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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> chile peppers

Tour the Ultimate Chilehead Garden

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: science , gardening , chile peppers

 

Whether pepper gardening is your passion, or you’re just getting started with that first pot of plants, from now through October you can visit the gardens at New Mexico State University’s Fabian Garcia Science Center in Las Cruces. There you’ll see peppers being grown the way the pros do it, and possibly pick up some growing tips to take home! Read more about it on the Burn! Blog here.


Mark and the Beanstalk

Posted by: Lois Manno

 

Before we go on, let’s get a few things straight. I didn’t trade three hundred pounds of steak to a slick city peddler for a few magic beans (it was jalapeño seeds). Nor did I gain a goose that passes precious metals. If I did, I’d be writing this from my personal moon casino.

Read more about Mark's chile-growing adventures on the Burn! Blog here.


Pungent Pizza on the Grill

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: recipe , grilling , fiery foods , chile peppers

 

Pungent Pizza on the GrillDon't want to heat up the kitchen? Tired of bland commercial pizza? Heard enough about Godfather's Pizza to last a lifetime?  Try this spiced up Southwestern pizza cooked on your grill! 

Pungent Pizza on the Grill

In this recipe we attempt to recreate the wonderful thin-crust pizza from wood-fired ovens in your very own backyard. Our homemade crust has something that Pizza Doodle Express does not: chile. But if you’re lazy and don’t want to make your own dough, you can use a 12-inch, pre-baked pizza shell. You can also easily make the dough in your bread machine. It is very important to have a clean grill for this recipes, as any residue on the grill will give the crust an off flavor. Why not make both toppings and divide the pizza?

You can read another article about grilled pizza by Mark Masker on the Burn! Blog. In it he celebrates National Pizza Day—February 9.

The Chile Dough
1 cup warm water (100 degrees F.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons crushed red chile
Freshly ground black pepper

Yield: 1 12-inch pizza

Powerful Puttanesca Topping
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, such as cherry or roma
2 tablespoons chopped capers
2 tablespoons chopped nicoise olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons crushed red chile
Garlic salt
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano cheese
Olive oil

Southwest Green Chile Topping
8 New Mexican green chiles, roasted, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated provolone cheese

To make the pizza by hand, combine the water and sugar in a bowl and stir in the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, chile and pepper. Make a well in the flour and pour in the yeast water and olive oil. Stir until almost mixed, turn onto a floured board and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft free location and let rise until doubled, about an hour and a half.
Punch down the dough and divide into 2 balls. If preparing ahead of time, place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring the dough back to room temperature and then proceed with the recipe.

Roll out each portion into a round or oval pizza or do it free-form. If it will fit on your grill, you can also combine the balls into one and make one large pizza.
Heat a gas grill to hot. If using charcoal bank the coals to one side, creating a hot side and a warm side.

Brush each of the pizzas with olive oil and gently drape, oil side down on a hot grill. Shortly, within a minute or two, the dough will start to rise and bubbles will appear. Gently lift an end to see that the underside is browned and has grill marks. Immediately invert the crust onto a pan, and turn the gas grill to low
Brush the dough with additional oil.

To make the puttanesca, place the tomatoes on the cooked side of the pizza, sprinkle the capers, olives, pepper and cheese over the top. Shake a little garlic over the pizza and sprinkle some olive oil over the top.

To make the Southwestern topping, lay the green chile strips over the cooked side. Top with the cheese and sprinkling of the olive oil. Slide the pizza(s) back onto the grill. Cover and cook, rotating once or twice until the toppings are heated through and the crust is browned, about 5 minutes on the cooler part of the grill.

Yield: 1 12-inch pizza or 2 small individual pizzas
Heat Scale: Mild to medium


Popular Plates Fiery Foods Cover

 

Mail-Order Copies Now Available!

My popular bookazine on chile peppers and fiery foods will be on the newsstands of all the big box stores for another month, but for convenience it is now available for ordering single copies internationally, or a 9-issue subscription to Popular Plates, the real name of the magazine.  There are many foods covered in the single-subject ongoing series, like grilling, barbecue, pizza, and my forthcoming title in October, Popular Plates Soups & Stews.

To order your copy both domestically and internationally, go to the Popular Plates website, here.


Ghost Pepper Challenges

Posted by: Lois Manno

 

Before you enter a Ghost Pepper food challenge, bear in mind: the heat doesn’t stop with your mouth or your last bite. Almost two weeks ago, a guy in Hermosa Beach, California found that out the hard way when he took the Habanero Sam’s Burrito Challenge at Amigos Tacos.

The victim, er, challenger, was a guy named John. He came in, signed the restaurant’s legal waiver for the challenge, and got to munching on the burrito. It wasn’t large in size, but it packed a punch of pure, concentrated evil. Not normal, James-Bond-villain-type evil, but more of a Hannibal Lector type. The sort that you know deep down is bad, but its surface charm draws you in and doesn’t let up for two sequels.

Find out what happened to poor John on the Burn! Blog here. We want to hear your Ghost stories too!


A red jalapeño podQ: I heard about some guy who has developed a jalapeño pepper with no heat. Why would anybody do that?

A: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Some manufacturers of hot products prefer to use heatless chile varieties and add heat later during processing through the addition of concentrated capsaicin oleoresin. This provides a measurable, more consistent heat level throughout the product run.

Read more on the Burn! Blog here.

 

 


Scorpion Fields Doing Great

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Marlin Bensinger in Scorpion FieldMarlin Bensinger reports on his field of 'New Mexico Scorpion' chiles in a field near Las Cruces: "The peppers are starting to get their growth spurt.  Most peppers are 9 to 10 inches tall. No blossoms yet but probably will see some in a week or so. No signs of disease or pests so far. The biggest problem is always weeds. This field had alfalfa on it before this. So, the weed population was quite substantial. The tractor/cultivator gets most of the weeds between the rows but there is still need for hoeing and hand pulling of weeds between the plants.  Weeding will become less of a problem as the peppers get taller and bushier. We expect the majority of the peppers will grow to be about 30 to 36 inches tall (hopefully by the end of July).  This field is looking very promising for a couple of non-farmers participating in the details of growing."  My plants in Albuquerque are just a couple of inches behind Marlin's and I have some blooming '7-Pot' chiles!

									
			
		

 

Naga Viper, Courtesy of Gerald FowlerWhenever someone tries to lay claim to the biggest, best, or most intense record for pretty much anything, they run the risk of being challenged.

When the subject is the world's hottest pepper, the stakes are high, both monetarily and in terms of publicity. If you've ever dealt with chileheads, they can be every bit as fanatical and obsessed about their chosen passion as the worst lovesick stalker.

That being said, it's not surprising that a storm of controversy currently surrounds several chile growers who are vying for the "world's hottest chile pepper" title. Read this article on Popsci for more about the conflagration, what happens when you ask a beer company to rule about peppers, and an answer to the question, "can eating them kill you?"


Popular Plates Fiery Foods CoverOn June 28th, my latest publication, entitled “Popular Plates: Fiery Foods” will hit all the major newsstands in the U.S., including Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, Borders, Costco–all the big box stores.  The publisher, Source Interlink Media is printing 200,000 copies, which is by far the largest print run of any of my publications.  Essentially, this is a book in magazine format that traces the history of spicy foods from the first chile peppers in the Americas to how we cook with them today.  This bookazine makes a great gift for the chilehead in the family, or a friend who wants to get started eating the hot stuff.  There are 80 recipes from all over the world from basic to advanced, plus many photos and illustrations.  I certainly hope everyone enjoys it!


Home Gardening Infographic

Courtesy of MNN


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