Monday, November 1, 2010

Peppers are Royalty

As you can see in the photo there's frost on the hot chili peppers in our garden this morning. (Click on picture for enhanced view.) These tiny infernos have spiced up our chili and soups, spaghetti, sauces, and salsa.

Of course, in Central and South America peppers are royalty at the markets.

A writer at the Atlantic writes an interesting article featuring 'the soul of Peruvian cuisine', a yellow pepper called Aji amarillo.

"Down there chiles aren't chopped liver; they're the stars, the featured players, the sought-after free agents. It's the complexity of flavor of the peppers, not the pork, poultry, beef, or fish that accompany them, that are the center of culinary attention..."

"For me, at least, aji amarillo is notably hot without searing my senses. It's got a light, slightly citrusy maybe, flavor to go with its moderate levels of fire..."

"I've been doing a simple chile sauce—a bit of olive oil warmed with a touch of flour stirred in, and then ground yellow chile added. Stir in a bit of warm water. Simmer softly for a minutes. Add a bit of sea salt to taste. I like it with ... pretty much everything. Fish, scallops, vegetables, cheese, and meat of most every sort. Very nice way to spice up some rice..."

How important are peppers in your cooking?