Recently we went over the interesting quirks behind black pepper, and how it’s not really a pepper but really more of a berry, and how they start off as these weird little green things, and so on and so forth. You may remember that red peppercorns weren’t really technically peppercorns, but were instead a similar berry from a different plant. Today we’re going to learn about yet another look-alike (taste-alike?) of black pepper, sansho pepper.
Appearance: Light green powder OR small green berries
Scent: Fruity, zesty
Taste: Citric, spicy, warm
Foods: Japanese, other Asian
Summer may be on its way out, but there’s still plenty of time left for grilling before November hits (yes, that’s right word of God states November is officially the end of grilling season). We recently decided to toy around with something that’s a bit of a missing link in the culinary chain. Grilling is great, and throwing stuff on the grill that doesn’t normally get grilled results in awesome things. Hell that’s one of the reasons why grilled desserts ended up becoming a thing. Yet, despite all that has been done with grilling, breakfast has mysteriously remained outside of the barbecue loop… Sure, you may once in a while hear about people grilling bacon, but it’s usually on the side of lunch or dinner. We decided to jump headfirst into this mystery, and came up with something magical.
There’s this really good local chicken place where we live, aptly called “Chicken Place”. They serve some of the most delicious rotisserie chicken you can imagine. Interestingly enough they specialize in Peruvian cuisine, and I came to learn the reason the chicken tasted so good was because of the style of seasoning they used which takes some cues from other ethnic foods like Chinese and Italian and Indian. After a little bit of research I was able to pinpoint some recipes that captured this awesome flavor, and lo and behold I produced a “close enough” version you can make at home pretty easily. It’s nothing out of this world, but it is certainly just a really delicious, solid way of preparing your chicken when you’re in the mood to grill.
Everyone knows my favorite season is Summer. Everything about it is awesome. The weather is great, you can enjoy being outside, plants are in bloom, fresh fruits and vegetables are growing, and the list goes on… I guess if you don’t tolerate heat well, you could go on about the weather not being great and drag in that tired, pointless argument of ‘Derp but if you’re cold you can always put on more layers, if it’s hot you can’t take more clothes off.’ Seriously that explanation makes sense in the very plainest of forms, but it makes absolutely no sense in the real world. Also, I doooo love when people in the first world with air conditioned homes and air conditioned cars and pools and refrigerators and freezers list off their white person problems and piss and moan about how it’s too hot during the Summertime. Oh I do love it!
But really, come on, how can anyone complain when it’s barbecue season? Definitely, inarguably one specific great point about Summer is grilling, which cements it in the running with Autumn when ranking seasons based on their food. We’ve already explained how to grill in another post, but now we’re gonna talk about one tried and true favorite, skewered meat, AKA shish kebab!
I find that a lot of people have been really into slow-cooking lately. Some people like it because it’s easy enough to leave meat in a pot for 6 hours and not care the entire day, but then some people are also under the impression that meat needs to be slow-cooked before it can be turned into the holy grail of barbecue-style foods, pulled chicken/pork. On one hand, when you slow-cook a meat, it tends to make it crazy tender, and thus easy to shred by hand. However on the other hand, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility to pull chicken cutlets or pork chops. It’s just not as effortless.
But come on, pulled chicken, man. Everybody loves it. Because really who the hell wants to have to chew their food all the way?