Things I learned this weekend:
- When in doubt, always ask.
- Shishito peppers are pretty amazing.
- Running hills are no fun.
- I go weak in the knees for chocolate.
Lately, I have been seeing many articles in food magazines highlighting shishito peppers, but I have never tried them before. What are these things? When I finally found some at the farmers market, I got quite excited. I asked the kind vendor at Country Rhodes Family Farm for some cooking tips on the peppers, and guess what? She gave me a handful to try for free! Major score. Of course, I had to write a post that featured these beauties.
After doing a bit more research on shishito peppers, I have come to realize that the green varieties are much more common than the red ones. That’s a shame, because I definitely prefer the red ones as they are sweeter. I was told to grill the peppers with olive oil until they blister and season them with a bit of salt to them once they’re done. So simple, yet so delicious!
Another thing I learned this weekend is that running hills sucks, big time. The half-marathon in San Francisco is going to feature a lot of hills, so I thought it would only be prudent to integrate a bit of hill work to my running routine. Friends, I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it. My calves were dying after one tiny hill (for SF standards). How am I going to handle 13.1 miles of this madness? Yikes! At this point, my only goal is to run the entire course. I don’t care if I do so at a snail’s pace.
Finally, most of you already know that I have a weakness for chocolate, but last week, things got a bit out of hand.
I was one of many guests who were invited to the opening party of a new See’s Candies location on Market Street in San Francisco. It was a dream come true. My mother was a seasonal worker for See’s as a candy wrapper (think I Love Lucy), so I have been well acquainted with their delicious chocolates for many years now. But look at me, I’m behind the counter!
I asked whether they refrigerated their chocolate at all, and the answer was a resounding “no.” They do store their chocolates in a temperature-controlled room, but refrigeration impairs the quality of the chocolate. Apparently, their turnaround on the chocolate is so quick that they never need to worry about their chocolates going beyond their shelf life.
Every guest at the event got to taste any piece of chocolate in the store. Do you know how dangerous that is for me?! I have so many favorites. On top of that, we all left with a 1-pound box of candy, a box of peanut brittle, and a box of lollipops. I have already polished off half of the chocolates and peanut brittle. #noregrets
This week, I’ll need to lay off the sweets just a tad. What do you think?
Spicy Green Beans with Nameko Mushrooms & Shishito Peppers
- 10 oz (280g) green beans
- 4 oz (115g) nameko mushrooms (any other mushroom works also)
- 5 oz (140g) shishito peppers (about 2 cups)
- 4 TBS olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 small onion, sliced
- 3 Thai chili peppers, sliced (use 2 if you want less spice)
- 3 slices of fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 sprig of scallions, chopped
- 1 1/2 TBS oyster sauce
- 2 TBS chopped Thai basil, optional
- Prep the vegetables. Rinse and snap off the tough end of the green beans. Set aside. Rinse the nameko mushrooms and set aside. Give the peppers a quick rinse.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Grill the peppers until they blister. Roll the peppers around so that the sides of the pepper are grilled. It took me about 8 to 10 minutes. Season the peppers with a pinch of salt, and turn off the heat. Serve the peppers on a plate once they’re done.
- Heat another skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, chili pepper, and ginger to the oil. Let them sizzle for a minute and then add the garlic. When the onions start to turn translucent, add the green beans.
- Turn down the heat a little, and spread the beans out to an even layer. Let it cook for a few minutes and then add the mushrooms and scallions and stir. The green beans will be done when they turn into a nice emerald green color (about a few more minutes). Add the Thai basil when the green beans are almost done. Season with the remaining salt and oyster sauce, and turn off the heat.
- Serve the green bean stir-fry and the peppers with a side of rice.
- Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.