Chili Pepper Madness

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You know what I love about a good green enchilada sauce? It's the combination of roasted tomatillos and roasted chili peppers. Tomatillos are staple Mexican ingredients and they're easy to cook with. While they look just like little green tomatoes, with a papery our layer that you must peel away, they have a different taste and are quite different from the tomatoes you're used to. You can eat tomatillos raw, but they are so good when roasted and blended up, especially with other staple Mexican ingredients, like the chili pepper and all those outstanding seasonings. Patty and I get a little excited about making homemade sauces from scratch because they taste so much more personal. You can customize a recipe to your personal preference that particular day. In the mood for more garlic? Toss in a couple more cloves. I usually do! Want some extra heat? How about a couple…
Published in Sauces
Giardiniera is something we encounter on a regular basis. Patty and I are from the Chicago area, and Chicago is well-known for its selection of beef sandwiches. If you're from Chicago or anywhere near there, you can't order a beef sandwich without giardiniera. It's a travesty. If you want funny looks shot your way, go ahead and order one and tell them to hold the giardiniera. Okay, I'm half-joking, but only half. Seriously, giardiniera is a tasty condiment you can enjoy on any number of sandwiches, and not only at the ubiquitous beef joints. I personally love it piled onto a hot dog over over a crispy toasted sub sandwich. We have a chain sandwich shop nearby and we enjoy their flatbread sandwiches. They have a good giardiniera that I almost always order. Another small place nearby, though, makes their own homemade version that is outstanding. There is something about…
Published in Hot Sauces
September 23, 2013

Serrano Peppers

5,000 - 23,000 Scovilles. The serrano chili pepper is a smaller version of the jalapeno pepper, similar in color, but smaller, about 1 to 4 inches long on average and 1/2 inch wide. They generally grow between 1 - 4 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide though they have been known to grow longer. They are meaty peppers and are not the best choice for drying. The serrano pepper originated in the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. They are commonly red, brown, orange, or yellow, though you are likely to find them in their more common green color, much like a jalapeno pepper. Serrano peppers are perfect for salsas, sauces, relishes, garnishes, and more. They are usually best when roasted. I personally love serrano peppers for their delicious spicy kick. Where a jalapeno has a nice bite to it, the serrano steps it up a nice level, and…
June 26, 2015

Massaman Chicken

Not long ago I prepared a Thai dish called Massaman Shrimp and since then have made it a few times. OK, maybe a few dozen times. It is one of those dishes that cooks up quickly but majorly delivers in the flavor department. But as with all recipes, it is up for interpretation. And alteration. This version isn't a huge departure from the original. We have seasoned and seared chicken instead of shrimp, dropped the potatoes, played with the ratios a bit, but you still get that excellent flavor. I've also made this with homemade harissa instead of the Thai chili paste, though you can certainly use Thai chili paste, which is more traditional. This is why it is convenient to have not only a lot of seasonings in your pantry, but some form of a chili paste in your fridge. I can make a big batch of harissa or Thai…
Published in Chicken
This recipe is a bit of a mashup, but that's OK. It's fun to go with what you have on hand. Patty was out with the girls so I had to cook only for myself. I seized the opportunity to make something extra spicy. I mean EXTRA spicy. No moruga scorpions or Carolina Reapers this time, though. For this dish, I've incorporated Serrano chili peppers and the spicy Moshi chili pepper. Serranos have a very nice heat level, but the Moshi brings a healthy kick. Especially when you use 6 peppers in a single dish like I did. They are a rare but productive pepper from Tanzania. If you can't get a hold of them, try extra Serranos or even Thai chili peppers. Drop me a line and I can recommend a grower for you. I also added in Sriracha for even MORE heat, but I love the flavor of…
Published in Shrimp
October 08, 2013

Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

I enjoy this quick and easy recipe because we're often in a rush and need something quick to serve over a nicely grilled salmon or other white fish. We're big on fish here, and fish screams for a nice and spicy sauce of some kind. With this particular vinaigrette, you can pop out to the garden and snatch up a few fresh peppers and boom! 20 minutes later you have your simple but flavorful topping. I chose a variety of chili peppers for this one - the jalapeno pepper, serrano pepper, and habanero pepper. Vary it up to your particular tastes, but I like the heat and flavor of this combination. Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar Juice from 1/2 a lime 1-2 jalapeno peppers, sliced into rings 1 serrano pepper, sliced into rings 1-2 habanero peppers, sliced into rings Dash of ground sea salt Cooking…
Published in Sauces
It's time to banish the chill from this wintry air and warm the bones. The temperatures have been dropping in our area, down into single digits in the evening, and it's hard to shake that chill from your innards once it settles in. Cranking up the heat helps, but there is nothing like that blooming warmth that starts from within, from a hot homemade meal. Let us present --- da Da DAA! -- Chicken and Black Bean Soup. We're both big black bean fans. They're so good for you and the flavor is unlike other beans. It is richer and earthier, and so nicely paired with chicken. I always enjoy cooking Mexican style. If you let this recipe simmer in the pot with all those seasonings and peppers and chicken stock, the flavors build and mingle and they're just so satisfying. I wish we had a fireplace some nights when…
Published in Soups, Salads & Stews
October 23, 2014

Massaman Shrimp

I had to make this again. It's quick and easy to prepare and makes for a great lunch. I got the original recipe from Bon Appetit magazine, which I love. Theirs called for chicken, and while I adapted it to my own particular spicy food preferences, this is very close. And it is delicious. It's hard to go wrong with shrimp and I'm having fun learning more about Thai food. There is much to learn and I'm happy for that. Any Thai Food Chefs out there? I’d love to get your advice on different Thai foods to try. Massaman Shrimp 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…
Published in Shrimp
This is one of our very favorite salsas. We experimented with several roasted pepper combinations, and found the fusion of fresh corn (taken right from the cob), spicy serranos, suave jalapeno pepeprs, and roasted tomatillos to be absolutely perfect. Served warm, this salsa has a rich flavor that will embrace you. Ingredients 2 cups fresh corn 3 Serrano peppers,chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped 5 tomatillos, roasted 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped Juice from half a lemon 1 teaspoon olive oil Cooking Directions Heat a saute pan to medium heat. Add olive oil, corn and peppers. Pan roast about 8 minutes or until corn is golden. Let cool. Add to a mixing bowl cilantro, tomato and tomatillos. Mix to combine. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Refrigerate about 1 hour. Serve. NOTE: This can be reheated and served warm
Published in Salsas
Meatballs! I love a good meatball. We don't often cook with ground beef, as much as we love it, because of the calories. Because of that, I'm always looking for ways to incorporate ground chicken or ground turkey into our meals. You'll notice we eat a lot of turkey burgers because of this. These chicken meatballs are ideal if you want a way to meatball it up but not overdo itt with the calories. With the Italian seasonings and awesome pesto, they pack in a great deal of flavor, and the roasted Serrano peppers bring in a nice level of heat. Patty went easy on the Serranos but I doubled up on them. Serranos are a bit hot for her tastes, but she likes a little. That just means more for me! Learn more about the Serrano chili pepper here. A pound of ground turkey will make 6 good sized…
Published in Sandwiches
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About Us

Hi, Everyone! It is nice to meet you. Welcome to Chili Pepper Madness, the food blog run by Mike and Patty Hultquist, a couple of spicy food lovers. Chili Pepper Madness is a special tribute to all things chili peppers, including chili pepper recipes... LEARN MORE ABOUT US

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