Chili Recipes

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Spicy Butter Recipe (with Habanero Chiles) Recipe

We picked the last Habanero peppers yesterday, officially marking the end of our vegetable season. I feel a little bad about that seeing as folks on the East Coast are already dealing with snow. Sorry! I think I've mentioned that due to a very frustrating gopher infestation, my husband Lulu planted mostly everything in planters this year. We had one planter full of Habanero chiles, which are famous for being the hottest peppers in the world. If you've never gotten a chance to experience Habanero peppers, they are extremely fragrant and fruity. The flavor is almost indescribable, as is the heat follows. Our plants were prolific; three habanero plants produced over 20 cups of peppers! Of course, having that many peppers forced us to get creative with how we used them, which was a lot of fun.

The first application we came up with was a flavored butter, which oddly wasn't all that spicy to my taste. I think the casein in the butter neutralizes a lot of the heat. Trust me, if I can enjoy it, you can too. I've been married for many years now, and before, I couldn't bare the spiciness of black pepper. I'm sure it helps marrying into an Indian family, but this Habanero chile butter captures that intoxicating fragrance without being overly spicy.

I pulsed red Habanero chiles with garlic into a purée and mixed them into soft butter. I measured 10 grams for a mild butter, 20 grams for medium and 40 grams for extra spicy. You could reduce the ratio, depending on how strong you want the heat. This butter is lovely as a spread for sandwiches, in pasta or as a garnish for a juicy steak. I especially like it on whole grain bagels.

I'll slowly post all the other ways we put these peppers to use. Try them if you dare!


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Harissa Recipe Provided by Chef Pawan Pinisetti Recipe

This recipe was provided by Chef Pawan Pinisetti. To learn more about the life of a chef in Vegas, check out his interview (click on the link to view):

"Here's a recipe of one of my favorite accompaniments when I'm eating Mediterranean food. This is a recipe I learned when I was in school (Culinary Institute of America, New York) and I've held onto it ever since. Hope you try it out and enjoy it as well.

Harissa, a spicy red chili paste, popular throughout the Maghreb, was created long after Islam occupied the Iberian Peninsula. Not until the 16th century and well after the discovery of the New World, did the rest of the Mediterranean accept the pepper as an edible and flavorful ingredient."


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Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe (Indian Spicy Food) Recipe

I think I've said it many times: my husband's late grandmother (I called her Baji) was an exceptional cook. She used to make a specialty from Hyderabad called mirchi ka salan very often for my father-in-law. He absolutely loves spicy food. I know Daddy misses Baji's cooking, so I try to make his favorite dishes as often as possible.

The dish is very spicy due to the use of a large quantity of chiles (mirchi in Urdu) and the sauce (salan) is the same masala sauce made of onions and Indian spices that is used in many other Indian dishes. For this particular dish, you don't want to go over-board and use fiery chiles such as Habaneros. I chose milder Anaheim peppers. Finally, if you’re afraid of the heat, don't forget to accompany this dish with a tall glass of lassi to soothe your taste buds. 


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Chile Jam Recipe (Homemade Habanero Sauce) Recipe

Last season, my husband Lulu harvested so many peppers from the garden that I had to make a lot of preserves to use them up. If you've been following me on Facebook, I didn’t get a lot of sleep over the weekend because of an over-dose of caffeine. I went on a cleaning spree to pass the time, and while I was tidying up, I found our last jar of chile jam. We used a combination of red Habanero (which is probably the spiciest chile you'll ever taste), red Thai chiles and a small red bell pepper to temper the heat. Still, this recipe will knock your socks off!

When Lulu and I first got married, I remember him calling me a wimp when it came to spicy food. I used to find black pepper spicy! But over the last 6 years, I've learned to enjoy it. I guess marrying into an Indian family helped numb my taste buds. For Father's Day, we held a contest on who would be able to stand eating intensely spicy cuisine. Daddy, my father-in-law, is an expert and of course, he won, but I was able to do better than the girls.

Daddy said the chile jam wasn't as spicy as he had expected but if you're not as tolerant of the heat, prepare a tall glass of milk on the side and enjoy with some toast.

Habanero Jam Recipe with Picture


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Chili Non Carne with Kidney Beans (Veggie Chili Recipe) Recipe

Lya's school just served vegetarian chili for lunch and she begged me to replicate the meal she had this week. I was more than happy to oblige. To recreate the dish, I used store-bought vegetarian chorizo, red kidney beans, caramelized onions, unsweetened cocoa powder, tomatoes, crumbled firm tofu, roasted green bell peppers and jalapeños. I just mixed them in a crock pot and let the flavors simmer together.

I nested the chili in tortillas, added shredded cheese and secured them with little sticks decorated with cherry tomatoes. It’s not authentic Mexican cuisine, but it’s delicious and incredibly hearty.

Vegetarian Chili Recipe with Picture


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