Showing posts with label chili pepper recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chili pepper recipes. Show all posts

Friday, August 19, 2022

Creamy Hatch Chili Pepper Spinach Chicken

Truly, the title "creamy Hatch chili pepper spinach chicken" says it all: Tender breasts in a spicy, succulent sauce! Serve over rice or pasta to complete the meal. 

Food Lust People Love: Truly, the title "creamy Hatch chili pepper spinach chicken" says it all: Tender breasts in a spicy, succulent sauce! Serve over rice or pasta to complete the meal.

Years ago, when we lived in Brazil (circa 1993-1999) one of my closest friend’s husband was from New Mexico. They made it a point to travel home during Hatch chili pepper season (or would enlist relatives to make their purchases) and they would return to our small town of Macáe with bags and bags of frozen roasted peppers to use all year. I had never heard of Hatch peppers but being a lover of all things chili pepper, I was quickly hooked.

The name Hatch chili actually refers to the area in which they are grown - the Hatch Valley - but generally they are a long green pepper with a mild heat but lots of flavor.  

We moved to Houston in 1999 and I hoped for New Mexican peppers, but Hatch peppers hadn’t made it there yet. It took another few years but eventually, Hatch season became a thing, even that far east due to Central Market, the upscale purveyor of gourmet food owned by the parent company of Texas grocery store H-E-B. 

Central Market brought in the peppers by the truckload and the immense roasters (think huge turning cages like you'd put raffle tickets in!) and roasted them fresh outside of their stores. Since then, other area supermarkets have gotten in on the action and the Houston air on the weekends right now is filled with aroma of charred peppers.

Make note: If you are lucky enough to be able to travel to New Mexico, the Hatch Chile Festival takes place every year on Labor Day weekend in Hatch, NM. This year they celebrate their 50th anniversary so it should be a lot of fun. 

Creamy Hatch Chili Pepper Spinach Chicken

Yep, it’s Hatch chili pepper season again and, as promised, here’s my first recipe using that wonderful pepper. It’s quite easy to make but the flavor is out of this world wonderful! Because I lack freezer space, I like to roast my own in the oven but you can use the already roasted ones, if you can get your hands on them. 

Ingredients - to serve six
For the creamy hatch chili pepper sauce:
4 fresh hatch chili peppers
juice from half a lime
2 cloves garlic
1 cup or 240ml heavy cream
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the chicken:
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8oz or 225g each)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

For optional garnish: chopped cilantro or parsley

Method
Broil the peppers on a baking sheet until they’re charred and black all over on both sides. 


Put them in a plastic bag for about five minutes to loosen the peels. Open the bag and let the peppers cool until you can handle them with bare hands. Rub or pull the peels off. Cut the stem end off and discard. If you like things spicy, leave the seeds. If not, remove the seeds and discard. 


Chop the garlic cloves roughly. 

Place the peppers in a food processor with the garlic, lime juice and sour cream. 


Blend until combined and smooth. Add a good pinch or two of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 


Refrigerate until you are ready to cook the chicken. The earlier ahead you make this, the better it is! 

Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. 


Sprinkle them with the vinegar on both sides then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. 


Drizzle your pan with olive oil and then pan fry the chicken breasts over a high heat until golden both sides. You may need to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your pan.


In that case, remove the browned breasts to a plate then pan-fry the second batch. The chicken does not need to be cooked completely through at this point. It will finish cooking, simmering in the creamy hatch sauce.


When all the chicken is browned and on the plate, add the baby spinach leaves to the pan and cover for a few minutes, until the spinach starts to wilt. 


Remove the lid and cook for a few more minutes until the spinach liquid evaporates.


Add the creamy hatch sauce back to the pan. Stir to combine and heat gently to warm. 


Tuck the browned chicken pieces into the sauce. 


Spoon it over to cover. Simmer till chicken is cooked through.


Sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro or parsley to garnish, if desired. 

Food Lust People Love: Truly, the title "creamy Hatch chili pepper spinach chicken" says it all: Tender breasts in a spicy, succulent sauce! Serve over rice or pasta to complete the meal.

Serve over rice or pasta. 

Food Lust People Love: Truly, the title "creamy Hatch chili pepper spinach chicken" says it all: Tender breasts in a spicy, succulent sauce! Serve over rice or pasta to complete the meal.

Enjoy! 

Do you get Hatch chili peppers where you live? For more information about these great peppers and possible substitutes, Chili Pepper Madness is a great source. 



Pin this Creamy Hatch Chili Pepper
Spinach Chicken!

Food Lust People Love: Truly, the title "creamy Hatch chili pepper spinach chicken" says it all: Tender breasts in a spicy, succulent sauce! Serve over rice or pasta to complete the meal.

 .



Sunday, July 10, 2022

Pilpelchuma - Libyan Chili Paste

Spicy, garlicky pilpelchuma may be my new favorite condiment. From the Libyan Jewish tradition, it’s made with dried peppers, Aleppo pepper flakes and plenty of fresh garlic. 

Food Lust People Love: Spicy, garlicky pilpelchuma may be my new favorite condiment. From the Libyan Jewish tradition, it’s made with dried peppers, Aleppo pepper flakes and plenty of fresh garlic.

Despite living right next door to Libya in Egypt, I must confess that I knew very little about its cuisine so when our Sunday FunDay host chose Libyan food as our theme this week, I had to resort to googling. 

I discovered that there is a lot of overlap in dishes from both countries, for example, hummus, shakshouka and couscous. Like Egyptians, Libyans are also fond of lamb, mutton and harissa. 

Discovering that pasta dishes were popular during my search also took me down the rabbit hole of Libyan history where I found out that Libya was an Italian colony for almost three decades starting in 1911, until the British took control during World War II. During that war the country was the center of various battles and control shifted between the allies and the axis forces several times, making it a very dangerous place for the local Jewish population. 

Jewish Libyans were persecuted, forced into labor, sent to concentration camps and killed outright. Those who could afford to emigrated. According to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, the Jewish population fell from 25 percent to now zero in current day Libya. 

Pilpelchuma, also called filfel chuma or maseer, is a recipe from the Jewish Libyan diaspora, those who survived the war and managed to make a life elsewhere, so I decided to make this spicy paste for my post. 

Pilpelchuma  - Libyan Chili Paste

This recipe is adapted from one on Lin’s Food but a simple search turns up myriad renditions. They all seem to have dried peppers, garlic and caraway though. You'll need a small processor and a way to grind the spices into a powder but this delicious paste is really easy to make.

Ingredients - makes 1 cup or 240ml 
15 dried red chili peppers, any sort 
1 1/2 teaspoons whole caraway seeds
1 1/2  teaspoons whole cumin seeds
15 medium-sized garlic cloves
1/3 cup or 80ml olive oil plus extra for covering before storage
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper flakes or sub regular paprika (not smoked)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/2  teaspoon white sugar

Method
Cut the dried chili peppers into 2-3 pieces and put them into a small heat resistant bowl. Cover them with boiling water then cover the bowl with a saucer and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes. I got distracted by another project and mine soaked for a couple of hours. 


Toast the cumin and caraway seeds in a dry pan over a low flame. Shake the pan occasionally so they don’t burn and remove them from the stove as soon as they look a little darker and smell fragrant. 


Leave the seeds to cool for a few minutes then grind them to a fine powder in a clean coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. 

Use tongs to remove the soaked chili peppers from the water, leaving any seeds that fall out behind. Put them in your food processor. Peel and trim the hard ends off the cloves of garlic. 


Put the garlic in the food processor with the chili peppers and half of the olive oil. 


Process for one minute, scraping down the bowl of the processor occasionally. 


Now add in the rest of the oil, the pepper flakes (or paprika), the ground spices, lemon juice, salt and sugar.


Process till smooth. 


Store in a sterilized jar, topped with a little more olive oil, in the refrigerator. Replace the oil each time you use a little of the pipelchuma so it stays fresh. This will last a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

Chili paste, topped with olive oil

Ideas to use pipelchuma: 

  1. Toss with roast potatoes
  2. Add a dollop to hummus, scrambled eggs or pasta
  3. Thin with a little more oil and lemon juice for a spicy salad dressing
  4. Stir through yogurt or sour cream to make dip or a topping for cooked fish
  5. Marinate chicken, beef or lamb before grilling
  6.  Stir through cooked greens, like collards, spinach or Brussels sprouts

Food Lust People Love: Spicy, garlicky pilpelchuma may be my new favorite condiment. From the Libyan Jewish tradition, it’s made with dried peppers, Aleppo pepper flakes and plenty of fresh garlic.

Enjoy! 

One of the reasons I like to take part in group posts with a theme is the opportunity they often present to learn something new so many thanks to our host, Amy of Amy’s Cooking Adventures! Check out all of the Libyan recipes below. I'm looking forward to trying a few!

We are a group of food bloggers who believe that Sunday should be a family fun day, so every Sunday we share recipes that will help you to enjoy your day. If you're a blogger interested in joining us, just visit our Facebook group and request to join.


Pin this Pilpelchuma - Libyan Chili Paste! 

Food Lust People Love: Spicy, garlicky pilpelchuma may be my new favorite condiment. From the Libyan Jewish tradition, it’s made with dried peppers, Aleppo pepper flakes and plenty of fresh garlic.

.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Chili Plum Sauce

Spicy, sweet and tangy, this chili plum sauce is the perfect combination of all three. It's wonderful with duck, pork or chicken. 

Food Lust People Love: Spicy, sweet and tangy, this chili plum sauce is the perfect combination. It's wonderful with duck, pork or chicken.

Several years ago, we were discussing our Christmas dinner menu and our elder daughter suggested roast duck, Peking-style. I was intrigued because I don’t think I’d ever roasted a whole duck. (Although once I came close.)

We love pan-fried duck breast so even when I came across a whole duck when we lived in Cairo, I broke it down so I could pan-fry the breasts and confit the legs and thighs. And we adore classic cassoulet. I guess you could say we are duck people. 

And, of course, I’ve eaten roast duck in Chinese restaurants so I knew that the skin had to be shatteringly crispy and that it’s often served with plum sauce, which I usually find too sweet. So while my trial duck dried out, I searched for plum sauce recipes that would suit my palate. Adding chili peppers seemed like a great idea. Unfortunately the original blog I adapted my recipe from is no longer active on the interwebs or I would share the link.

This was in our front room so it got a few second glances from the neighbors as they passed by. 

I’m pleased to tell you that trial duck was fabulous and we did indeed have roast duck for Christmas that year and most years since till 2020 shut us down as a family who could get together. Last year, we just couldn't do the same menu because there was just no way to pretend that things were normal. I have high hopes for 2021.  

Trial bird was a crispy success. Maybe one day I'll post that recipe.

Chili Plum Sauce

This recipe makes a generous 6 2/3 cups or 1575ml of chili plum sauce. Feel free to halve it but when plums are at their peak and a bargain to buy this summer, why not make the whole batch? You can use it in the traditional moo shu pancakes with roasted duck or as a marinade or dipping sauce for pork or chicken. I have also been known to whisk it into a vinaigrette with olive oil and a little extra vinegar, which is lovely on a green salad or over sliced cucumbers. 

Ingredients
2 small red chili peppers
9-10 cloves garlic
4-inch piece fresh ginger
18 plums (Mine weighed about 3 1/2 lbs or 1600g) 
2 cups or 480ml red wine vinegar
1 2/3 cups or 332g sugar
1 1/4 cups or 296ml reduced salt light soy sauce
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns

Method
Cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Then cut them into small chunks.


Use the tip of a sharp knife to split your chili peppers. Peel and slice the ginger and garlic. 


Add the plums to a heavy bottomed pan and cook for 20 minutes over medium-low heat.


Add the chili peppers, garlic, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and Sichuan peppercorns and bring the mixture to the boil.


Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, cover with a lid and simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until the plums have softened completely.

Carefully blend the hot mixture to a purée in batches in a food processor or straight in the pot with a hand blender.


Strain the purée through a sieve into a bowl. Pour the hot plum sauce into sterilized jars. 


Enjoy with roast duck, chicken or pork! 

Food Lust People Love: Spicy, sweet and tangy, this chili plum sauce is the perfect combination. It's wonderful with duck, pork or chicken.

Here are our moo shu duck pancakes! Pancake recipe: moo shu pancakes

Food Lust People Love: Spicy, sweet and tangy, this chili plum sauce is the perfect combination. It's wonderful with duck, pork or chicken.

Food Lust People Love: Spicy, sweet and tangy, this chili plum sauce is the perfect combination. It's wonderful with duck, pork or chicken.


It's Sunday FunDay again! Our host Karen from Karen's Kitchen Stories invited us to share recipes with chili peppers, a theme that is near and dear to my heart. Many thanks to her for the great theme and her behind-the-scenes work. Check out the other chili-peppery recipes we are sharing below! 

We are a group of food bloggers who believe that Sunday should be a family fun day, so every Sunday we share recipes that will help you to enjoy your day. If you're a blogger interested in joining us, just visit our Facebook group and request to join.

Pin this Chili Plum Sauce!

Food Lust People Love: Spicy, sweet and tangy, this chili plum sauce is the perfect combination. It's wonderful with duck, pork or chicken.

 .