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The HOT Pepper & You

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gonefishin View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 March 2013 at 08:51
      The Hot Peppers & You


   I'm just wondering if there is anyone else who enjoys a nice hot dish once in a while.  I admit, I cannot eat hot foods like I used to, and I won't go biting off a piece of raw hot pepper alone.  But I do enjoy something about that heat. 

   I'd love to here any experiences, stories or recipes you may want to share.  To start...there are two Hot Sauces that I really like.  The first, call me a traditionalist, is Tabasco.  It's got some heat, good flavor and is made using very respectable practices and minimal ingredients...I love it!  Another is a homemade Habanero...while it can get how...it's got some great flavor and the finished sauce actually isn't as hot as you think.

  Lastly, this past Halloween I went to a Hot Pepper Tasting, at Heaven on Seven in Naperville, Il.  Oh my word...the peppers were so hot it was unbelievable.  But the dishes were so well made and tasted so good...you just wanted to keep eating more and more.  The dishes, although hot, were well balanced and nicely thought out.  The menu can be seen below.

   I also had the opportunity to try the Sichuan Bud.  It is the bud of a shrub.  When eating it you get a sensation like putting your tongue on a 9volt battery...both in flavor and buzzing sensation.  Then, your taste buds are hijacked for a period of five minutes or so...very odd.

  Anyone else out there?


 
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pitrow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 09:15
I like the heat, not so much as my wife, but I do like things on the spicy side. Though there is a difference between nice heat and just plain painful.

My wife is a huge fan of Franks, while I'm not so much. I like the heat it gives, but the vinegar base just doesn't sit well with me. Same with tabasco. Though I do use both on several things, like eggs, or buffalo chicken. I'm more of a sweet+heat kinda guy. I like a little sweet to balance out my heat.

So far I think my favorite hot sauce has to be Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce.

http://www.secretaardvark.com/

Quote Not your usual Hot Sauce!!! A unique Caribbean / Tex-Mex hybrid made with flavorful Habanero peppers and roasted tomatoes. Great as a sauce, marinade or holistic cure all. "Dump on Everything", the Secret Aardvark compels you!!!!!!!


Good heat and great flavor to back it up. Reminds me I probably need to pick up some more.

Apparently Iron Chef Michael Symon is quite a fan too.
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 09:45
I can tolerate a fairly-moderate amount of heat; and have been known to survive some really hot products. However, my wife cannot do any at all, beyond a tablespoon of Schilling or McCormick "chili powder" in a pot of chili, so I rarely employ heat in my cooking. I am not a big fan of heat simply for heat's sake, and prefer to enjoy the flavours that are beneath the heat.
 
In spite of the millions of products out there, I prefer to stick to the classics. My two go-to products are the original, plain-jane Tabasco and Franks. Occasionally, I'll try other things, but I always go back to those.
 
As far as chiles go, I like the cayenne, and I am learning to appreciate the pequin (Shocked). My favourite might be the New Mexico chile, with it's moderate heat and wonderful fruity-earthy undertone. This year, I'll also be seeing if I can get to know Hungarian peppers better; the kind used in making paprika....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 10:22
Dan,
 
Great topic ...
 
We love Vinadaloo and monthly, we go to a small Indian Restaurant with an Indian colleague, the Cultural Senior Editor ... I always have my Vindaloo Chicken ...
 
We also, go for Mexican, and I love chili peppers of all types, especially Habaneros from the Yucatán ( pronounced JUKE A TAN ) ... especially the Hot Salsa where I dip the homemade Corn Tortilla Chips in ...
 
Other chili peppers we use at home are:
 
1) The Basque Guindilla ( a tiny dry red chili pepper ) - for my fresh cod fish, Romesco Sauce ( a Catalan red bell pepper, almond or hazelnut and smoked paprika pesto for fish and shellfish ); and PATATAS BRAVAS; double fried wedge shape potatoes drizzled with a fiery hot BRAVA SALSA ...  
 
2) The Basilicata, Italia ( a tiny dry red chili pepper ) - for my tomato sauce and pastas ...
 
3) Once every 2 months, we go for authentic Moroccan and I am very fond of a variety of peppery chili smoked varieties ... they are quite uncommon in North America ... unless you have Moroccan friends ... Also, in Port Caesarana, close to Port Haifa, Israel, where my younger daughter´s boss is from; there are some incredible peppery pestos ... and he always sends us some homemade pestos during the Christmas holidays with a hand written note as to what they are ... and serving suggestions ...
 
Kind regards,
Margi.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 10:58
As someone with about 1.5 gallons of various hot sauces around the house, I can say with confidence that I like and can tolerate hot foods.

I make two sauces as staples. One based off any type like Frank's that is altered to make it sweeter and more, and is great with chicken and pork. And another based on Chipotles in adobo and pineapple that is used alone or mixed with tomato based sauces for use on beef and almost anything.

My go to dried pod is Siling Labuyo, a little Philippines pepper, maybe 1/2" long, that grows wild over there. Plenty of heat and a nice smell. However, you really can't use enough of them to taste the pepper pods flavor in most any dish. I have 3 plants growing in pots indoors. The biggest is less than a foot tall. I've never grown them before but I think they get much bigger. These plants came up in mid May last year, making them almost 10 months old. Not one pepper yet.

Many years ago the burn was the reason, but not so much now. Although balance is the key, my balance may not be what yours is.

As far as recipes I've got a few favorites and I'll look them up and post them later.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 10:59
I just love a good pot of chile with a minced, smoked habeniero in it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 11:10
There are two types of hot pepper eaters. The chiliheads, for whom it's all about the burn. And the culinary types, for whom the heat is part of the flavor profile, but its the profile that counts.
 
Count me in the latter category. I like heat, don't get me wrong. But I'm not interested in heat for  its own sake.
 
The test, for me, is simple: If you mentally remove the heat (or get some of the many "new" varieties in which the heat has been bred out), what's left? Habaneros, as with all C. chinense, have a smoky, tropical fruit flavor. C. baccatums have a citrusy underflavor. Etc.
 
One reason I'm not a fan of jalapenos is that if you remove the heat all that's left is a sort of green, grassy flavor. Not something I personally care for. Whereas the New Mexicans that Ron so admires have an interesting fruity flavor. So I'll happily give up the heat for the fruit; or go the opposite direction and use a chili with more heat but actual flavor.
 
I also have to consider Friend Wife. While not as sensitive as Melissa, she doesn't do heat all that well. But she does like spicy. So it's all a matter of balance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 11:43
Brook, absolutely with you there! The Hab does add considerable heat, but mixed into a 6 quart chile, not so much. But it does add a lot of flavor too!
NOOOOO ghost or scorpion peppers for me! Not!
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A lot of times, too, it has to do with whether you actually bite into a chili, or just have the flavor infuse into a dish.
 
For instance, using that hab & chile as an example, I might cut a slice into the sidewall of a hab and drop it in the pot, fishing it out when the chile is done. Lot's of great flavor that way. But I'm long past the point where I'd even consider the idea of biting into a hab.
 
I notice that's true with a lot of Thai and Sechuan dishes, too. So long as I don't actually chew those little red super hots I'm just fine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 12:58
Thai green mango and pork

Heat 7 out of 10

Service for 4

6 Thai or ripe serrano chiles - stems and seeds removed and cut into strips.
4 cloves of garlic - coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger - finely chopped
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound of pork - cut into stir fry strips
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water
2 cups mango - 1/2" dice
3 tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts - crushed
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro - chopped

Stir fry the chiles, garlic and ginger in the oil for just a few seconds. Immediately add the pork strips and stir fry till the pork looses it's pinkness.

Stir in the fish sauce, shrimp paste, sugar and water. Cover and boil gently till pork is cooked and sauce is reduced and thickened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the mango and peanuts.

Serve over white rice and garnish with the cilantro.

You might be thinking "Well, that's just nuts!" It's not nuts. It's just not what you're used to. In other places, this is just regular food. The first time I encountered this it was made with all of the above except for the peanut oil, which was replaced with red chile oil. Hot!Evil Smile



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 13:09

Dan,

 
I had also forgotten to mention; in La Vera, Extremadura, where Pimentón de La Vera, Spanish smoked paprika is from; there are obviously 2 varieties; sweet and piquant.
 
The designation for Ibores, La Vera, Ibores Goat Cheese is located in the same villages; and they cure the rinds with piquant smoked paprika; and it is absolutely stunning on the bland white goat cheese ...
 
I enjoy salsas that are piquant especially Mojos from the Canary Islands and their wrinkled salt water boiled potatoes ...
 
So, we enjoy a piquant flavor profile without piquant just for piquant´s sake ... we enjoy the profile in the right dish or as a combination to pair ... especially with a bland item, a dash of piquant is wonderful ...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 13:27
Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

A lot of times, too, it has to do with whether you actually bite into a chili, or just have the flavor infuse into a dish.
 
For instance, using that hab & chile as an example, I might cut a slice into the sidewall of a hab and drop it in the pot, fishing it out when the chile is done. Lot's of great flavor that way. But I'm long past the point where I'd even consider the idea of biting into a hab.
 
I notice that's true with a lot of Thai and Sechuan dishes, too. So long as I don't actually chew those little red super hots I'm just fine.



    Brook, that is what this tasting was about.  It wasn't about burning your tongue off, it was about showing you how the balance of flavors can lead you to heat levels you may not have otherwise tried.  Yes, the ghost and scorpion dishes were very hot...but that was as a consequence of flavoring the dish. 

  Dan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 13:34
Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

A lot of times, too, it has to do with whether you actually bite into a chili, or just have the flavor infuse into a dish.
For instance, using that hab & chile as an example, I might cut a slice into the sidewall of a hab and drop it in the pot, fishing it out when the chile is done. Lot's of great flavor that way. But I'm long past the point where I'd even consider the idea of biting into a hab.
I notice that's true with a lot of Thai and Sechuan dishes, too. So long as I don't actually chew those little red super hots I'm just fine.

I guess I forgot to mention that I grind them up so I don't get a piece of one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 13:57
Dan and Mark.
 
I am a big fan of Wasabi with my sashimi ...
 
However, I am terribly allergic to Soy and avoid at all costs ... I can have Lea and Perrins, Worcestshire because of the Tamarind which is a remedy for the stomach region.
 
Soy had created terrible agony for my system, and thus, am highly allergic to soy in anything after medical allergy testing; so I do NOT ever eat Chinese ... 
 
Japanese and Spanish are the 2 countries with the largest fish and shellfish consumption in the world !  Proven fact ... Thus, I just use ginger slices, wasabi and daikon ... And I drizzle a bit of Balsamic Vinegar from Modena, Italy and a drizzle of Evoo ... very common in Iberia.
 
I am not crazy for Thai, because the Oil that is employed does similar to Soy ... I have to be very cautious with Asian except for Japanese ...
 
 
 I like the Vietnamese rice wrapped egg rolls ... Lovely and light and fried in that horrid oil Asians employ ...  They have a penchant for French twists in their cuisine ...
 
I am a Mediterranean, French Mom and my dad was Italian; so I have my profile ...
 
I adore Indian especially Goa, southern Indian; with a strong Portuguese aspect; Vasco da Gama discovered ... and I love Peruvian cuisine ... Have enjoyed over years tremendously.
 
 
Kindest and have nice wkend,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 14:07
I love steamed Thai Spring Rolls! With peanut sauce!
Yummm, think I'll go make some!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 14:45
Mark,
 
Do you employ rice wraps ?  These are quite delicate and lovely ... Very similar to the Vietnamese rice rolls I have had filled with prawns ( shrimps ) and slaw thin strips of daikon, ginger, and assorted Asian root vegetables ...
 
The peanut sauce, sounds lovely; why don´t you post your recipe ?
 
Thanks in advance ...
 
Have nice wkend..
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 14:54
I use "Spring Roll Wraps", they are made of wheat and soy flour. I will post some soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 15:08
That sounds fantasic, Rod. Putting it on my to-do list for sure! Presuming I can find the shrimp paste.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2013 at 18:03
From the parsee of the central west coast of india comes this omelet. Hot and rich with indian curry spices. Served with ice cold and sweet melon, OMG! potatoes, toasted French bread spread with ghee and topped with a nice homemade mango chutney and you'll be transported to exotic lands on a magic carpet of flavor. It's called Ekoori Curry. Ekoori is Parsee for scrambled eggs.

Ekoori Curry

3 green serranos - seeded and chopped fine
3 green onions - chopped and including the green parts
2 teaspoons fresh ginger - finely chopped
3 tablespoons of Ghee
1/4 teaspoon tumeric - ground
1/4 teaspoon cumin - ground
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro - chopped fine
1/2 cup smallish (51-60) shrimp - completely peeled, deveined
6 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons plain yogurt

In 2 tablespoons of ghee gently fry the chiles, green onions and ginger till the onions are soft. Stir in the the tumeric, cumin and fry a moment then add the shrimp and cook to just warm the shrimp, a minute or two. Remove to a bowl.

In a bowl combine the eggs, milk, yogurt and cilantro and beat until smooth. Add the shrimp mixture to the eggs and mix well.

Add the remaining ghee to the pan. Using your best technique, make scrambled eggs.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2013 at 01:42
I'm a heat lover as well...but in the camp that says flavor first, heat second. Personally I think these guys that chow down a ghost chili just to show they can do it without puking are complete and utter morons. You don't derive a moment's pleasure out of that.

My hot sauce favorites are Frank's original (a must have for buffalo wings) , tabsco regular and tabasco chipotle...I ADORE the Tabasco chipotle and go through a lot of that. Also Texas Pete which is kind close to Frank's, and Tabasco jalapeno sauce.

Now ya'll have got me drooling....think I;ll have to make up some camarones fra diavolo over the weekend.Wink
Go ahead...play with your food!
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