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. I like to serve this over polenta. Leftovers reheat well.
If you are longing for some chile heat, these spicy chicken wings from The Chile Pepper Bible are just the thing
This is an updated version of classic French pots de crème. You won’t taste the chile, but it adds appealing depth to the flavor of the chocolate. Served with a big dollop of sweetened whipped cream, this dessert is a welcome indulgence.
This dip is a perennial hit…and a perfect dish to serve at a Super Bowl get-together. I served it at a birthday party for my daughter a few years ago and guests practically licked the bowl. If you’re using sweet peppers rather than poblano and want a zestier result, add an extra jalapeño or chipotle pepper. This is delicious served with tortilla chips or a slice of warm gluten-free cornbread.
This sauce is ubiquitous in South America, where it is a significant player in the art of churrasco: meat, most often beef, that is grilled over charcoal or a wood fire. Parsley is the traditional base, but cooks vary the herbs and spices. I flavor my green chimichurri heavily with robust, earthy oregano, which is what the gauchos use, according to famous Argentinean churrasco chef Francis Mallman. Chile is not typically added in Argentina, he says, but this seems to be a very purist approach in practice. Pass the sauce at the table or use it as a marinade.
Moreover … It is amusing to note that chile peppers do not grow well in the country of Chile. The climate is too chilly (pardon the pun) for them.
This classic Catalan sauce is often thickened with fried bread; here, I have used almonds, which are also traditional and make the recipe gluten-free. Romesco sauce is a wonderful finish for grilled fish and seafood (especially shrimp), poultry and meat (especially pork) and even vegetables. It is actually a slight variation on a sauce served in the province of Tarragona in Catalonia, where it stars in an annual celebration along with a local onion known as the calcot.
Spring is in the air. If you are thinking about taking the family camping during spring break, how about putting fajitas on the menu? They are a great communal meal. Everyone has fun making their own and rolling them up. And then there are toppings to add. Even if you are pitching a tent in the living room or just enjoying a family dinner at home, this Tex-Mex classic is a great mealtime choice.
Ajar is a delicious Balkan red pepper and eggplant spread. It’s really simple to make, too. Vinka Vukicevic, my Pilates coach, introduced me to ajvar. She is from Bosnia and tells me that no house in the former Yugoslavia is ever without this tasty spread. She always looked forward to arriving home after school and enjoying it as a snack, spread on bread and sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese. Once I learned to make ajar, it quickly became a popular appetizer at my house – I spread goat cheese over toast triangles or crackers and top them with a good dollop of this instant, positively ambrosial treat.
Cape Verde is a collection of islands off the west coast of Africa, and cachupa is their national dish. There are many different versions, but most are based on some kind of pork or perhaps freshly caught fish, although vegetables may be substituted. Since Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony, this rendition contains chorizo. Because sausage is relatively pricy, the result is probably deserving of the description cachupa rica, which means it was prepared when the family was feeling prosperous.
My favourite afternoon pick-me-up is a cup of hot ginger tea. I shred ginger root on the coarse holes of a box grater, add it to boiling water, stir well and let it steep for a minute or two. Then I strain it into a mug and stir in honey to taste. Delicious and good for me, too. Ginger is highly anti-inflammatory and an excellent digestive.