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
If you like your jambalaya to be super meaty, with plenty of chunky chicken, seasoned and seared shrimp, spicy andouille sausage, PLUS with the flavor and heat of wonderful jalapeno and serrano peppers, then this recipe is going to make you happy. I have been ITCHING to make a jambalaya for a while now, but was sort of waiting for colder weather. There wasn't any need for that, as you can get a great jambalaya anytime of year in warm New Orleans, but it is such a stick-to-your-bones type of recipe, it feels more like fall or winter to me. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1437169767601-0'); }); The beauty of Cajun shrimp, chicken and andouille jambalaya is not only in the heat and awe-inspiring flavor, but also because it's a pretty easy to make one-pot meal. I made a version recently for a gathering and let it sit covered on the stove while…
Published in Soups, Salads & Stews
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…
The pork shoulder in my refrigerator was calling my name! And so were all of the brand new spices I just picked up recently, so nice and fresh - ancho powder (I do love thee!), smoked paprika, cayenne, Mexican oregano. Not to mention the loads of chili peppers begging to be cooked into something delicious. What else to do but make a homemade chili? I am not a chili purist who demands that chili either have beans or no beans. No beans about it! I like it both ways. In fact, I like chili pretty much any way, from red to green to anything in between. This particular recipe skips the beans and goes the green route, though since I used so many seasonings here, it turned out more red than green. It truly is a riff off of a green chili recipe, or chili verde, starting with roasted tomatillos…
Published in Chili
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
OK, so now Patty and I have a new favorite recipe in the house. Oh yes! Pork Burgers with Grilled Pineapple. As Patty and I were wandering through the grocery store - OK, I am the one who wanders, Patty not so much, much to her chagrin - a package of ground pork accidentally spilled into our shopping cart. What is a guy to do? I originally thought of meatballs, as pork makes for some outstanding meatballs, but since it is grilling season, I really wanted to get the grill fired up. What better than burgers? Pork burgers! I'd never actually made pork burgers before. I figured they would be good, but neither of us realized they would wind up going into our favorite recipes list. See Mike's Favorites and Patty's Favorites. Lucky for me we had some pineapple on hand, as well as some homemade mustard. You can, of…
Published in Burgers
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
I'm starting up a whole new category on the Chili Pepper Madness web site. It's called Quick and Easy Recipes. As you already know, Patty and I work from home. We run a web site development business and I am a writer (just sold another screenplay, yo!), so on our crazy busy days, we need meals quickly. I KNOW we can run down the street for a sammich or down to our favorite Taqueria for a burrito, but hey, I'm obsessed with cooking! I'm a TOTAL chilehead with a hankering for spicy food! Besides, there is nothing like a home cooked meal, as I'm sure you would agree. Just because food is done quickly doesn't mean it can't be good. By "quick and easy", by the way, I'm talking 30 minutes or less. Not like, "Let's whip out some lunch meat and slap it on some bleached white bread" type…
Published in Soups, Salads & Stews
August 21, 2015

Mexican Street Snacks

This is my sort of appetizer or dessert. I can't really decide which category to place these, so I'm placing them in both. They are fresh and healthy and all natural and are at home on an appetizer platter or on the dessert table. You might not think of chili peppers for dessert, but they are actually an excellent addition, especially when you want something crunchy and light. These were inspired by a classic Mexican combination - Cucumbers with Chili and Lime. Talk about a tasty appetizer/snack. We've been to Mexico several times and have enjoyed different variations of these types of snacks, served in cups or on tiny skewers, always dusted with chili powder, though the ingredients vary slightly. You can easily include other fruits, like pineapple, mango, avocado. Go with your flavor preferences. It is quite a bit like a salad skewer, a tasty single bite with just…
Published in Desserts
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About Mike and Patty Hultquist

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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