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.
If you have the ingredients on hand, this tasty dip can be ready to serve in about 5 minutes. Serve it with crudités, crackers or pumpernickel rounds for an elegant appetizer at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
The combination of soft, sweet mascarpone, slightly astringent Gorgonzola and bittersweet walnuts is quite glorious. Spread this on a plain cracker and enjoy with a glass of robust red wine.
This variation on tortilla, a traditional Spanish tapas dish resembling an omelet, adds green and red bell peppers, a chile pepper and a liberal amount of sharp cheese to the traditional potato and egg combination. Traditionally it is served cold or at room temperature.
This is a fairly straightforward recipe for chicken cooked in white wine, distinguished by the addition of fresh sage and sliced green olives, which add pleasant acidity to the sauce. Served over polenta, it makes a delicious one-dish meal.
This is a Mexican fresh salsa, often called pico de gallo. Make it when tomatoes are in season — otherwise the results are likely to be disappointing. It’s delicious with tortilla chips.
Because it is made from a cold water fish, this is not a traditional ceviche but it is delicious nonetheless. Serve it on tostadas, tortilla chips, plain crackers or even crisp lettuce leaves such as hearts of romaine. If you’re offering larger servings, think about spooning it into chilled martini glasses and passing forks or small spoons.
Simple, elegant and delicious, these crostini get any meal off to an excellent start.