Cooking with chili peppers is highly rewarding. There are so many different ways to incorporate the heat and flavor into your meals. I personally eat them every day. You don’t actually need to chomp on a whole pepper to get your daily dose of chili pepper love. Case in point: The chili pepper paste.
Chili pepper pastes are basically a combination of chili peppers, oil, and other seasonings all processed to form a paste-like mixture. The beauty of a chili paste is that it becomes the base for any number of recipes. In particular, it can be used as a rub or a marinade for various proteins, or it can be used as a base for soups, stews and sauces.
As a rub, simply smear it into your protein, such as chicken or beef, then refrigerate to allow the rub to permeate the meat. You can also use it on fish, but be careful of the flakiness of the fish. As a marinade, you can add a bit of liquid, such as a stock or water, to help the paste permeate the meat. I personally use pastes as rubs, but I also incorporate them into sauces for extra flavor and heat. A very simple sauce is to begin with your paste, add tomato sauce and a few sprinkles of herbs, and heat. Within 20 minutes, you’ll have a highly flavorful sauce that your guests will believe took you hours to create.
I recently used a paste to marinate a pork loin and cooked with a tomato sauce. The results? Outstanding. Here are the links to the recipes:
- Peach Ghost Pepper Chili Paste Recipe
- Pork Loin with Peach Bhut Jolokia Chili Peppers and Tomato Sauce
Have fun making your chili pepper pastes. Also, I hope you’ll check out our chili pepper cookbooks!