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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke

The 2011 Scovie Awards was unique, because For the first time in the competition’s 16-year history, two products tied for the Grand Prize in the Tasting Division. That’s pretty amazing, considering we’re talking about 650 products entered, with a panel of more than 100 judges. Even more remarkable is how different the two winning products are: a spicy candy and a horseradish sauce! Meet the winners on the Burn! Blog here.


Scared Straight Turkey Tamales

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: recipe , new content , humor , history , fiery foods

 

Listen up, little dogs. All of you spoiled little chihuahuas, toy poodles, and terriers have had it too good for too long. Sitting at the screen door, barking at everyone, day in, day out, it's a poor choice for a life path. You're so lucky you don't have it like your ancestors did. Four hundred years ago, Mesoamerican people kept you little yappers to complement cooked veggies instead of handbags. Read more on the Burn! Blog here.


Tour the Ultimate Chilehead Garden

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: science , gardening , chile peppers

 

Whether pepper gardening is your passion, or you’re just getting started with that first pot of plants, from now through October you can visit the gardens at New Mexico State University’s Fabian Garcia Science Center in Las Cruces. There you’ll see peppers being grown the way the pros do it, and possibly pick up some growing tips to take home! Read more about it on the Burn! Blog here.


Mark and the Beanstalk

Posted by: Lois Manno

 

Before we go on, let’s get a few things straight. I didn’t trade three hundred pounds of steak to a slick city peddler for a few magic beans (it was jalapeño seeds). Nor did I gain a goose that passes precious metals. If I did, I’d be writing this from my personal moon casino.

Read more about Mark's chile-growing adventures on the Burn! Blog here.


Presto, It's Pesto!

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: recipe , gardening , fiery foods

Greek Minature BasilOne of my favorite summer things is fresh pesto—spiced up, of course.  And one of the main ingredients is basil, although cooks substitute spinach, Italian parsley, and cilantro for the basil on occasion.  There are more than 60 species and varieties of basil, and one of my favorites is 'Greek Miniature Basil' at left.  I shot this photo in a greenhouse full of Italian chile pepper varieties in Torre del Lago Puccini on the northwest coast of Italy last year.

Dana Bowen, writing in Saveur, noted:  “From its humble beginnings in Liguria, pesto has gone far: not only can you find it in jarred form all around the world, but it's used to flavor everything from pizzas to fast-food sandwiches to chips. It's now a household name, up there with marinara and mayonnaise. But unlike those sauces, pesto has always conferred a certain gourmet status in the States; its rise in popularity in the 1980s coincided with the period when Americans started exploring regional Italian cooking and embracing all things Mediterranean.”

Saveur's online pesto articles are here and their pesto recipes are here.

Here are two spicy pestos for you to try!

Green Chile Pesto

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.

1 cup chopped green New Mexican chile
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup piñon nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup virgin olive oil

Place the chile, cilantro, nuts, and cheese in a food processor and, while processing, slowly drizzle in the oil to form a pesto.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Heat Scale: Medium

Chipotle Pesto
Chipotle Pesto

From our friend J.P. Hayes of Sgt. Pepper's Hot Sauce Micro Brewery in Austin comes this excellent pesto designed to be served over homemade bread, pasta or use as a pizza topping. Mix it with mayonnaise or ranch dressing and it's a tasty dip. J.P. gave a dramatic demonstration of preparing this pesto without electricity at the 1996 Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival.

1 can chipotle chiles in adobo (or 1/2 cup chipotles rehydrated in wine vinegar)
1/4 cup tomato paste
8 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons cider vinegar or lime juice
1 cup grated Parmesan or romano cheese
1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or piñon nuts, toasted
1 cup canola oil

Combine the chipotles, garlic, and vinegar in a food processor and puree. Add the cheese and pumpkin seeds. With the processor running, drizzle in the oil until the desired consistency is reached (you may not need all the oil).
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Heat Scale: Medium hot


Ask Chef Mike: Grilling with Wood Planks

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: smoking , new content , grilling , books


Q: How do you use wood planks for grilling?

A: Wood planks add another dimension to smoke-cooking. It's the most fun you can have with smoke—without breaking the law! Read more on the Burn! Blog here.


Pungent Pizza on the Grill

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: recipe , grilling , fiery foods , chile peppers

 

Pungent Pizza on the GrillDon't want to heat up the kitchen? Tired of bland commercial pizza? Heard enough about Godfather's Pizza to last a lifetime?  Try this spiced up Southwestern pizza cooked on your grill! 

Pungent Pizza on the Grill

In this recipe we attempt to recreate the wonderful thin-crust pizza from wood-fired ovens in your very own backyard. Our homemade crust has something that Pizza Doodle Express does not: chile. But if you’re lazy and don’t want to make your own dough, you can use a 12-inch, pre-baked pizza shell. You can also easily make the dough in your bread machine. It is very important to have a clean grill for this recipes, as any residue on the grill will give the crust an off flavor. Why not make both toppings and divide the pizza?

You can read another article about grilled pizza by Mark Masker on the Burn! Blog. In it he celebrates National Pizza Day—February 9.

The Chile Dough
1 cup warm water (100 degrees F.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons crushed red chile
Freshly ground black pepper

Yield: 1 12-inch pizza

Powerful Puttanesca Topping
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, such as cherry or roma
2 tablespoons chopped capers
2 tablespoons chopped nicoise olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons crushed red chile
Garlic salt
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano cheese
Olive oil

Southwest Green Chile Topping
8 New Mexican green chiles, roasted, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated provolone cheese

To make the pizza by hand, combine the water and sugar in a bowl and stir in the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, chile and pepper. Make a well in the flour and pour in the yeast water and olive oil. Stir until almost mixed, turn onto a floured board and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft free location and let rise until doubled, about an hour and a half.
Punch down the dough and divide into 2 balls. If preparing ahead of time, place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring the dough back to room temperature and then proceed with the recipe.

Roll out each portion into a round or oval pizza or do it free-form. If it will fit on your grill, you can also combine the balls into one and make one large pizza.
Heat a gas grill to hot. If using charcoal bank the coals to one side, creating a hot side and a warm side.

Brush each of the pizzas with olive oil and gently drape, oil side down on a hot grill. Shortly, within a minute or two, the dough will start to rise and bubbles will appear. Gently lift an end to see that the underside is browned and has grill marks. Immediately invert the crust onto a pan, and turn the gas grill to low
Brush the dough with additional oil.

To make the puttanesca, place the tomatoes on the cooked side of the pizza, sprinkle the capers, olives, pepper and cheese over the top. Shake a little garlic over the pizza and sprinkle some olive oil over the top.

To make the Southwestern topping, lay the green chile strips over the cooked side. Top with the cheese and sprinkling of the olive oil. Slide the pizza(s) back onto the grill. Cover and cook, rotating once or twice until the toppings are heated through and the crust is browned, about 5 minutes on the cooler part of the grill.

Yield: 1 12-inch pizza or 2 small individual pizzas
Heat Scale: Mild to medium


Snacking on the Indonesian Oddity

Posted by: Lois Manno

Tagged in: tasty travel , new content

 

Ever wonder what it would be like to eat a bat? Culinary adventurer Robert Staudhammer sinks his teeth into some unusual Indonesian street food...and he's lucky it doesn't bite him back! Read about it on the Burn! Blog here.


 

The Kansas City Barbeque Society has teamed up with TV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as it pulls into East Central Kansas to build a new home for a worthy family.

The fundraiser will take place on Aug. 4, a couple of days before the home “reveal.” Read more about how you can help with this great project on the Burn! Blog here.



Q: What's a good use for horseradish besides cocktail sauce or as a side with roast beef? And what makes it so hot?

A: Horseradish is a root, similar to wasabi, and a member of the mustard family. Prepared horseradish is grated horseradish root combined with distilled vinegar. It has almost no taste until grated when the cells are crushed to release a volatile oil that produces the “heat.”

Read more about the uses of horseradish and get some great recipes for making your own on the Burn! Blog.


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