Put the shucked ears directly over a gas flame on the stovetop. If you don't have a gas stovetop you can broil them or use an outdoor grill. 

The corn will pop and make a bit of a mess on your cooktop, but it's worth it. 

Char the corn evenly all around. Allow to cool and them cut the kernels off the cob. 

Stir together all i…

Caramelized Mushroom and Onion Stew

I'm gonna call this one a stew. It's an onion and mushroom based broth that's thickened with a little flour.

Why thicken it and not just leave it as broth consistency?

It eats differently than a soup this way. It feels heartier. It has a sauce like viscosity that coats the other ingredients as well as the tongue.

3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 pint white mushrooms, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, diced
2 jalapeno, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
Skins from the onion
1 can garbanzos, drained and risned
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 dry white wine
5 cups water
2 tbls flour
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbl hot sauce
1 tbl dijon mustard
1 tbl dry basil
1 tbl salt
2 tsps aleppo pepper flakes or crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps garlic powder
2 tsps black pepper

Caramelize the mushrooms and onions in a large stock pot with the olive oil and half the salt. When mushrooms and onions are nicely browned, about 20 minutes, deglaze with wine.Cook off wine for 2 minutes.

Add water, mustard, hot sauce, green pepper, tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, spices, remaining salt.

Place onion skins in a cheese cloth or a tea leaf holder and submerge in the mixture. You just want a porous vessels for it sit in the pot and infuse its flavor where you can later easily remove it.

Whyy use the onion skins? There's huge flavor in there as well as an abundance of nutrients. It's worth the effort.

Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Add beans and simmer 10 more minutes.

Stir in flour. Simmer 5 more minutes.