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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.

Tuna Tapenade


Known as Provençal caviar, tapenade is a flavorful mixture of capers, olives and anchovies, among other ingredients. Here, the addition of tuna lightens up the result. Serve this with carrot or celery sticks, sliced cucumber, crackers or Basic Crostini . It also makes a delicious filling for hard-cooked eggs.

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Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a perennial plant and an important forage crop. Valpolicella, Italy. Canon EOS 5D Mark II. -focus on foreground-


Alfalfa has an impressive history as a “functional food”.  Centuries ago, the Arabs bestowed the name alfalfa, which means “the father of all foods” on this perennial legume because they recognized its superior nutritional qualities. In fact, they fed it to their legendary horses, in addition to using it as a medicinal herb.  Alfalfa is commonly used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat digestive disorders or to promote joint health, but in the western world today, alfalfa is mostly used as animal feed.
This is unfortunate for humans because the herb is a robust functional food that, among other benefits, has significant value as a general tonic. Alfalfa provide vitamins A, C, E and K, some B vitamins, and a smattering of minerals such as potassium and zinc.  It is also rich in phytonutrients, such as isoflavone flavonoids. Several studies suggest that it helps to keep cholesterol levels low and prevents atherosclerosis, among other cardiovascular benefits. 
Herbalists suggest brewing a tea of dried alfalfa leaves. Because it has a very mild flavor, another easy way to add valuable nutrients to your diet is to include a few spoonfuls when making stocks. Dried alfalfa leaves are available at well-stocked natural foods stores or from online vendors. Just check to make sure you are purchasing organically grown alfalfa as a genetically modified version is widely available.  And when adding alfalfa to liquid, make sure to use the dried leaves, not alfalfa sprouts, which have an entirely different nutritional profile. 


Greek yogurt sauce with cucumbers, dill and garlic, known as tarator or snezhanka in Bulgaria or zaziki in Turkey. Shallow DOF

This classic Greek condiment is a great dip with warm pita, or crudités. It also makes a great dipping sauce for souvlakis.

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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




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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