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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.

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Cherry Clafouti

 

This is a particularly easy-to-make version of clafouti, which is basically a fruit pancake that is often served as a dessert in French bistros. Eaten warm it is comforting and delicious.

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Creole Chicken With Red Rice

13Creole Chicken with Red Rice I love the lively Cajun flavors of this dish. Served on a deep platter, surrounded by colorful rice and sprinkled with flecks of toasted sliced almonds, preferably with bits of skin for the visual effect, it’s pretty enough to serve to guests. 

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Traditional Coleslaw

 

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There is nothing fancy about this coleslaw – it’s the kind our mothers used to make. Here we’ve added some caraway seeds to bump up the flavor and made a jalapeño pepper an option for those who like a bit of heat.

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Ribs in Tabelcloth Stainer Sauce

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The colorful name of this sauce, which comes from the city of Oaxaca, in Mexico, is a literal translation from the Spanish. It is distinguished by the addition of fruit, such as pineapple and bananas, and you can vary the quantity of chiles to suit your taste. Three produce a pleasantly spicy sauce. Serve this with warm tortillasto soak up the ambrosial liquid.Continue reading

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Tourtiere

 

This meat pie is a tradition in Quebec, where it is often served on Christmas Eve. It is rich and dense. All it needs is a green salad and your favorite chutney or relish.Continue reading

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Pork Pozole

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The robust flavors in this traditional Mexican dish are delicious and perfect for a casual evening with friends. Add the chipotle pepper if you like heat and a bit of smoke. To continue the Mexican theme, serve with a tossed green salad that includes a diced avocado, and warm fresh tortillas.

 

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Turkey Mole

650-fp-11In many parts of Mexico, no special occasion is complete without turkey cooked in mole poblano. The authentic dish is quite a production; this simplified version is delicious nonetheless. Serve with hot tortillas, fluffy white rice and creamed corn.

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