Showing posts with label chili peppers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chili peppers. Show all posts

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Chili Peach Vinaigrette

Don’t let the pale peach color of this lovely chili peach vinaigrette fool you. The flavor is tart, sweet and spicy, in my opinion, the perfect combination. Use it to dress your favorite salad or as a marinade for chicken or pork.

This spicy recipe kicks off the start of a big, bold adventure. As you read this, my younger daughter and I are on Day 1 of a cross-country trip from Massachusetts to California. We left the home of dear friends in Hingham, MA today, and are on the high road to upstate New York. If all goes to plan, we’ll hit the west coast on Tuesday, August 8th.

Since it’s the height of hot summer in the northern, I decided to do something different on this blog for August. I’ll be sharing some of our favorite fresh salads and dressings, beginning with this chili peach vinaigrette.

(Of course, since it’s not actually August yet, I’ll still have a Muffin Monday post for you tomorrow.)

Our accommodations are an eclectic mix of Airbnb homes, interstate motels and even one lodge in the Grand Canyon National Park. No doubt we’ll be craving salads the whole way. My Instagram feed is always a strange place to be, but follow along to travel with us from sea to shining sea.

Chili Peach Vinaigrette

Ingredients – Yields 1 cup or 240ml
6 oz or 170g ripe, firm peaches, washed, pitted and chopped (1 large peach or 3-4 small peaches)
1/2-1 small red chili pepper
1/4 cup or 60ml natural apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup or 30ml canola or other light oil
1 tablespoon honey, or more, if needed
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (like Coleman's)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or in an appropriate vessel with a hand blender until smooth.

Taste and add more honey, if necessary. If you are lucky your peach will be sweet enough and the extra honey will not be needed.

Store in a clean jar in the refrigerator.


Love salads and unusual dressings? Check out some of my favorites.

Pin it! 


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Spicy Bacon-wrapped Shrimp

These spicy bacon-wrapped shrimp will disappear so quickly that you might want to make a double batch. Serve them with some spicy bacon mayo for extra oomph.

I’m not going to give you a big song and dance story today about me and my avid relationship with bacon because no one should have to wait for bacon! My love of bacon has been fairly well documented, to the point that friends and family often send me links to bacon recipes or bacon roses, for which I am grateful. When I read that bacon was chosen as this week’s Sunday Supper theme, I sat down and wrote a list of possible recipes I’d like to share. SO MANY CHOICES. Then I headed to the grocery store.

My list went out the window when I came across the shrimp. Large and luscious, they cried out to be wrapped in bacon! Because my brain works in mysterious ways, I was already picturing them all lined up and skewered so they'd remain upright and their tails would curl up in the oven, creating the perfect little handles with which to eat them.

And so it was.

For the bacon-wrapped shrimp:
22 large shrimp – about 1.15kg or 2 1/2 lbs - before cleaning and peeling
1 lb or 450g bacon (normal, not thick cut)
3-4 hot chili peppers, cut into thin strips
Small handful chives, cut into pieces about the length of your shrimp

Extra equipment: wooden skewers

For the spicy bacon mayo dipping sauce:
1/2 cup or 125g mayonnaise
1 tablespoon bacon/shrimp drippings from baking pan
1 small clove garlic, grated finely
1 teaspoon or more hot sauce
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Preheat your oven to 425°F or 218°C.

Peel and clean all the shrimp but leave the tails on.

Use a sharp knife to split the thick part of the shrimp so that they are open enough to put in one or two strips of pepper (depending on your heat threshold) and a couple of pieces of chive.

Cut the bacon slices in half.

Wrap one half bacon slice around each shrimp and secure it with a wooden skewer, cut side up.

Continue wrapping and skewering all the shrimp, cut side up, making sure to leave space between the shrimp.

Place the shrimp in one or more ovenproof pans. The tails should have enough space to curl up as the shrimp cook, creating the little handles I imagined.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is golden and crunchy looking.

When the spicy bacon-wrapped shrimp are done, whisk together all the dipping sauce ingredients.

Serve with warm shrimp.


Many thanks to our event manager, Shelby of Grumpy’s Honeybunch and Erica of The Crumby Cupcake for all of their hard work behind the scenes. Check out all the wonderful bacon recipes my Sunday Supper group are sharing today!

Bacon in Appetizers
Bacon in Beverages
Bacon for Breakfast
Bacon for Lunch
Bacon for Dinner
Bacon as a Side Dish
Bacon for Dessert

Pin Spicy Bacon-wrapped Shrimp!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Gildas Picantes – Spicy Anchovy Olive Skewers

A classic Spanish tapa, gildas are simply made with guindilla chili peppers, pitted green olives and little anchovies.

Food Lust People Love: A classic Spanish tapa, gildas are simply made with guindilla chili peppers, pitted green olives and little anchovies

According to several Spanish recipe sites, gilda means lollipop in Spanish. I must confess that I haven’t been able to verify that with a dictionary, online or otherwise. For me, a lollipop is a chupete or chupeta – so I was guessing those were the South American words. So gilda must be lollipop in Spain. Nope! According to the dictionaries, in Spain lollipops are called piruletas. I even searched Basque or Catalan dictionaries, thinking they might lead to a clue of the origin of gilda.  No luck.

Anyway, here I am making some because whatever you call them, these little skewers are tasty. This week my Sunday Supper friends are all sharing tapas recipes in honor of the meal many of us will be eating together at Tapa Toro in Orlando on Sunday evening. I was already in over my head getting ready for the Food Wine Conference but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share this very simple tapas recipe that really isn’t even a recipe. It’s just assembly and anyone can do it!

Make sure you scroll down to see all the other lovely tapas dishes we’ve made.

12 marinated anchovies in olive oil (Mine also had some chili.)
3-4 chili peppers (I used some long local peppers that are spicy but not too spicy.)
12 pitted green olives

Cut the peppers up into 1 inch or 2.5cm pieces. Wrap an anchovy around the pepper and secure it with your cocktail stick.

Skewer a green olive on the end.

Repeat until all of your gildas are assembled. Now, see, wasn’t that easy?

Serve with drinks before dinner.


Food Lust People Love: A classic Spanish tapa, gildas are simply made with guindilla chili peppers, pitted green olives and little anchovies

Join us for the tapas party and make one (or more!) of these dishes. Many thanks to our wonderful host for this event, Caroline of Caroline's Cooking.

Para Empezar, Las Tapas (Appetizers/tapas)
Postres (Desserts)
Bebidas (Drinks)

Pin these Gildas Picantes – Spicy Anchovy Olive Skewers!

Food Lust People Love: A classic Spanish tapa, gildas are simply made with guindilla chili peppers, pitted green olives and little anchovies


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sesame Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce #FoodieExtravaganza

Chinese egg noodles with shrimp and crispy vegetables make a tasty, nutritious meal when tossed with savory peanut sauce. Great room temperature or cold.

Food Lust People Love: Chinese egg noodles with shrimp and crispy vegetables make a tasty, nutritious meal when tossed with savory peanut sauce. Great room temperature or cold.

I grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And peanut butter cookies. You know, the homemade ones that have a crisscross made with a floured fork. I remember vividly the first commercials on television where choosy mothers chose Jif and friendly collisions got peanut butter in someone’s chocolate. And chocolate in someone’s peanut butter.

It took a trip to Indonesia when I was 18 years old to introduce me to a new use, a new savory love of peanut butter: Satay dipping sauce. Succulent bits of chicken or beef, marinated in special spices and grilled over an open charcoal flame by the dusty roadside, were meant to be dipped in a savory, spicy peanut sauce but I would just spoon that stuff over, full coverage being the fundamental goal. However delicious the satay, it was still primarily a conduit for the peanut sauce.

Ever since, I have been on the lookout for other peanut sauce conveyances, in addition to the handy spoon. I first found this wonderful noodle dish a couple of years ago on one of my favorite blogs, Magnolia Days – you might remember me mentioning it recently when I was making sticky cinnamon figs for a guest post in that genteel space. Renee had adapted a recipe from the Mom 100 Cookbook and created a main course from a side dish. Or maybe salad. Doesn’t matter. What’s important is that the whole fabulous mess was coated in a savory, spicy peanut sauce. I don’t think I ever told Renee that I had made it then, or any time since, which is very remiss and ungrateful of me. Because it is good. And I am grateful.

This month’s Foodie Extravaganza theme is peanut butter so I figured it was time to share these delicious noodles. Over the last couple of years, I’ve made adaptations of my own, adding other vegetables that I have on hand, like bean sprouts, or substituting chicken for the shrimp. I like to put fresh red chilies and crunchy peanut butter in the sauce. This is a great dish for mixing things up and using what you have, as long as you keep the peanut butter in the mix. Because that’s my favorite part. I hope it will be yours too.

Many thanks to Kaylin from Keep It Simple, Sweetie, our Foodie Extravaganza host this month. To see more delicious Foodie Extravaganza treats or learn how to join the party each month visit us here. And make sure to scroll down to the bottom to see all 19 of the sweet and savory peanut butter dishes we have for you this month!

For the sauce:
1 piece (2 1/2 inches or 6.3cm) fresh ginger
4 large garlic cloves
1-2 small red hot chili peppers (You know I used two!)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup or 140g crunchy peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
4 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

For the noodles:
Salt for the boiling water
Almost 9 oz or 250g dried Chinese egg noodles
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 ounces or 115g haricot verts or fine green beans
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 medium carrot
1/2 small head Napa or Savoy cabbage (about 11 oz or 310g)
2 small or one medium onion
1 pound or 450g shrimp (Mine weighed 12 1/3 oz or 350g when peeled and deveined)

To garnish:
1/4 cup or 25g sesame seeds
Green onion tops

Peel the carrot and cut it into sticks. Top and tail the green beans. Slice the cabbage finely as you would for coleslaw. Do the same with the onions.

Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil.

Peel the ginger and garlic. Chop the ginger into small pieces and cut the stems off of  the chilies. Put the ginger, garlic and chilies in the food processor and process for a quick minute.

Add in the rest of the sauce ingredients and process until they are well mixed. Leave them in the food processor and get on with the rest of the dish.

Add cold water and ice cubes to a medium-sized mixing bowl and set it in readiness next to your stove.

When the pot of water is boiling, put the carrots and green beans in for just a couple of minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and put them into the bowl of ice water.

Add the noodles into the pot of boiling water and cook as per packet instructions. Some take longer than others so following the manufacturer’s recommended time, perhaps minus a minute or two, is your best bet.

When the noodles are almost cooked, scoop out 1/4 cup or 60ml of the noodle water and add it to the sauce in the food processor. Process to combine.

Pour the cooked noodles into a colander and rinse them with very hot water. Put the noodles in a large mixing bowl and toss them with 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil.

Now pour the peanut sauce in the food processor over them and toss again to make sure the noodles are well coated.

In the now empty noodle pot, sauté the sliced onions in one tablespoon of peanut oil. Add in the sliced cabbage and cook briefly. You want it wilted a little but still crunchy.

Add the onions and cabbage to the noodles and stir well. Cover the bowl and allow it to hang out for 30 to 45 minutes so the noodles can absorb the flavors of the sauce.

While you are waiting for the noodles, you can lightly toast your sesame seeds in a small non-stick skillet on the stove and chop some green onions for garnish, if desired.

When the noodle sitting time is almost up, once again, use your same pot to cook the shrimp with a little peanut oil and a light sprinkle of salt, just until they turn pink.

Drain the carrots and green beans and cut them into bite-sized pieces with your kitchen scissors. Add them to the noodles along with the shrimp. Toss well to mix.

Serve with a generous sprinkle of the toasted sesame seeds and some chopped green onions, if desired.

Food Lust People Love: Chinese egg noodles with shrimp and crispy vegetables make a tasty, nutritious meal when tossed with savory peanut sauce. Great room temperature or cold.

This dish is supposed be served at room temperature but it is also quite tasty cold which makes it great lunchbox fare.


Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays by cooking and baking together with the same ingredient or theme each month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board!

Savory Dishes
Sweet Treats

Food Lust People Love: Chinese egg noodles with shrimp and crispy vegetables make a tasty, nutritious meal when tossed with savory peanut sauce. Great room temperature or cold.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ceviche - As it should be

Many a thing is called ceviche out in the world of restaurants. Some add tomatoes or avocado or mango or other abominations. I’ve even seen grapes! This dish is made exactly as I remember it from my childhood time spent in northern Peru, with fresh seafood, fresh lime juice, purple onions, cilantro, salt and chili peppers. That’s it. And boiled yucca on the side. 

About a year after my parents divorced, my father moved from Venezuela where we had all been living together, to a small oilfield company town in northern Peru called Negritos. If you’ve been in the mountains and the rain forests of Peru but never ventured to the northwestern coast, you might be surprised to find sand dunes to rival those in my current home, the United Arab Emirates. Negritos is set near the most western point of mainland South America, Punta Pariñas, with a beautiful coast in front and a massive desert at its back. I spent every summer there for several years, until Daddy moved again.

I don’t know that it was much of a place for being an adult but it was heaven for a child. I’d take off for hours, exploring rocks and sand dunes and crevasses, finding shells and fossils, building forts with the neighbor kids and “tightrope” walking on the pipes between the enormous town water tank and, well, town. (Shhhh! Don’t tell my father – the pipeline was strictly off limits.) My older sister and I shared a little blue Honda 70 motorbike and sometimes I’d ride the dunes on it, but most days, exploration was on foot and I’d often carry pen and paper, in case inspiration struck and I needed to write something down. I was deep into my Harriet the Spy phase then. Returning home, I’d drive my stepmother to distraction by taking off my shoes and socks and making two little piles on my bedroom floor with the sand that had accumulated in them. It was fun to see how big the piles were some days, as if it told me how far I had walked somehow. In retrospect, I must have been a strange child.

A big treat - I’m telling you it was a small town! – was to go to the small airport in the next town over and eat in the restaurant there. I’ll let you absorb that. We went to the airport just to eat. Watching the planes take off and land was a bonus. I always, and I mean always, without fail, ordered the shrimp ceviche. It was perfect. A healthy plateful of shrimp, swimming in lime juice with lots of sliced onions and just enough chili. The resulting liquid is called leche de tigre or tiger’s milk and when all the shrimp were gone, I’d sip it with a spoon and nibble on the boiled yucca that was always served alongside.

My father’s company also had a very rustic, open plan brick house on a beautiful beach called Punta Sal, which we were able to use on weekends and holidays. It was even farther north, in fact, about halfway to the Ecuadorian border. There we’d make our own ceviche, with fresh grouper hooked from the water by a local fisherman called Polo. Burnished and wizen by too many years in the fierce sun, Polo lived in a makeshift shanty right on Punta Sal and made his living fishing off of a raft of old logs bound together by frayed rope and luck. He'd come door-to-door with his daily catch and often let the more adventurous boys (my husband among them) "help" him fish.

When I eat this ceviche and I close my eyes, I can hear the waves crashing, smell the sea breeze and feel the dried crusty salt left behind by the water, tight on my sunburned skin. Hope you do too. (Sometimes I even smell jet fuel, but that one's probably just me.)

6 -7 limes or more if yours aren’t very juicy. You need about 1 cup or 240ml juice.
13 oz or 370g fresh firm white flesh fish – I used Hammour or local grouper
1 large purple onion (about 3 1/2 oz or 100g, before peeling)
1 teaspoon flakey sea salt or to taste, plus more for boiling the shrimp
1 large bunch cilantro or coriander leaves (About 1 3/4 oz or 50g)
1-2 hot red chili peppers (I used two!)
12 1/3 oz or 350g fresh shrimp, already cleaned and deveined

To serve: The traditional accompaniment to a bowl of ceviche is yucca, boiled till tender in lightly salted water. Try to get your hands on some – it’s called different things in a variety of countries: Manioc, cassava, mogo, manioc and aipim, just to name a few. Peel it and wash it well before boiling. Once boiled, split it down the middle and pull out the fibrous threads before serving. Its flavor is somewhere between a potato and a parsnip and the mild taste and starchiness counterbalances the acidic, spicy ceviche.

Juice your limes and put them in a non-reactive bowl. Glass does nicely.

Remove all the bones and cut your fish up into bite-sized pieces. I use jewelry pliers to get the pin bones out.

Immerse the fish in the lime juice and stir well.

Wash the cilantro thoroughly with cold water. Sometimes it takes more than one rinse to get rid of all the dirt but it’s worth taking the time to make sure it’s completely grit free. Spin the cilantro dry in a salad spinner or tied up in a dish towel. You can discard the stems but as long as they aren’t really thick and hard, I like to mince them very finely and use them. Chop the leaves roughly and set aside.

Slice your onions as thinly as you can manage and mince your red chilies.

Add the onions and the chilies to the fish along with the sea salt. Give everything a good stir and use your spoon, preferably a wooden one, to poke the pieces of fish back into a single layer under the lime juice.

Pile your chopped cilantro on top of everything but don’t stir yet. Just let it all hang out.

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add a little salt, just as you would do for boiling pasta.

Add the shrimp to the pot and turn the heat off. Put a lid on the pot and set a timer for about three minutes. This parboils the shrimp but they will finish "cooking" in the lime juice.

When the time rings, remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon. Let them cool slightly and then add them to the bowl with the fish.

Now you can give it a good stir. Poke the bits of fish back under the lime juice.

Cover the whole bowl with cling film and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for several hours or until the fish is completely opaque and “cooked” by the lime juice. I left mine overnight because it was going sailing with us the next day. If you are traveling with ceviche, make sure to keep it on ice until you are ready to serve it.

Serve with boiled yucca for a traditional treat. (See note with the ingredients list above.)


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Squid with Garlic Chili Olive Oil

Despite the title, this wonderful tapas dish also has smoked bacon pan-fried to crispy nuggets of deliciousness, along with the chilies, garlic and squid. And please don’t forget the squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end. It elevates this dish to brilliant like a flood of hot sunshine on a sparkling white Majorcan beach.

Sunday Supper is getting the party started this week with tapas recipes. Delicious bites or snacks that are made especially for eating with drinks. And since, as I mentioned in my #CocktailDay post, this is my birthday week, I'm going to pretend that they are all for my own virtual party. Yay! Such fun!

When we were living in Paris, we took advantage of charter flights to head south and get away from the cold, damp winters that extended way too long into months we felt should have been quite rightfully spring. I’ve already written about Portugal here but one of our other favorite holidays was to the island of Majorca. To date this is our only venture into Spanish territory but I remember it so fondly, with its fresh seafood, white sandy beaches and clear, aquamarine waters that I knew immediately what I wanted to cook when the tapas theme was announced for Sunday Supper.

Majorcan traditional cooking uses mostly seafood and pork, so a dish of bacon and squid, with some garlic and chilies was perfect! I don’t mean to imply that this dish is authentic in any way or that I remember eating it there. I do want to say that it brought me back, in a way that only the clean smell of the sea in seafood and a good imagination can. I can almost feel the sand between my toes.

That little blondie is our elder daughter - Majorca, 1994

4 oz or 115g smoked slab bacon
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 or 2 small red hot chilies
Olive oil
1 lb or 450g whole fresh squid (I prefer baby squid, if I can get them.) Or about 9 oz or 260g already cleaned and sliced squid rings.
Sea salt flakes
Small handful fresh parsley leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked off
1/4 large lemon

Slice your garlic thinly and split the red chilies in half lengthwise. Chop your parsley and fresh thyme. Set aside.

Chop your bacon into the small, slim chunks the French like to call lardons.

Pan-fry them with a good drizzle of olive oil over a low heat while you clean and slice the squid.

For those of you using squid rings, you can skip this next part. Move ahead to where we are making sure the bacon is golden and crispy.

To clean the squid, first grab hold of the part that has the tentacles and pull it out of the tube-y bit. (I tried to find the technical terms for you but I didn’t think they’d be helpful after all. Who would have known what the mantle is? Yeah, me either.)

You can discard the leggy body bits from the squid but I happen to like the look of the little tentacles once they are cooked. If you agree, cut that part off just below the eyes and discard the part with the eyes. The ink sac is in that part. If you happen to pierce it, just wash everything off with water and put to dry on a paper towel. The squid ink is harmless. In fact, a lot of cooks use it to color pasta or add it to sauces.

Run your finger around inside of the tube-y bit until you find the hard thing that feels and looks like plastic. Pull it out. It should be almost as long as your squid tube so if it breaks off short, fish around and get the rest of it out and discard.

See, that thing. Take it out and throw it away.

Go check on the bacon. It should be starting to render the fat and fry gently. Give it a stir.

If you do decide to keep the leggy bit, turn it over and pinch out the hard bit with the black spot in the center and discard it.

Go check on the bacon. Give it another stir and make sure it isn’t burning.

Now peel off all the colored stuff from the outside of the squid tubes. You can use your hands but the easiest way is to rub it off with dry paper towels and then discard them. Rinse your squid in clean water and put it on paper towels to dry.

Your squid is clean! Slice it into wide rings.

Direct your attention to the bacon and turn the heat up a little if it’s not golden and crispy yet.

When it is golden and crispy, add in the garlic and chilies.

Sauté briefly until the garlic starts to brown around the edges and then put all the squid in at once. Give it a good stir. The squid should turn white and start to curl up.

Now is the time to sprinkle with sea salt and then the parsley and thyme. Give the whole thing a good stir.

Add in another generous drizzle of olive oil. Flavored olive oil is the best for dipping bread in so don’t be shy!

Squeeze in the juice of your lemon, give the dish one more good stir, and serve with slices of a fresh crusty loaf of French baguette.

Food Lust People Love: A wonderfully fragrant tapas dish with smoked bacon pan-fried to crispy nuggets of deliciousness, along with the chilies, garlic and squid. You'll love this Squid with Garlic Chili Olive Oil.

Join our Sunday Supper host, Conni from Cosmopolitan Cornbread and travel with us to Spain or some other sunny clime for a festival of tapas.

When you are eating tapas, you need a glass of wine: Best Wines To Pair With Tapas from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.

Pin Squid with Bacon and Garlic Chili Olive Oil!

Food Lust People Love: A wonderfully fragrant tapas dish with smoked bacon pan-fried to crispy nuggets of deliciousness, along with the chilies, garlic and squid. You'll love this Squid with Garlic Chili Olive Oil.

And for those of you who scrolled all the way to the bottom, I reward you with two more Majorca holiday photos. :) Thanks for stopping by!