Hawaiian chiles are difficult to find, even in Hawaii. There are no commercial growing operations and the ones grown in back yards are often eaten by birds. Substitute fresh piquins, bird’s eye, or the small Thai prik kee nu chiles.
The word capon translates as "castrated" but in this case merely means seedless. Yes, dried chiles such as anchos and pasillas can be stuffed, but they must be softened in hot water first. They have an entirely different flavor than their greener, more vegetable-like versions.
The final result of this stuffed chile salad is the pleasantly contrasting flavors of the sweet stuffing, the smoky chiles, and the tangy vinaigrette. Piloncillo is unrefined, dark brown sugar that is sold in Mexico in cone shapes, and you can purchase it in Latin American markets.
Pasta is not only used by the Italians--remember that Marco Polo visited China and pasta was a favorite in China when he showed up. Since noodles are associated with a long and happy life they are always served at special occasions such as birthdays and New Year’s. These noodles can be served as an appetizer as well as with meats or roasts and the orange oil can be used in a variety of ways such as replacing unflavored oil in stir-frying.
This dish is somewhat elaborate but definitely worth the effort. Creamy, rich and spicy at the same time, it’s no wonder that it is among the most popular dishes served at Sanamluang. The only unusual ingredient is galangal, which is a kind of Thai ginger with a pine-like flavor.
Coconuts were plentiful in Belize--in fact, Nancy almost was beaned by one while sitting on the porch. Since they were literally falling from the trees, we tried to use them as much as we could in cooking.
Although a bit of effort to prepare, this sweet and hot jelly goes well poured over a brick of cream cheese or just atop some crackers. It is also good when melted and used as a glaze for chicken or pork. Use caution to avoid breathing the vapors while processing or cooking the chiles. Be sure to wear food-safe gloves when handling habanero peppers and wash hands, knives, and cutting boards thoroughly, first in cold water and soap and then again with hot water and soap. Do not touch eyes, nose, mouth, or other sensitive body parts when handling the chiles.
Like most stews, this one takes a while to cook, about 4 hours. It is interesting because it contains a number of pre-Columbian ingredients, namely Chiltepins, corn, squash, potatoes, and tepary beans. The spicy heat can be adjusted by adding or subtracting Chiltepins.