Spice Rubbed Smoked Ham

Spice Rubbed Smoked Ham

Spice Rubbed Smoked Ham

With the weather turning, I finally got a good opportunity to fire up the smoker and cook up some proper smoked ham. Sure, you can smoke meats and grill in the winter, but there are so many cold weather recipes for those days and months. There is something about warmer weather, sunny days and standing outside with the smoker, even though you can just let it go.

I now have plenty of leftovers in the freezer after this last weekend. I smoked a 10 pound ham and 4 pounds of pork shoulder, all of it rubbed down with a mixture of spicy mustard and a combination of chili powders. For the pork shoulder, I cubed the meat into large cubes and rubbed them down. For the ham, I purchased a pre-cooked spiral beast and got the rub into all the nooks and crannies. I filled up the bottom tray with a taste wheat beer, apple cider vinegar, and some slices of onion and apple.

Smoking meat is actually fairly simple. Keep your moisture, get the wood down below (I used apple wood), and keep your temperature at a constant 225 degrees, and you’re good. There are nuances to certain recipes and you’ll see arguing on various forums about temperature ranges, but 225 degrees has always worked for me.

For these meats, I smoked them for 4 hours total and that was enough. In the end, I wound up with many pounds of packaged meats that have been frozen. Since then I have made several Cuban sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, as well as a large batch of split pea soup in the pressure cooker using the leftover ham bone. So good!

I hope you’ll all be ready to break out the smoker this Spring and Summer. Good luck.

Spice Rubbed Smoked Ham Recipe

Ingredients

  • 10-pound spiral ham
  • 1 cup spicy mustard
  • 3 tablespoons spicy chili powder (I used ghost pepper, habanero and 7 pot chili powder)
  • 2 cups apple wood
  • 1 bottle wheat beer
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • More water as needed

Cooking Directions

  1. Mix the mustard and chili powders together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Rub down the ham with the mustard-pepper mixture. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.
  3. The rest depends on your smoker – use the wheat beer and vinegar as your moisture. If your tray runs low, add some water as needed.
  4. Use the apple wood for burning and smoking. Mine smoked for about 2 of the 4 total hours and gave a nice smokey flavor.
  5. Heat the smoker to 225 degrees and smoke the ham for 4 total hours. I set mine onto aluminum foil for ease of cleaning. Also, if desired, you can spray your ham down a bit with apple cider vinegar as it cooks, but I didn’t need to. My particular smoker steams the meat a bit from below.
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Jalapeno Peppers and Barbecue Sauce

Sweet Balsamic-Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce

Sweet Balsamic-Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce

Jalapeno peppers and barbecue sauce, you say? Absolutely. Chili peppers of all types are perfect ingredients for a good variety of barbecue sauces. The ubiquitous jalapeno pepper is idea, as it brings a level of heat that most people can enjoy, as well as plenty of substance and flavor. While one may be partial to habanero or even superhots for homemade barbecue sauces, the jalapeno delivers in its own way like no other. Here is the recipe I cooked up recently for some grilled chicken.

Sweet Balsamic-Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 20 strawberries, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Directions

  • In a large saucepan, add balsamic vinegar and apricot jam. Simmer over medium-low heat and cook until reduced to about ¼ cup.
  • Stir in tomato paste, onion, garlic, jalapeno peppers, mustard, strawberries, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Transfer mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. At this point you can strain it if you’d like, or leave it more chunky.
  • Transfer back to the saucepan and season with salt to your personal taste. Heat through as needed and serve!

Originally posted at Jalapeno Madness here: http://www.jalapenomadness.com/recipe-sweet-balsamic-jalapeno-barbecue-sauce.html

Looking for more Jalapeno Pepper Recipes? Look no futher.

If you enjoy our recipes, I hope you’ll try my chili pepper cookbooks as well. I love chili peppers!

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Red Hot Motor Oil

Red Hot Motor Oil

Red Hot Motor Oil

I was recently contacted by Cindy Arlantico, a spicy food lover who makes a homemade chili oil. Her dream is to go commercial with her chili oil, dubbed “Red Hot Motor Oil” (I name I love, by the way) and has begun a Kickstarter campaign to fund the effort.

Cindy’s story is this — “For over a decade this amber colored delight has been a staple in our culinary lifestyle. It’s a recipe our family had almost forgotten about for a long time. A little over ten years ago though my husband and I decided to bring it back into our lives. Some years after we ran into situations where friends or extended family would try it and their eyes would just burst wide open. Not so much because of the spiciness, but because they found it to be a delicious and unique experience. Overtime we got more and more comments about its unique and addictive taste. This led us to the idea of getting it out there on a larger scale.”

I asked Cindy to send me a sample and I enjoyed it very much. After opening the jar, it takes a moment for the mild odor to waft to your nose, but it is very pleasant. A taste by itself offers a mild but deep chili flavor, certainly not spicy with heat but rich with flavor. I have tried other chili oils and “Red Hot Motor Oil” is tops, especially when compared to the mass produced oils on the market. As with many specialty foods, it is difficult to outperform a smaller operation that uses top quality ingredients and pays strong attention to the cooking process.

According to Cindy, “Our chili oil’s unique taste comes from a dried blend of fresh chiles and other very secret, but very natural spices. We have to say though, that the chiles we use are the front runner to the flavor party. Their spicy, somewhat nutty taste really adds a burst of flavor that compliments a wide variety of dishes. Mix that in with our spices and oil, and you’ve got yourself one of the most addictive and delicious flavors out there! It’s genuinely so tasty that our family can’t help but lick it off the spoon after we drizzle it over our meals.”

I used some this morning on a simple Ham and Swiss omelet, just a few drizzles over the top with a bit of the sludge on the side (you’ll enjoy the sludge, it is pungent) and enjoyed it very much. It works great when treated as a simple condiment to enhance the flavors on your plate.

In short, I would buy this product. After experience boring oils, this one brings a flavor I would enjoy using in many dishes.

If you’d like to learn more, here is the link to their KickStarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/redhotmotoroil/red-hot-motor-oil?ref=live

If you enjoy our recipes, I hope you’ll try my chili pepper cookbooks as well. I love chili peppers!

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Chili Pepper Plant Sale at RefiningFireChiles.com

Chili Pepper Sale at RefiningFireChiles.com

Chili Pepper Sale at RefiningFireChiles.com

Announcing – a huge chili pepper sale to help you get your gardens started from Refining Fire Chiles. I have purchased many peppers in the past from Jim Duffy at Refining Fire Chiles, and am happy to support this pepper grower.

Here are details of the sale — $24.99 (and that includes shipping), you will receive the following pepper plants:

  • 1 Bubblegum 7 Pot
  • 1 Brazilian Ghost
  • 1 Aleppo
  • 1 Murupi Amarela
  • 1 Bahamian Goat and
  • 1 Yellow 7 Pot!
  • Plus bonus plants Aji Amarillo and Aji Panca!
  • Cost is $24.99 and that includes shipping!!!

This offer goes through Wednesday, March 26.

Contact Me for Ordering Details.

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Roasted Chicken with a Chipotle Paste Rub

Roasted Chicken with a Chipotle Paste Rub

Roasted Chicken with a Chipotle Paste Rub

Chili pastes impart great flavors to any number of dishes, and they’re simple to prepare. I found a deal on whole chickens at the local grocery store and picked up two of them. I knew I wanted to roast one that night, and the first thing I thought of was a chipotle paste. The recipe is below, but the principle is to basically process all of your ingredients into paste form that can be used as a rub. Get it all under and over the skin, and include some simple vegetables for your stuffing, and off you go. The result is a flavor, tender and juicy chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro + some for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • FOR THE STUFFING
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced in half

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Clean and pat dry the chicken. Set it into a lightly oiled baking dish.
  3. For the rub, add chipotles, chipotle powder, garlic, cilantro, oil and salt to taste to a food processor. I used a molcajete, but a food processor is fine. Process to a smooth paste.
  4. Stuff the chicken with the carrot, onion and lime slices.
  5. Rub the chicken down with the chipotle paste and bake for 1 to 1.25 hours, or until the skin is nice and crispy.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Garnish with extra cilantro and serve!

Originally posted at Chili Pepper Madness – HERE

If you enjoy our recipes, I hope you’ll try my chili pepper cookbooks as well. I love chili peppers!

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Tomato-Chili Sauce – a Recipe

All-Purpose Tomato-Chili Sauce Recipe

All-Purpose Tomato-Chili Sauce

I make chili sauces all the time. The great thing about a chili sauce is that you can use it on pretty much anything. Spice up your breakfast, dash it on your lunch, add some pop to your dinner. Maybe watch out for dessert, but why not? You can make them without tomato sauce, but I like the combination in this particular case. I also like to make larger batches and keep some in the refrigerator for use during the week. Saves me a lot of time, allowing me to blacken some chicken or fish, then toss on a bit of my chili sauce.

You can also vary up the heat level by choosing different chili powders. I personally used some ground chocolate habanero peppers, which are quite hot, but try a milder mix for milder heat levels.

Ingredients

  • 5 dried guajillo chili peppers
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Extra water as desired

Cooking Directions

  1. Add guajillo peppers to a pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until guajillos become pliable and have softened.
  2. Remove from heat. Retain a few tablespoons of the colored water, as it now contains some of the pepper nutrients.
  3. Remove guajillos, cool, then seed and chop. Set aside.
  4. Heat a pan to medium heat. Add oil and onion. Cook about 5 minutes, or until onion softens. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  5. Remove from heat and add to a large pot.
  6. To the pot, add chopped guajillo peppers, tomato sauce, cilantro, chili powder, coriander and reserved guajillo water. Stir.
  7. Simmer the sauce mixture about 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer in batches to a food processor and process until smooth.
  9. At this point, you can add more water if you’d prefer a thinner sauce, as desired.
  10. Salt to taste.

Originally posted here: http://chilipeppermadness.com/recipe-chili-pepper-sauce.html

If you like our recipes, I hope you’ll like our chili pepper cookbooks as well! Check them out.

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Massaman Shrimp – a Thai Recipe


Massaman Shrimp Recipe

Massaman Shrimp Recipe

I recently received the latest edition of one of my favorite magazines, Bon Appetit. They featured a section for “Thai Night”, and I am admittedly not very experienced with Thai cooking. How ridiculous! After experimenting with their Massaman Chicken recipe, I am hooked on this particular recipe. I adapted it to my own liking, using shrimp instead of chicken, noodles instead of rice, and I incorporated a couple of Serrano and Thai chili peppers into the mix for heat and flavor. I will certainly be making this dish in the near future.

Any Thai Food Chefs out there? I’d love to get your advice on different Thai foods to try.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 2 small golden potatoes, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 Serrano chili peppers, chopped
  • 1-2 Thai chili peppers, chopped
  • 10 large pieces of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons spicy chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Massaman chili paste
  • 6 ounces Belgian style wheat beer
  • 1 13-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups broad egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Chopped cilantro for topping

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat a large pan or wok to medium heat and add chili oil.
  2. Add potatoes and cook about 5 minutes to soften.
  3. Add onions and peppers and cook another 5 minutes, or until onion is cooked through. Set potatoes, peppers and onions aside.
  4. Add shrimp and sprinkle with salt and peppers. Cook about 4 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through. Set shrimp aside with potato/pepper/onion mixture.
  5. To the hot pan, add chili paste and cook about 3 minutes.
  6. Add beer and bring to a boil. Allow to reduce by about half.
  7. Add coconut milk, chicken broth and noodles. Stir. Cook about 10 minutes, or until noodles absorb the liquids and get nice and soft to your preference.
  8. Return potatoes, peppers, onions and shrimp to the pan and stir. Heat to warm everything together.
  9. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in brown sugar, lime juice and fish sauce.
  10. Serve to bowls and top with cilantro.

Originally posted at Chili Pepper Madness – Massaman Shrimp.

If you like our chili pepper recipes, check out our chili pepper cookbooks!

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26th Annual National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show

26th Annual National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show
February 28-March 2, 2014

Looks like it is going to be another huge turnout at the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show this year. Dave DeWitt, the Pope of Peppers, has been putting on this incredible show now for 26 years and it continues to grow. It is the largest and most visited show about spicy foods and barbecue in the world. Held each March in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it features 200+ exhibitor booths filled with more than 1,000 different products. The 2013 show attracted an all-time record crowd of 20,500 trade and general public attendees from all over the world.

This year the planners will be adding special events and other surprises.

http://www.fieryfoodsshow.com

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Kaleidoscope-Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Kaleidoscope-Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Kaleidoscope-Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Hanging out near the coast recently and we picked up a couple of fresh cod fillets for dinner. Cod is a very flaky fish, though not heavy on the flavor. It is quite mild. I’ve seen it fried in many dishes, but I prefer to not fry my food, so I brought out the flavor with a fresh and tangy vinaigrette that incorporates jalapeno peppers and an interesting little pepper I have never heard of before – the Kaleidoscope Chili Pepper. This pepper was sent to me from a chili pepper grower I know , Jim Duffy.

According to Jim, the Kaleidoscope chili pepper is a Capsicum Bacattum (Aji type) from Peru. It grows to about 3-4 feet in height and has heat level similar to an average jalapeno pepper, which is about 5,000 SHU.

Jim mentioned it might have a slight fruity flavor, and I did detect the fruitiness, though it wasn’t over pronounced. It made for a nice pairing with the jalapeno pepper and other ingredients, which highlighted the lightness of the cod.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 kaleidoscope chili peppers, chopped
  • 2 small jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  • Heat a large pan to medium heat and add a splash of olive oil.
  • Add the kaleidoscope peppers and cook about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds or so.
  • Transfer peppers and garlic to a food processor and allow to cool.
  • Add lemon juice, oil, vinegar, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Process until chunky.
  • Serve!

Originally posted at Chili Pepper Madness with the recipe for the Cod as well – http://chilipeppermadness.com/recipe-cod-with-kaleidoscope-jalapeno-vinaigrette.html.

Shout out to Jim Duffy at Superhotchiles.com for sending along these peppers. Thanks, Jim! If you’re looking to try some of the Malawi Piquante peppers yourself, or are in need of any other plants, seeds or peppers, contact Jim at http://www.superhotchiles.com.

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Habanero Madness – the Cookbook Now Available

Habanero Madness - the Cookbook

Buy the Print Book VersionBuy the eBook Version

Order from Amazon.comHabanero Madness Available from Barnes and Noble

More than 100 recipes incorporating the awesome habanero pepper. Powerful Starters, Sizzling Side Dishes, The Flaming Main Course, Savory Sauces and Spreads, Homemade Habanero Hot Sauces, Scorching Salsas, Sweet and Spicy, Vinegars and Infusion, and More.

BRING ON THE HABANERO HEAT!

From the Introduction… Habanero peppers weren’t very popular where I grew up. They simply weren’t well known in the United States outside of small subgroups of people who loved to walk the line of fiery foods. The hottest thing you could find at the grocery store was the excellent Serrano pepper, or perhaps the ubiquitous jalapeno.

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore the jalapeno pepper. I’ve dedicated several cookbooks to them, but as one moves from dabbling with chili peppers to cooking with them daily, you can’t help but graduate to hotter and hotter peppers. Hence, the habanero.

Today, habaneros are everywhere. While not as popular as the jalapeno, stop anyone on the street and ask them if they’ve ever tried a habanero. Many people have. You no longer need to visit the local Mexican grocer to find your cache of habaneros. The local supermarket carries them. I’ve see them in every supermarket chain in my own town. I find them in vacation towns. They’re easy to locate when you want to cook with them.

If you’re like me, you’ve also graduated to habanero levels and possibly beyond. This book is for you. It doesn’t mean you’re capable of, or in the general mood to, chomp down an entire raw habanero pepper. Who wants that? I certainly don’t. But again, if you’re like me, you want spice. You want heat. And you want true flavor. Habanero peppers have all of this. They not only bring the spice and heat, but they offer some of the best and most unique flavors around. In this book we focus on a bit of habanero history and information, but primarily on how to cook with the habanero pepper.

We have recipes for every type of meal, from breakfast, lunch and dinner, to sauces, salsas and more. Do we have desserts covered? Yes! We know you like your sweets nice and spicy as well. I hope you enjoy the book and the recipes.

Buy the Print Book VersionBuy the eBook Version

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