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Chile peppers bring both sweet and fiery zest to dishes — discover a fascinating and seemingly endless variety within the pages of this delightful book.Contrary to popular belief, a pepper does not need to make your eyes water or start a fire in your mouth to qualify as a chile. “Chile” is simply the common name for the fruit of the capsicum plant and chiles come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and flavors.

There are five major species of chile peppers and thousands of varieties, in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors. Even experts disagree about how many there actually are. So it is probably not surprising that the spelling for the word itself is somewhat problematic. Is it chili, chilli or chile? You are likely to come across all of those spellings if you are reading up on the topic.

This comprehensive book (which serves as both a reference and a cookbook) from bestselling author and expert researcher Judith Finlayson takes you through dozens of chiles and provides absorbing information on everything from the historical and geographic origins of chiles to information on the Scoville scale (which measures the hotness of a chile and was invented by Wilbur Scoville) to the health benefits of chiles and finally, 250 delicious and inventive recipes.

Full color throughout, this book takes inspiration from chiles and embraces them with an enthusiasm that maximizes their true flavor potential. From fiery Tex-Mex inspired meals to savory and sweet Thai dishes, this incredible collection of recipes is sure to make you a lover of all things chile.

Santorini-Style Fava Spread

 

Santorini-Style Fava Spread
Serves 8
This is a particularly delicious spread that is Greek in origin and uses nutritious split peas, which are often known as fava in that country. Serve it with warm gluten-free flatbread, celery sticks or plain brown rice crackers, for a truly delicious treat.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (125 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  2. 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced shallots
  3. 2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano
  4. 1/2 tsp (2 mL) fine sea salt
  5. 1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1 cup (250 mL) yellow split peas
  7. 4 cups (1 L) water
  8. 6 reconstituted sun-dried tomato halves (see Notes)
  9. 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  10. 1/4 cup (60 mL) coarsely chopped Italian parsley
  11. 4 fresh basil leaves, hand-torn
  12. 3 tbsp (45 mL) red wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. 1. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add oregano, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add split peas and cook, stirring, until coated. Add water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.
  2. 2. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until peas have virtually disintegrated. Drain off excess water, if necessary.
  3. 3. Transfer solids to a food processor. Add sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley, basil and red wine vinegar. Pulse 7 or 8 times to chop and blend ingredients. With motor running, add remaining olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tub. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired. Serve warm.
Notes
  1. Use dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water for 15 minutes. You can also use those that have been packed in extra virgin olive oil. In either case, drain before chopping.
Judith Finlayson http://judithfinlayson.com/

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Original San Antonio Chili

If you are looking for the ground beef chili your mother made for Friday night dinner, this isn’t it. If instead you want to taste what amounts to a fabulous, highly spiced beef stew, then I highly recommend this chili. Leftovers reheat well.

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