Posts Tagged 'pepper'

Enjoyin grits in the “Grits belt”

Grits has always been a favorite dish in the south. There are many different variations of grits including the traditional grits with butter, grits with cheese, and shrimp and grits just to name a few.   I prefer grits mixed lots and lots of butter with pepper sprinkled on top.  I also like grits with breakfast casserole mixed in with cheese sausage and eggs.  This morning I enjoyed a rather large bowl of grits mixed in with just enough butter to change the color.

Movie Name: My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Quote:

Vinny Gambini: [Vinny and Lisa receive their breakfast orders, Vinny
  looks at his skeptically] Whats this over here?
Grits Cook: You never heard of grits?
Vinny Gambini: Sure Ive heard of grits. I just never actually *seen*
  a grit before.

 

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Grits have their origins in Native American corn preparation. Traditionally, the corn for grits was ground by a stone mill. The results are passed through screens, with the finer siftings being grit meal, and the coarser being grits. Many communities in the United States used a gristmill until the mid-20th century, with families bringing their own corn to be ground, and the miller retaining a portion of the corn for his fee. In South Carolina, state law requires grits and corn meal to be enriched, similar to the requirements for flour, unless the grits are ground from corn from which the miller keeps part of the product for his fee.

Three-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are sold in the South stretching from Texas to Virginia, also known as the “grits belt”. The state of Georgia declared grits its official prepared food in 2002. Similar bills have been introduced in South Carolina, with one declaring:

Whereas, throughout its history, the South has relished its grits, making them a symbol of its diet, its customs, its humor, and its hospitality, and whereas, every community in the State of South Carolina used to be the site of a grits mill and every local economy in the State used to be dependent on its product; and whereas, grits has been a part of the life of every South Carolinian of whatever race, background, gender, and income; and whereas, grits could very well play a vital role in the future of not only this State, but also the world, if as Charleston’s The Post and Courier proclaimed in 1952, “An inexpensive, simple, and thoroughly digestible food, [grits] should be made popular throughout the world. Given enough of it, the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of [grits] is a man of peace.

Grits are usually either yellow or white, depending on the color of corn. Most commonly found are “quick” grits in which the germ and hull have been removed. Whole kernel grits are sometimes called “Speckled.” Grits are prepared by simply boiling the ground kernels into a porridge until enough water is absorbed or vaporized to leave it semi-solid.

Rhett IS an award-winning chef.

I am happy that Rhett Morris, original from the Winston-Salem area, decided to stay in North Carolina and continue his passion in Southern Pines.  We recently had the joy of dining and Rhett’s Restaurant and love the food!  Walking into the quaint dining area the green walls enhance the local art work on display.    Soft music from above and various conversations from other tables make Rhetts a comfortable place to enjoy a meal.

Prior to making online reservations, that I thought was very convenient, I browsed the online menu and chose what I wanted to taste during my visit.  I never order soup, but for some reason the R2 – Roasted Red Pepper Soup caught my attention.  The description of  a truly delightful blend of roasted red peppers and smoked Gouda cheese is very accurate.  I can imagine this as a sauce in Fettucine.   It was delicious and set me up for the main course consisting of a NC Ribeye with Roasted Garlic Risotto Truffle Mashed Potatoes.  It will be difficult for me to try something different during my next visit because everything was too good not to want again.  Fortunately I had a big appetite before arriving and was able to try the Chocolate Mousse Heath Bar Parfait.  WOW!!! It was very delicious!!!  If it wasn’t for a full stomach I would have had to try another.

Rhett adds an additional personal touch by visiting his quests to ensure that they are enjoying their meal.

From Rhett’s website:

“Rhett’s Restaurant, Personal Chef and Catering creates customized Southern gourmet meals delighting individuals and groups. Rhett’s creates hors d’oeuvres, meals and party platters for private dining, cocktail parties and events. We offer take-out lunches and dinners that are healthier than fast food options, and can be customized for any taste or dietary preferences. Additionally, we have weekly specials made from fresh, local ingredients and a variety of fresh baked breads, cakes and cookies. Rhett’s goal is to create a consistent fine-dining experience for our customers to enjoy, either in the home or here in the restaurant.”

“After all, this is my passion.” – Rhett.

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Rhett’s Restaurant, Personal Chef & Catering
127 W Pennsylvania Avenue
Southern Pines, NC 28387

Phone: 910-695-FOOD (910-695-3663).
Email: rhett@rhettsinc.com

Not Dr. Pepper. Just pepper.

Bell peppers, hot peppers, jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, I’m a pepper, your a pepper….I sometimes get carried away.   I am not a fan of many veggies, but I do love a good selection of peppers.  The jalapeno is probably my favorite that I enjoy on burgers, salads, and subs.  In the past I have enjoyed throwing some peppers on the grill to brown them slightly.

The sweet varieties of peppers, especially the bells, traditionally have been by far the most popular in the United States.   Hot pepper varieties have also enjoyed a rebirth of popularity recently, mainly due to various ethnic cuisines that use their unique flavors and heat creatively. I like a small amount of “kick” that a hot pepper provides when added to a variety of dishes.

red peppers

red peppers

Shape
A= Pasilla: Pod length is 6-12″ long and 1-2″ wide. Fruit color is dark green, turning brown at maturity. Usually dried before use in moles and salsas.
B= Cayenne: Mature red fruit are 5-10″ long and wrinkled. Irregular in shape, highly pungent, often used as dried, ground powder. Also used fresh in salads, sauces and dishes.
C= Long Green: (Hatch – New Mexican – Anaheim) chili. Fruit are from 4 – 12″ long & 2″ wide, green to red at maturity, but also may be yellow, orange to brown. Many different varieties abound. Range from sweet to hot. Used green as fresh, canned or frozen. Mature are usually dried and ground into chili powder or paprika if sweet. Also used in salsas.
D= Wax: Yellow when immature, orange-red at maturity. Can be pungent or non-pungent. Vary from 2-8″ long and about 2″ wide. Used pickled or fresh in salads and relishes.
E=Jalapeno: Fruit are thick walled, conical shaped, dark green when immature turning red at maturity and most cultivars are highly pungent. Fruit may show cracking or corkiness, which is a desirable trait in Mexico. Length varies widely. Used canned, pickled, salsas or fresh. When dried by smoking they are called chipotle.
F= Ancho: (Poblano) The fruit are heart shaped, pointed, thin walled with an indented stem attachment. Immature fruit are dark green with mature fruit being either red or brown. Fruit are 3-4″ long and about 2″ wide and are mildly pungent. The pepper of choice to make chili rellenos.
G= Cherry. Like the name suggests, round or slightly flattened, green to red, hot or sweet. Similar use to wax pepper.
H= Chinense: (Habanero. Scotch Bonnet Bahamian- Jamaican) In this species, diversity is enormous. Popular in Jamaica, Yucatan and Brazil. Very, very hot and persistent, but aromatic. Fruit are 1-2.5″ long and 1-2″ wide. Green to variable mature colors of yellow, orange, red or white. Used dried as a spice, fresh or processed. Plant starts slower than most other pepper types.
I=Serrano: Fruit are 112″ wide and 2-3″ long. Medium walls and shaped similar to Jalepeno and is the pepper of choice in Salsa Verde and other southwestern relishes.
J= Red Chili: 1/2″ wide by 2.5″ long fruit are green when immature to red at maturity. Fruit have thin walls, taper to a point. and are used for drying, processing and sauce. Hot!
K=Thai Hot: Green fruit to red at maturity, very hot, tiny 3/8″ wide by 1″ long fruit. Popular in oriental markets.
O= Ornamentals: Peppers classified, as ornamentals do not carry a characteristic that makes them in edible. They are individuals from the many groups previously listed that happen to have leaves and fruit that are particularly attractive and give them ornamental value.

Quick tip to surviving the hot pepper – Counteract the hot taste of a chile pepper by consuming milk, bread, or rice to absorb the intensity of the capsaicin.

For more detailed information about peppers and cooking preparations visit www.recipetips.com

(Source – backyardgardener.com, recipetips.com)

Grilled Jalapeno Cheeseburger

This masterpiece is one of my favorites from the grill.  Some of the items are obvious, but one procedure that makes these burgers a memory is the preparation of the patty.

  • 1 envelope Lipton onion Recipe Soup Mix
  • ½ cup water shopping list
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce

Mix all of the ingredients together.  I have no idea how much salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce to add.  Do what feels right.  If you use too much, then use less the next time.  :)

Grilled Jalapeno Cheeseburger

Suggested condiments:

  • Jalapeno peppers
  • American Cheese
  • Pepperjack Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Chili
  • Lots of ketchup!