2015 Recipes

Nua Prak Tao (Beef Pepper Bean) [Thai style chili]



1 1/2  pounds flank steak, cubed

4 serrano or thai peppers, minced

1/2 cup  lime juice

1  tablespoon salt

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped

1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

4 roma tomatos, coarsely chopped

3 15oz can black beans

2  tablespoons Thai chili paste

1 cup  water

1 each red and green bell peppers, chopped

1 can water chestnuts, sliced

2 tangerines


Combine meat, chilis, half of lime juice, water and salt in bowl and marinate at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. While marinating, chop and mince other ingredients. Combine all remaining ingredients (except onion, garlic, water chestnut, tangerines, and half of bell peppers) in a stock pot and begin simmering. Saute onion and garlic in vegetable oil. Add to stock pot when soft and tender. Drain meat and saute, adding when lightly browned. Simmer at least one hour (longer is better). Ten minutes before serving add remaining peppers, tangerines and water chestnuts.

Servings: 8

Source: Jim Hinds

This recipe was created for a chili cook off at work. I wrote the story below to accompany the chili . . .


It was 1948. With the victorious end of the Second World War, American oil companies saw the world as theirs, and sent teams of geologists to the far corners of the globe to explore for petroleum. It was not our age of Marriotts in every megalopolis, but hard, lonely work, far from the comforts of home.

The two young Texans, with the ink barely dry on their degrees, had been sent to Southeast Asia by ESSO. They had gone up and down mountainsides in the jungles of Siam for months, loading and unloading their trucks and the tons of drilling equipment. In that time they had not found anything of value. They pulled into the Hmong village that night in October exhausted, depressed, and homesick. As the young geologists parked the trucks again for the hundredth time, their noses were assaulted by the pungent smell of fish stew.

"Henry, I don't know about you, but I can't face that stuff another night. I need a bowl of chili!"

"Yeah, right. Where you gonna get that? You been hiding a can in your truck?"

"No, I ain't been holdin' out on you. But they got cows in this country. And those are beans growin' behind the guest house. An' you know from your own painful experience, that the peppers here put jalapeños to shame. I'm going to talk to the cook and get us some chili."

"How you going to talk to the cook? You don't parlay Hmong."

"No, but I can point and play charades. Get yourself ready for a little taste of home!"


Out of the charades that night this recipe, Nua Prak Tao (Beef pepper bean) was born.


These recipes show how I deal with the bounty of the garden. This year the bounty is with Okra, Tomatoes, and hot peppers. After all, there is only so much cajun and african food one can eat.


I also got into fermentation this year, saurkraut, kimchee, and siracha; along with one small batch of fermented dills.


How different it is this year from last year. Then it was cucumbers and pumpkins that were the extreme producers. This year I couldn't keep cucumbers alive and the pumpkins produced a pitiful 5.


This year's pepper, tomato, and okra recipes are below, last year's cucumber recipes are here



Thai Chili

Pepper Jelly

Tomato Salsa


Kim Chee


Pickled Okra

Apple Chutney

Green Chutney

Red Pepper Jelly



7 sweet red bell peppers

3 thai pepper

1 ½ cups vinegar, divided

1 ½ cups apple juice

1 package powdered pectin

½ teaspoon salt

5 cups granulated sugar

Red food coloring, optional


1. Roast bell peppers in oven at 300° until skins blacken and blister. Peal off skins. Wash peppers, remove stems and seeds, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (suggest wearing rubber gloves while handling thai peppers, juices can "seep" into skin and resist washing out right away) Puree half of peppers and 3/4 cup vinegar in cuisinart, pour into large bowl. Puree remaining peppers and vinegar and add. Stir in apple juice. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Measure 4 cups puree, adding additional apple juice if needed to make 4 cups. Combine juice, pectin, and salt in large saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, again stirring. Remove from heat, skimming foam if needed. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired.

3. Ladle hot jelly into hot, sterilized half pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe jar lids and adjust two piece lids. Process 5 minutes (or longer if altitude adjustment is needed) in boiling water canner. Yield: about 6 half pints.

Tomato Salsa Picante



4 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained

1 ¼ cups onions, chopped

¾ cups green peppers

1 tablespoon thai pepper, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 tablespoon canning salt

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

½ can tomato sauce, 8 oz

½ can tomato paste, 6 oz


Mix all together and bring to a slow boil for 10 minute.

2. Seal in jars and cook in hot water bath for 10 minute.

Siracha (and other fermented vegetables



1 1/2 cups thai chilis, sliced (USE GLOVES!)

1/2 cup sliced garlic

1 tablespoon canning salt

Filtered or distilled water to fill pint canning jar


an airlock (pictured) is a great addition.

They're available on amazon.


1. Wash and slice the chilis. Coarsely slice peeled garlic

2. In bowl mix chili, garlic and salt.

3. Place in pint canning jar. Fill with filtered water, tap water will kill bacteria. Leave approximately ½ inch headspace. Use plastic or glass weight to keep vegetables submerged.

4. Assemble airlock on lid and screw on tightly. Put jar in warm, not hot, place, out of direct sun.

5. Wait 1-2 weeks, until bubbling slows.

6. Drain, reserving liquid. Process in cuisinart until mixture forms paste, adding reserved liquid as needed. Leftover liquid can be used as starter for next batch.

7. Put in canning jar and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.


Kim Chee



1 (2-pound) head napa cabbage

¼ cup sea salt or kosher salt (not iodized)

Water (filtered or distilled)

1 tablespoon grated garlic (about 5-6 cloves)

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon sugar

2-3 tablespoons seafood flavor or water (optional, see Recipe Notes)

1-5 Thai Peppers

8 ounces Korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks

4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces



3 pounds Cabbage, quarterd cored and thinly sliced

1.5 tablespoons Coarse kosher salt


⅓ Cup Caraway seed


1. Cut the cabbage. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Salt the cabbage. Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1-2 hours. Rinse and drain the cabbage. Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times and drain in a colander for 15-20 minutes.


1. Combine ingredients, and pound until cabbage releses its juices, getting very wet. Place in ceramic crock, with a plate to cover and a rock or other weight to force the plate down.

2. Press on the plate to draw more brine out of the cabbage. Cover with a towel and place in a cool area of the kitchen. Press down on the plate every few hours to draw more brine out. If, at the end of 24 hours the brine does not cover the cabbage add a brine of 1 t. salt to 1 c. of water to cover.

3. Keep an eye on the kraut over the next few days. Bubbling is a good sign and a layer of white scum is normal, skim it off.Ferment 3 to 10 days, according to your taste.

4. Can be stored in refrigerated container for up to 2 months


2. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and set it aside to use later. Make the paste, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar,  thai peppers and seafood flavor (or 3 tablespoons water) in cuisinart and process to form a smooth paste.

3. Combine the vegetables and paste. Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl along with the radish, scallions, and seasoning paste. Mix thoroughly. Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. The gloves are optional here but highly recommended to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smells!

4.Pack the kimchi into canning jars, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1-inch of headspace. Seal the jar with the airlock. Let it ferment. Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1-5 days. Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.)

5. Taste a little at this point, too! When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it's best after another week or two.


Seafood gives kimchi an umami flavor. Different regions and families may use fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, oysters, and other seafood. Use about 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, or a combination of the two. For vegetarian kimchi, I like using 3/4 teaspoon kelp powder mixed with 3 tablespoons water, or simply 3 tablespoons of water.


Pickled Okra



7 (1-pt.) canning jars

2 ½ lbs. small fresh okra

7 thai peppers

21 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. dill seeds

4 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)

½ cup salt

¼ cup sugar


1. Sterilize jars and lids in boiling water (10 minutes).

2. Pack okra into hot jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top. Place 1 pepper, 3 garlic clove, and 1 tsp. dill seeds in each jar. Bring vinegar, salt, sugar, and 4 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over okra, filling to 1/2 inch from top.

3. Wipe jar rims; cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands (snug but not too tight). Place jars in canning rack, and place in simmering water in canner. Add additional boiling water as needed to cover by 1 to 2 inches.

4. Bring water to a rolling boil; boil 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool jars in canner 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a cutting board; cool 12 to 24 hours. Test seals of jars by pressing center of each lid. If lids do not pop, jars are properly sealed. Store in a cool, dry place at room temperature up to 1 year.


When done, send to J.D. Dobson, St. Louis, MO.

Apple Chutney (Major Grey style)

Not that we grew the apples, but a fun recipe that I made a batch of for Sufi camp.




2 ¼ lb. apples, peeled,cored and finely chopped

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup raisins

½ cup finely chopped ginger

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons chile powder

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

1 stick cinnamon


Combine all ingredients in a 4-qt. saucepan; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, until reduced and thick, about 2 hours. Transfer to glass jars and seal. Makes 5 cups

Green Tomato Chutney (Eingelegte Grüne Tomaten)

From Horst Scharfenberg "The Cuisines of Germany"



25 small green tomatoes, firm

2 tablespoons salt

1 quart vinegar

1 heaping tablespoon peppercorns

5 whole cloves

1 tablespoon mustard seed

1-2 tablespoons sugar

1 4" length fresh horseradish root, or

4-5 small hot peppers


Give the tomatoes a good scrubbing and puncture the skins in several places with a toothpick. Pack the tomatoes in glass storage jars, sprinkling salt between each layer of green tomatoes, and keep in a cool place for 2 or 3 days.

2. In a non-reactive saucepan heat the vinegar with the spices and sugar but do not bring to a boil. Scrub the horseradish and cut into little slivers; press these (or the hot peppers if you prefer) down between the tomatoes. When the pickling liquid has cooled sufficiently, pour it over the tomatoes and seal the jars. In 10 days, the green tomatoes will be ready to eat. They will keep for 4 months. Makes 2 quarts