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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> fiery foods

The 2011 Scovie Awards was unique, because For the first time in the competition’s 16-year history, two products tied for the Grand Prize in the Tasting Division. That’s pretty amazing, considering we’re talking about 650 products entered, with a panel of more than 100 judges. Even more remarkable is how different the two winning products are: a spicy candy and a horseradish sauce! Meet the winners on the Burn! Blog here.


Scared Straight Turkey Tamales

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: recipe , new content , humor , history , fiery foods

 

Listen up, little dogs. All of you spoiled little chihuahuas, toy poodles, and terriers have had it too good for too long. Sitting at the screen door, barking at everyone, day in, day out, it's a poor choice for a life path. You're so lucky you don't have it like your ancestors did. Four hundred years ago, Mesoamerican people kept you little yappers to complement cooked veggies instead of handbags. Read more on the Burn! Blog here.


Presto, It's Pesto!

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: recipe , gardening , fiery foods

Greek Minature BasilOne of my favorite summer things is fresh pesto—spiced up, of course.  And one of the main ingredients is basil, although cooks substitute spinach, Italian parsley, and cilantro for the basil on occasion.  There are more than 60 species and varieties of basil, and one of my favorites is 'Greek Miniature Basil' at left.  I shot this photo in a greenhouse full of Italian chile pepper varieties in Torre del Lago Puccini on the northwest coast of Italy last year.

Dana Bowen, writing in Saveur, noted:  “From its humble beginnings in Liguria, pesto has gone far: not only can you find it in jarred form all around the world, but it's used to flavor everything from pizzas to fast-food sandwiches to chips. It's now a household name, up there with marinara and mayonnaise. But unlike those sauces, pesto has always conferred a certain gourmet status in the States; its rise in popularity in the 1980s coincided with the period when Americans started exploring regional Italian cooking and embracing all things Mediterranean.”

Saveur's online pesto articles are here and their pesto recipes are here.

Here are two spicy pestos for you to try!

Green Chile Pesto

Of course we have our own New Mexican version of pesto! It’s a topping for pasta but also can be added to soups, stews, and rice. Although we have specified cilantro in this recipes, you can use the traditional basil or even Italian parsley. Pecans, another New Mexican crop, can be substituted for the piñon nuts.

1 cup chopped green New Mexican chile
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup piñon nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup virgin olive oil

Place the chile, cilantro, nuts, and cheese in a food processor and, while processing, slowly drizzle in the oil to form a pesto.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Heat Scale: Medium

Chipotle Pesto
Chipotle Pesto

From our friend J.P. Hayes of Sgt. Pepper's Hot Sauce Micro Brewery in Austin comes this excellent pesto designed to be served over homemade bread, pasta or use as a pizza topping. Mix it with mayonnaise or ranch dressing and it's a tasty dip. J.P. gave a dramatic demonstration of preparing this pesto without electricity at the 1996 Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival.

1 can chipotle chiles in adobo (or 1/2 cup chipotles rehydrated in wine vinegar)
1/4 cup tomato paste
8 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons cider vinegar or lime juice
1 cup grated Parmesan or romano cheese
1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or piñon nuts, toasted
1 cup canola oil

Combine the chipotles, garlic, and vinegar in a food processor and puree. Add the cheese and pumpkin seeds. With the processor running, drizzle in the oil until the desired consistency is reached (you may not need all the oil).
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Heat Scale: Medium hot


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



Q: What's a good use for horseradish besides cocktail sauce or as a side with roast beef? And what makes it so hot?

A: Horseradish is a root, similar to wasabi, and a member of the mustard family. Prepared horseradish is grated horseradish root combined with distilled vinegar. It has almost no taste until grated when the cells are crushed to release a volatile oil that produces the “heat.”

Read more about the uses of horseradish and get some great recipes for making your own on the Burn! Blog.


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.


 

As three-year-olds go, the Disc-It Round Up is pretty developed and well-behaved. It’s an event the folks at Disc-It started in 2009 as their way of giving back to New Mexico's UNM Children’s Hospital for all the care that Disc-It front man Nevin Montano’s daughter and nephew received in the past. Round Up year one saw 350 attendees; that number ballooned to 2500 people for 2010. This time, an estimated 5000-7000 people showed up at the Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque on July 16th looking to sample a wide range of Disc-It grilled creations.


Find out who won and check out some killer recipes from the Round Up on the Burn! Blog 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!


Call for Entries, 2012 Scovie Awards!

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: fiery foods , contest

 

Scovie Logo

The 2012 Scovie Awards Competition is accepting entries.  Now in its 16th year, the Scovie Awards is the world's largest professional competition for fiery foods and BBQ products.

Produced by Dave DeWitt's Sunbelt Shows—producers of the National Fiery Foods & BBQ Show—the Scovies give manufacturers the chance to see how their products stand up to the competition. A Scovie win gives a company the opportunity to promote their product as a top performer, and catches the attention of store buyers who are planning their inventory orders.

Scovie winners benefit from extensive exposure on Sunbelt's multiple websites and blogs, and receive banners they can use to promote their winning products at food shows. Whether you have a new company just putting your first product on the market, or you are an established company with a new product line, the Scovie Awards competition is the place to prove that your product is the best!

Judging the ScoviesAs an additional benefit of entering the Scovie Awards competition, companies can request an Analysis Report of their entries. The report will include a breakdown of the judging sheets, including high and low scores, average scores by judging criteria, full comments and a professional review of the product’s packaging.

Read more about the Scovie Awards and enter your products for the 2012 competition here.


 

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?"


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