Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ska Brewing's 16th Anniversary and Breakfast at the Durango Diner

Ska Brewing 16th Anniversary

After a few days of camping and hiking in Canyonlands National Park with our friends Elise and Tom, we all headed out to Durango for a few days of relaxation.

As it turns out, it was Beer Week in Durango, and to cap off the week, Ska Brewing held a party to celebrate their 16th anniversary. Ska has a great facility, with a nice tasting room and grassy grounds.

Headlining the appropriately ska-themed band lineup at the party were The Toasters, who were celebrating their 30th anniversary. Ska brewed a special black IPA for the occasion, and it was quite tasty.

The Nuns of Brixton at Ska Brewing's 16th Anniversary

Also playing were the Nuns of Brixton - a band dressed as nuns covering Clash songs. Very entertaining.

The next morning, we needed some nosh before heading out of town, so we stopped into the Durango Diner.

Durango Diner

The place was jam packed. They were serving food not just for the diner, but also for a bar down the street. Despite the mayhem, the staff did a great job of managing the situation.

Durango Diner

I'm not sure how much of it was hunger and how much of it was the food, but when I finally got to tuck into my green chile breakfast burrito, I was a very happy man.

Green Chile Breakfast Burrito at the Durango Diner

Smothered in green chile sauce (mostly mild, but with the occasional kick from a chunk of chile), the burrito was filled with beans, ground beef and egg. Probably not up there in my breakfast burrito hall of fame, but it made for a very satisfying breakfast in a friendly local spot.

Ska Brewing Company
225 Girard St
Durango, Colorado
(970) 247-5792
Durango Diner
957 Main Avenue
Durango, Colorado
(970) 247-9889

Friday, September 23, 2011

Canned Tomatoes and Tomatillos

Canned Tomatoes

We ended up with way more tomatoes this summer than we could handle, so we had to do something with the overflow. We are perpetually out of freezer space, so canning seemed the most practical option.

Because our tomatoes had high enough acidity (we checked with a pH meter!), we didn't need to pressure can them - boiling was sufficient. We gave them a quick roast under the broiler first so that the skins could be easily removed.

After it was all said and done, we ended up with 29 pints (mostly red, but a few jars of green zebras):

Canned Tomatoes

We also did up a bunch of tomatillos the same way - resulting in a nice little pallet of 1-cup jars:

Canned Tomatillos

I think we're set for the winter!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Taco Shop Hot Sauce - Salsa Verde

Taco Shop Hot Sauce - Salsa Verde

Two plastic squeeze bottles of heat and flavor have pride of place in our refrigerator door. Hot sauce, red and green, is for us a condiment that sees pretty much daily use - sometimes multiple times a day.

A while back, I posted my recipe for our red, chile de arbol "Taco Shop" hot sauce. This post, however, is all about green.

And green means tomatillos from the garden:

Taco Shop Hot Sauce - Salsa Verde

Our green hot sauce is even simpler than the red one. Just tomatillos, green chiles (usually Serranos) and garlic. I put them on a sheet pan and put them under a broiler for 5 minutes or so.

Taco Shop Hot Sauce - Salsa Verde

When they are done, the garlic has roasted, the tomatillos have browned and the chiles have softened and blistered.

Taco Shop Hot Sauce - Salsa Verde

Then it is a simple matter of blitzing it all up a blender with some salt and a bit of water to loosen it.

Taco Shop Hot Sauce - Salsa Verde

We find it convenient to keep the sauce in an 8oz squeeze bottle. It makes for efficient delivery to top your food of choice. In this case, it was breakfast tacos. Yum!

Taco Shop Hot Sauce - Salsa Verde

Makes about 2 cups.

14 ounces tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 serrano chiles
3 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup water

Husk the tomatillos and rinse them to get rid of their stickiness.

Place tomatillos, chiles and garlic on a sheet pan and put them under the broiler. Check them after 5 minutes, and then again every minute until they soften and begin to brown.

After letting the pan cool, peel the garlic and take the skin off of the chiles. In a blender, mix everything together with the salt and water until smooth.