Tagines or tajines are wonderfully aromatic North African stews that combine meats, poultry, chicken, or fish with fruits, vegetables and a large variety of spices. The centerpiece of Moroccan meals, there are literally hundreds of traditional tagines as well as many regional variations
Piperade is a colorful pepper sauce that is only spicy when made in the Basque region. This simple but delicious dish is often served at the Celebration of the Peppers. Serve it boiled potatoes and green beans.
To celebrate the tasty wonderfulness that is chicken, I asked Dave DeWitt’s wife Mary Jane Wilan to share her all-time favorite chicken recipe. Dave may be the Pope of Peppers, but where cooking is concerned, Mary Jane rules the roost. Here’s her take on a classic recipe that features paprika, another much-loved kitchen staple in the U. S. You can read more about paprika on the Fiery Foods & BBQ SuperSite here.
This is one of the classic paprika recipes from Hungary. But sure to use only imported paprika in this dish, or the flavor will not be the same. It is traditionally cooked with lard or goose fat and served with dumplings. Serve over egg noodles, plain rice, or boiled potatoes.
"Holy" basil is widely available in Thai stores. The stems are purple and the leaves are pointed, distinguishing it from regular sweet basil. I actually prefer the flavor to "regular" basil—it’s slightly more bitter and fragrant, with a unique aroma. The basil doesn’t require much cooking, as too much heat makes it bitter and destroys the delicate flavor.
Thanks to Patrick Hancock, executive chef at El Pinto Restaurant for the concept for the sauce recipe. For the chicken, I used The Old Spice Shack’s Country French Rub, and it was delicious. Note that the sauce can be pureed or not, and that it is the most brilliant purple color that you will ever see.
Andouille (On-do-ee) is a sausage very popular here in Louisiana. The lean pork is not ground but cubed. Garlic, onion, herbs and spices are then added and it is stuffed into a larger-diameter casing than most sausages. It is then heavily smoked. I find that the heavy smoking makes the casing a little too al dente so I just peel the casing off before cutting it up to add to the gumbo. Tasso is made of lean thin slices of various cuts of raw pork roast. The slices are then well seasoned with a rub or shake and smoked through. It is great for seasoning beans, greens, soups and gumbos and for the cook’s privilege of sneaking a bite or two while preparing a dish. Serve over steamed white rice with crusty French garlic bread for dipping and a side salad. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
Using a commercial salsa as a base for this soup makes it quick and easy to prepare as well as allowing you to choose your spice level from mild to wild. The heat of the salsa will intensify, so I won’’t use anything that is too hot or a salsa that is habanero based. This simple soup can also be expanded to a more hearty soup, with the addition of ingredients such as cooked pinto or black beans, chicken or turkey, or even whole kernel corn. Add these to the soup after it has been pureed. For a taste of green chile, chicken enchiladas in a soup bowl, just use green chile salsa and chicken.