Chilepepper and spice

Hot food can be really cool.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hot Scampi Pasta

Nikka isn't too fond of shellfish. So when she's away for some reason, it is usually a good opportunity for Matli to cook something based on shellfish. Today was one of those occasions.

I made a tomato and creme fraiche based pasta sauce with scampi, bell peppers, chile peppers and various other spices. It turned out to be super tasty. And quite hot as well. (Some Possible Side Effects sauce brought the heat to the exact right level.)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Chicken Fajitas Cinnamon Style

So, this Saturday I made my husband do the lovely chicken fajitas with cinnamon. It wasn't hard to make him do them! These fajitas is not so hot, but very flavourful. We have served them to friends and people seem to love them! So do we.

This time we didn't have any guacamole with our fajitas, because the avocados in our supermarket were bad. Too bad. Still, yummy it was!

And here is the recipe as he did them:

finely grated zest and juice of 1.5 lime
1½ tablespoons sugar
½ tablespoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ teaspoon cinnamon

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
½ tablespoon chile flakes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. On some occasions I add a splash of tequila to the marinade. Slice the chicken breasts into ½-inch wide strips and put in the
marinade. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Cut the onion in half and slice it thinly. Remove stems and seeds from the bell peppers, then slice them into ½-inch wide strips.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Stir-fry the marinated chicken (and some of the marinade) for 5-6 minutes, then add peppers, onions and chile flakes and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Serve with warm tortillas, guacamole, salsa fresca, cheese and sour cream.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Foodie fabrics

I know, I know, I know... This blog has been sleepy for a while. The reason is that we've been really busy with all kinds of stuff. I worked the last day at my old job this week and will start the new one on Tuesday. Matli has also been busy with work. He went to Italy this Thursday and came back yesterday. In Europe we can do that, business trip abroad just for one night. Last weekend we visited family and friends, so there hasn't been much cooking going on lately.

But the major reason for the lack of time is that I'm totally caugt up in my new hobby - sewing! Well, it's not actually new, but I bought a new sewing machine some weeks ago and now I spend all my time by it or reading patterns and descriptions and such. I guess you know how it is when you have a friend who's really into something, and you start to talk about it, and suddenly it's just like a virus. YOU've caught it, and it's now not only your friend's obsession, but yours too. That's the case with me and the sewing :-) Everything is Linda's fault!

So, is this in any way related to chile? Well, yes it is! I'm gonna sew cushions to the six chairs in our veranda, where we do most of our chile growing and eat most of our meals during the summer. I'm thinking something patchwork style, but I just can't decide! There are so many wonderful foodie fabrics - in the US. Well, not a problem, I'll just order from the Internet. The problem is to decide. All fabrics above are candidates. Are they not lovely? I have to decide soon... My plan is to place an order this weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Chile club meeting

In two weeks there is a meeting with the chile pepper club (Svenska Chilepepparföreningen) and this year the yearly competition is a chile con carne. Last year it was bread and cake (see the picture above), but we didn't participate in the competition. This year we will. So we have to bring two litres of chile con carne to Stockholm! We have to take the car... and since we take the car we can't try much wine at the wine tasting afterwards, but you can always sip and spit. Anyway, the chili will be judged based on taste and how hot it is. I guess ours will be pretty hot... We'll probably make our standard recipe to make sure it's a good one. Not the right time to try something new.

I hope it will be a good meeting. The one last year was fun. As I said there will be a wine tasting also, and some kind of buffet. This is what it looked like last year!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Not so hot enchiladas

Yesterday my parents visited for dinner, and I thought we should introduce them to some mexican food. They don't like to eat with their hands, so no fajitas, no tacos, no quesadillas... hm... enchiladas! And they are not really used to our normal level of chile, so... not so hot chicken enchiladas it was. Well, for us at least. I really don't know how hot they thought it was, but they seemed to like it. No picture, the chef was in a hurry.

And after the chicken enchiladas we had bananas gratinated with nuts and brown sugar, served with vanilla icecream. Yum!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Kung Po

Some days ago Matli wanted to cook something chinese, since we had bought a pack of sichuan pepper at Siam shop. We searched our cookbooks but found nothing really - what a luck there is always the Internet! He found a recipe similar to one I had found in one of our books, just that in the book it had Sichuan in the name but no sichuan pepper in it! Well, it ended up really hot, as it seems like most things do after our last visit to Siam shop, where we also bought some fresh red thai chile peppers. Really hot ones... Anyway, it tasted genuine chinese, we think. We've never been to China but... It had some similarities with the dried pepper dish we had in Singapore, but it wasn't the same. Well, well...

Here is the chef with the recipe!

For two servings you will need:
2 boneless chicken breasts
3 garlic cloves
Fresh ginger (the same amount as the garlic)
1 small red onion
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
12 dried red chiles
1 teaspoon sichuan pepper
A handful roasted peanuts

0.5 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soy sauce (light)
1 teaspoon medium-dry sherry
1.5 teaspoons potato flour
1 tablespoon water

3 teaspoons sugar
0.75 teaspoons potato flour
2 teaspoons soy sauce (equal amounts light and dark)
3 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chicken stock cube
1 tablespoon water

1. Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl. Cut the chicken into 0.5 inch cubes and marinate while preparing the rest.
2. Peel and slice the garlic and ginger in thin slices. Chop the onion into chunks with the same size as the chicken pieces. Break the chile peppers in half and discard some of their seeds.
3. Combine all ingredients for the sauce.
4. Heat the oil in the wok. Add the chile and sichuan peppers and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
5. Add the chicken, stirring constantly. When the chicken pieces has developed some color, throw in the ginger, garlic and onion. Continue to stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through.
6. Add The sauce to the wok. Continue stirring until the sauce has developed some thickness. Finally add the peanuts and serve with rice.

This is how I did it based on what I had at hand. (By the way Nikka, I didn't use any of the thai peppers in this dish :). The sichuan peppers gave a very special flavour. I will certainly use them again.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hot Som Tum

Today it was hot. Not outside but in my mouth. When we ate at a Thai restaurant in Sydney we saw something on the menu that we had never heard of. Som Tum. When we got back home we discovered that it was a green papaya salad. Green papaya was said to be hard to find, bur our favourite Thai store had it. We just love Siam Shop! So today we tried it. Besides the green papaya it contained garlic, lime juice, roasted peanuts, red onion, fish sauce, sugar, tomatos... chile.

It was good. Really good actually, but since my husband ignored the instruction to remove the seeds from the chile pepper it was hot. Too hot. It's not often this happens, but in a salad like this there is no dairy products to take off some of the fire. And it's no rice, potato or similar sideorder to eat while giving the mouth some rest. It's just really hot burning salad.

I had to drink milk, eat cheese and finally get rid of the heat by drinking a can of coconut juice. Good to have at home in case of an emergency :-) Matli cooled down by eating ice cream...

Next time he will remove the seeds. Because there will be a next time. It was yummy! Want to try it? Google it. He can't remember exactly how he did anyway. But do remove the seeds (or use a recipe with fewer chile peppers)...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy hot new year!

It's a new year! Yesterday we went to our friends Henrik and Linda for some dinner and fireworks, and we had a nice evening, even though I still feel the jetlag, or if it's just yet another cold I've caught... While we were away in Australia Linda looked after our house, and when we returned we found a nice jar of homemade gingerbread cookies with chile on top! Great! We haven't had much of the Swedish traditional Christmas food at all this year, so these cookies were very welcome! And if you pick one with much pepper on top they are actually really hot. It's good to know that your friends knows your passion! Thank you very much, Linda!