Common Mexican dishes like salsa and guacamole are now so Americanized that there are few who do not frequently eat them. Hovey’s Knives of China’s™ Pepper and Small Veggy Knife is a broad-bladed, single-edge-grind knife with a truncated point that has considerable versatility in processing the peppers, avocado pears and Roma tomatoes used to make these classic dishes.
The 8-inch long, 2-inch wide blade serves not only to cut the vegetables, but also acts as a spatula to hold the cuttings and as a putty blade to spread or crush the peppers and pickled okra used in the dishes. A special quality or both of these dishes was the use of crushed peppers, which has a different quality to the bite than conventional ground pepper. More expensive vinegars might have been used, but I elected to use ordinary white vinegar and a little from the pepper sauce to season the salsa.
Incorporating a beyond-use-date yellow bell pepper, allowed me to show how to clean a less-than-perfect pepper and imparted an unusual sweetness to the salsa. This was somewhat unexpected, but not unpleasant. Had the salsa been too peppery for taste, a can of nibblet corn could have been added. The use of corns in salsas is common in Mexico, but not often seen in the U.S. Should you take a bite of a burning-hot salsa, the usual remedy is to cool the mouth with water and/or beer, but a pad of butter on a cracker often works faster to capture the pepper and remove it from the mouth.
As always, I advocate making the cooking experience as individual and interesting as possible by using new knives, ingredients and techniques to produce a meal of quality that is fun to prepare and eat.
My hound dog food testing committee, Diana, Hera and Cassey, enjoyed these dishes with tail-wagging enthusiasm and wanted more. Unknown to most people, dogs like some peppery spice in their food. Most will eat cooked chili, guacamole and chips and lettuce coated with these foods with glee. However, feed these to your dogs very sparingly, as a dessert-like treats. These hot peppers will cause digestive upset and runny stool if fed to dogs with delicate stomachs and discomfort to others. It is even possible that a heavy dose of salsa, or the like, might be fatal to tiny dogs. If any is given to dogs, follow or precede with a regular meal of dog food.
If you are either a commercial or custom knife maker and wish to produce these knives for sale, I will license the use of my name and trademark for 5% of your retail price. You may make as many or as few as you like and charge any price that your work demands. If you send me a sample of each pattern, I will review them on blogs, videos and display them at my tables at trade events, such as The Annual International Blade Show at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia. This year I will be at the Show June 3-5 at table 16 U. If things go as planned, I will have water-jet blanks cut from T-410 steel for sale and bulk orders for these blanks may be placed for drop shipment from the fabricator in Atlanta.
To make prior arrangements you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.