More Recipes and Posts from the Chili Pepper Madness Site
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Here are the posts since the last newsletter.
Italian Sausage Soup with Roasted Peppers
I'm starting up a whole new category on the Chili Pepper Madness web site. It's called Quick and Easy Recipes. As you already know, Patty and I work from home. We run a web site development business and I am a writer (just sold another screenplay, yo!), so on our crazy busy days, we need meals quickly. I KNOW we can run down the street for a sammich or down to our favorite Taqueria for a burrito, but hey, I'm obsessed with cooking! I'm a TOTAL chilehead with a hankering for spicy food! Besides, there is nothing like a home cooked meal, as I'm sure you would agree.
10 Habanero Recipes to Heat Up the Holidays
It is already November and the holidays are moving quickly upon us! We'll be cooking like crazy, going to parties, attending family gatherings and rushing headlong into a whirlwind of celebrating and, of course, eating. And drinking! What is a chilehead to do? For all of our spicy food loving friends, and particularly those who favor the heat and flavor of the wonderful habanero pepper, we've compiled a list of Ten Habanero Recipes to Heat Up the Holidays. These recipes aren't meant to replace your traditional meals, but can certainly compliment those dishes. But who knows? Some may serve as gifts, or perhaps inspirations, but all will certainly heat things up.
Jalapeno Popper Pizza Bread
Oh baby! Nothing super fancy here today in the Chili Pepper Madness household. Some nights you just want to have a little fun, and oftentimes that includes pizza! We're talking pizza bread, a super easy way to fulfill all those comfort food cravings without a whole lot of work. It's easy because you don't have to mess around with making your own pizza dough. Don't get me wrong. We enjoy a good homemade pizza - check out our pizza recipes - but pizza bread has a couple of advantages over traditional pizza. First, it's different. Hard to compare! Pizza bread is thick and crisps up much differently than a traditional dough. Second, it's fast! Some days, that's all we want.
Scorpion Tongue Vodka Shot
Yo, Patty here. An idea sprouted last night between Mike and I about what would be the ultimate Halloween post, “Madness Style”. Since I’m the mixologist, of course it would be a drink. We have done the “finger food” parties for Halloween where you make everything look like a creepy finger, we’ve done plenty of themed parties and most included a special drink. Not sure this recipe would be good for the masses, but it’s actually quite tasty and I’ve found it’s astounding how many guys are willing to taste all the superhot delights that Mike offers. Unfortunately, we haven’t had a chance to share this with any of those crazy guys yet, but hopefully we will on Halloween. Buwahaha.
Risotto and Blue Cheese Stuffed Peppers
In all honesty, this is a stuffed pepper recipe born of leftovers. Patty and I recently made a highly satisfying Sweet Corn and Crab Risotto dish and, quite frankly, I made WAY too much of it. Well, there was no crab left - I mean, Butter and Chili Poached Crab? Hello?! - but there was plenty of the risotto. I purposely made a larger batch with this recipe in mind. I've been wanting to do a new stuffed pepper recipe with risotto for some time now, and this was my chance. Turned out great!
Habanero-Pumpkin Glazed Salmon over Spicy Pumpkin Polenta
This particular recipe has a couple of different extra tasty components. You already know we love salmon and cook with it all the time - see our Salmon Recipes - and we're giving it the Autumn/Fall treatment with flavors of the season. We're talking pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves. And habanero peppers. Two ways! We start with a sweet brown sugar glaze that incorporates pumpkin, habanero, and all those beautiful spices. Glazes bring a double whammy of sweet and taste to many a dish, along with some of that heat we tend to crave. Did you know we like heat? Especially that habanero pepper heat.
Habanero Chili Paste
This is it. This is the end of our chili pepper season here in zone 5 where the frost has already hit us. I still had a number of fresh chili pepper pods in the refrigerator and needed a good way to preserve them for use. We already froze a TON of them, dehydrated a crazy amount of peppers for making spice blends, made sauces galore. You name it, we've probably done it this year. And! That includes making chili paste. Chili paste is a flavorful alternative to incorporating dried spices into your meals. You can reach into the fridge and swirl your chili paste into your dish rather than season with dried ingredients. You'll get a fresher flavor blast this way. Use it as a rub for meats or seafood, or for soups or stews.
Easy Spinach and Ricotta Pasta with Peppers
Pasta Pasta! I don't think I know anyone who doesn't love pasta. And I've looked. I've polled random people and nary a negative response. When Patty and I went to Italy, we experienced pasta in many forms, with such an awesome variety of sauces and accompaniments that we're still to this day talking about going back. When are we going back to Italy? Tomorrow! I do wish. I would go back to Tuscany in a heartbeat. Or Rome. Or Venice. ANYWHERE in Italy! If you've ever been to Italy, drop me a line with your experience. You have an open ear. I digress.
Homemade Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Extra Peppers
Over the weekend I took advantage of some unseasonably nice weather and busted out the smoker. I own a huge smoker and wanted to ensure we’d have plenty of leftovers to freeze so I smoked a 10 pound ham, a 10 pound turkey breast and a whole chicken. There is always something satisfying from cooking with the smoker.
Pickling Spice for Pickled Peppers
Pickling spices help give your preserved pickled peppers an additional, multi-dimensional flavor. A typical pickled pepper recipe consists of chili peppers, of course, with a salty vinegar brine and pickling spices added in. While you can certainly pickle your peppers without the pickling spice, it is that combination of spices that brings nuance and flavor to your final product. There are many spice blends available to you, depending on your personal tastes, although some go better in combination with others. There is no right or wrong combination. It is up to you to choose which flavors mingle best and what suits your personal palate.
Sweet Corn Risotto with Butter-Chili Poached King Crab
Typical story here in the Madness household. Walking through the store, just sort of perusing, getting an eyeful of what there is to offer and WHAM! I see these gorgeous King crab legs resting over ice in our local grocery store. I froze there, absorbing the sight of them, and before I even realized what was happening, the seafood lady was already wrapping one of them up for us. We LOVE King crab. It is so succulent and meaty, and when it pulls out of the freshly cracked shell in one long piece, you experience a bit of heaven right there. Tops! I did a quick preparation, a simple butter poach with dried chili flakes.
Pickling peppers is one of the most popular and traditional methods of preserving your chili pepper harvest. I've pickled so many peppers over the years, I can hardly count, and I'm always happy to have them around. Pickled peppers of any type are welcomed to many a meal. You can chop and stir them into soups or stews, use them as a condiment by topping sandwiches, cook them into pizzas. Go crazy, really. I prefer pickling a variety of chili peppers, though you can keep one type all to itself in its own jar. Pickled jalapenos, anyone? Yeah! Jalapenos are crazy popular any time of year.
Aji-Lime-Kiwi Sweet Pepper Jam
We're in a major winding down time for our garden in this part of the world, so lately we've been scrambling to preserve a lot of our peppers. We're freezing peppers, pickling peppers (more of that to come VERY soon), preserving peppers in olive oil, dehydrating peppers, you name it, we're doing it. We're also making jams. Jams? Absolutely. Jellies and jams are a smart way to incorporate a number of your chili peppers into a single preserving session, and what you wind up with is something super crazy delicious that you can use all through the winter. This particular recipe calls for a cup of minced peppers and it makes two half pint jars. That's quite a lot of peppers! It's OK, though, because we have so many, we barely know what to do with them all. Well, maybe we do, but still!
Homemade Roasted Tomatillo-Pork Chili
The pork shoulder in my refrigerator was calling my name! And so were all of the brand new spices I just picked up recently, so nice and fresh - ancho powder (I do love thee!), smoked paprika, cayenne, Mexican oregano. Not to mention the loads of chili peppers begging to be cooked into something delicious. What else to do but make a homemade chili? I am not a chili purist who demands that chili either have beans or no beans. No beans about it! I like it both ways. In fact, I like chili pretty much any way, from red to green to anything in between. This particular recipe skips the beans and goes the green route, though since I used so many seasonings here, it turned out more red than green.
Habanero Pumpkin Spiced Margarita
It's Thirsty Thirteenth! Time for a new cocktail! October brings us several wonderful things that we only get to enjoy for a short time a year. Fall leaves make the chilling of the temps more pleasant, and pumpkins everywhere get you in the mood for Halloween and all the exciting flavors of fall. Ahh! Pumpkin.
Mixed Pepper-Pear Chutney
You know autumn is OFFICIALLY here when all the fall spices come out to play. Chili peppers are wonderful to enjoy throughout the warm summer, but they are just at home in the cooling fall, where pumpkins and apples traditionally dominate. We're putting all of that together to make a popular condiment that will keep in the fridge a while and should compliment many a simple meal - chutney. Chutney is originally from India, a combination of vegetables and fruits mixed with spices, sugar and vinegar. It has the consistency of a thick sauce, depending on how you make it, and becomes even thicker in the refrigerator, making it a bit more like a spread. U.S. chutneys tend to be sweet.
Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Peppers, Gorgonzola and Italian Sausage
So I'm told that today is officially National Moldy Cheese Day. Did you even realize there WAS such a day? Wow! How fortuitous then that I was already going to post this butternut squash soup that incorporates, of all things, moldy gorgonzola cheese. Patty was slightly skeptical when I said I wanted to make a butternut squash soup with gorgonzola. She isn't the biggest fan of moldy cheeses, but it has been my mission for us both to appreciate every type of food in some way. The way I see it, every food has a proper pairing, and in this case, the gorgonzola is ideal for this type of recipe.
Pimiento de Padron
Capsicum Annuum. Pimiento de Padron chili peppers (aka pimento de padron or just "padron" peppers) originate from the province, Galicia, in the northwestern Spanish municipality, Padrón. They are small to medium-sized peppers averaging about 3 inches in length. The color ranges, starting out bright green and maturing to a vibrant red. The interesting thing about padron peppers is that most of them are very mild peppers with no heat, but a small percentage of them will give you a shock of heat. The only way to know if a padron is hot is to give it a taste. It all has to do with the peppers' particular growing conditions.
Four Cheese Jalapeno Poppers
Jalapeno popppers are the uber appetizer. I'm sure I've said this before.They are crazy delicious and extremely popular. Why else would I write ann entire cookbook dedicated to them? Yep. See "Jalapeno Poppers and Other Stuffed Chili Peppers - the Cookbook". I could not help myself. I'm what you call a superfan. While other people are dreaming of their favorite sports team or their fantasy league, I'm dreaming about jalapeno poppers. Bring them on! They are perfection in a single bite.
Check out more at our Chili Pepper Madness Web Site.