Leaning Shed Farm

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By Lou Bank

The tools:
Chopping knife
Paring knife
Kitchen scissors
Rubber or vinyl gloves

The ingredients:
1 medium-sized white onion
1 medium-sized habanero
1 medium-sized tomato
2 guavas
1 pear
1 plum
2 black (ripe) plantains (ripe enough that they are somewhat soft under the skin)
1 bundle cilantro
Coarse salt

Use the blowtorch to burn the skin of the tomato, the habanero, and the guavas. Rinse most of the burnt skin off. Be sure the wear the gloves while doing this—or anything—with the habanero. Remove the core and the seeds from the tomato, the habanero, and the guavas. Dice the tomatoes and finely dice the habanero and the guavas.

Dice the white onion. Peel the pear and the plum, remove the cores of both, and dice the remaining fruit. Retain the cores and peels, for the bonus vinegar recipe below.

Use scissors to chop the cilantro, down to where the leaves end. (So you're including some stem, but not any of the stem below the leaf line.)

Put three tablespoons of the white onion and three tablespoons of the cilantro in the molcajete. Add one teaspoon salt, one teaspoon habanero. (If you like it spicier, add more habanero.) Grind all together until you have a lumpy paste. Taste the paste. This is what makes a great guacamole and salsa: great onion/cilantro paste!

Dice the plantains. I find this easiest to do while keeping the plantain in the peel. Cut the plantains in half, horizontally. Using the paring knife, draw two or three lines lengthwise across each plantain-half, then dice by slicing vertically. Use a fork to scoop the pieces out of the peel, and into the molcajete.

Gently fold the diced plantain into the paste. (You don't want to crush the plantain.) Add two tablespoons each of tomato, pear, plum, guava, and cilantro, and one tablespoon of white onion to the mixture. Again, gently turn and fold until mixed well. Serve with chips.

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Leaning Shed