Ingredient Spotlight: Peppers

There are a few foods that I’ve been afraid to cook with over the years.  I’ve been on a quest to conquer these food fears.  Fresh jalapeno peppers used to be on the scary list.

I think this fear stems from an incident that happened when I was very young, 2 or 3 years old.  I don’t remember it, but I Mom has told me the story many times over the years.  Apparently, I reached up for a plate of peppers and then touched my finger to my lip and was burned by the heat of the peppers.

Kind of crazy to let something that I don’t even remember keep me from cooking with peppers, but…chalk me up as crazy!

Now I do use jalapeno.  I usually steer clear of other types of hot peppers though, with a few exceptions – mild banana peppers, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce both make regular appearances in my recipes.

Here are a few of my recipes that use peppers:  [Read more…]

Chipotle Lime Chicken Scampi

A sprinkling of fresh, chopped parsley would have done wonders for that photo.  Smart food photographers probably keep parsley in their fridge at all times.

Food photography faults aside, this dish was wonderful!  I based it off of a recipe for Chipotle Shrimp Scampi, from my friend Joyce’s new recipe blog. (Her photo is better than mine.)   One of my kids doesn’t like shrimp, so I decided to use the grilled chicken I had sliced and frozen.  Since I was using meat that was already cooked, I didn’t need to use the chipotle rub that the original recipe called for.  I used the sauce from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that I had stored in the freezer.

Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

Shrimp Tacos

shrimp tacos done

I have the best neighbors.  I asked my boys what they wanted for dinner the other day, and they both requested Fish Tacos.  The Chipotle Dressing calls for cilantro.  I have some growing in the garden, but there wasn’t much.  I took it in the house, determined to make it work and then the phone rang.  It was my neighbor asking if I needed cilantro.  She had a bunch that she wouldn’t be able to use up and offered it to me, not realizing that I needed some at that exact moment!  It’s such a blessing to have neighbors like that!

Back to the tacos – I had 1 bag of Tilapia fillets in the freezer and also a bag of shrimp, so I decided to make both kinds.  I seasoned the shrimp with plenty of Old Bay Seasoning and sizzled them in a hot, iron skillet.  This time I only had romaine lettuce, instead of the slaw mix or cabbage, but it made a good substitution.

[Read more…]

Chipotle Apple Pecan Cake

chipotle apple pecan cake done

My aunt brought this cake to a family reunion in October and it was fantastic.  I couldn’t really taste any heat in her cake, just very spicy.  I made the cake for a dessert at a chili cook off.  It was really good after the chili and again, I didn’t notice the heat.  But then my lips were already burning from the chili.  I did taste some heat the next day when I had a piece of the left over cake.  It’s an interesting combination and very good.

The recipe is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.  My aunt ripped it out of a magazine in a doctor’s office a few years ago.  I’ve always wondered who is ripping recipes out  of magazines in public places.  I’ll protect the identity of my aunt though.  And because I have 12 aunts, it would be tough for you to figure out which one is responsible. [Read more…]

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