The most famous chile in France is piment d’ Espelette, or the Espelette pepper, and it has become a cultural and culinary icon in the French part of Basque country. At first the Espelette farmers formed cooperative enterprises to protect their interests, and eventually they applied to the National Institute for Trade Name Origins for an Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC). On December 1, 1999, an AOC was granted to Espelette peppers and products, giving it the same protection as more famous names, such as Champagne sparkling wine. Only ten villages are allowed to use the name “Espelette”: Espelette, Ainhoa, Cambo les Bains, Halsou, Itsassou, Jatsou, Laressore, St. Pee sur Nivelle, Souraide, and Ustarritz. The total growing area is about 3,000 acres. Piperade is a colorful pepper sauce that is only spicy when made in the Basque region. This simple but delicious sauce is often served at the Celebration of the Peppers in the village of Espelette. Serve it over boiled potatoes and green beans.
Ghee is clarified butter; that is, butter with the milk solids and moisture removed. It imparts a unique flavor to curries and has a higher smoking point than many vegetable oils, such as olive. When cooled, ghee will keep for about a year without turning rancid. Although some sources say it does not need to be refrigerated, just to be safe we recommend refrigeration. There are a surprising number of ways to make ghee, including boiling the butter in water, but I believe this recipe is the easiest. Some people add a curry leaf or bay leaf when cooking for added flavor. Note: never use salted butter for ghee.
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.
Do not peel the peaches. The chipotle chile adds a nice hint of heat and smoke to this spectacular way to end a great meal off the grill. An interesting variation is to substitute Stilton cheese for the goat cheese. From the article "Perfectly Pungent Peaches" by Dave DeWitt here.
Because scallops cook so quickly, they’re ideal for cold weather cooking. Try to get day boat or dry-packed scallops (scallops that haven’t been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) which causes the scallops to absorb water, increasing the weight and the price of the scallop). “Enhanced” scallops won’t sear properly due to the excess liquid.
This is by far the most unusual barbecue sauce in Latin America. Because it contains fresh avocados, it must be used immediately and cannot be stored. Use it to marinate and/or baste grilled or barbecued shrimp, beef slices, or chicken.
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
Central Texas is Hill Country, which produces the habaneros, pecans, and peaches that are used in this recipe. This cooked salsa is an example of the New Southwestern style of cooking, and it would accompany grilled chicken or fish. From the article "Perfectly Pungent Peaches" by Dave DeWitt here.
According to Paul Sheehan Jr., owner of Coast Kitchen & Cannery Foods, "After considerable time spent on trial and error, and many additional pounds added, we finally settled on Recipe #17. It's actually one of the simplest recipes we came up with but is one of the best tasting." I've added a sauce, but the dish is also good served without it.