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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke

What a Harvest!

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: gardening , chile peppers

It must be all that summer sunlight in Finland!  Ultimate chilehead Jukka Kilpinnen shows off his amazing harvest.  Jukka, as you may remember, is the gardener who perfected the technique of bonsai chiles.  Check out his website, here, or email him, here.

At left is a mockup of what will be the Show Program that will be distributed at the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show, Feb.27-Mar. 1, 2009.  It will have Exhibitor Listings and Scovie Winners inside, as well as enhanced listings and display advertising.  We have posted a page on the SuperSite that has:

--SuperSite Banner Advertising Rates

--Show Program Display Advertising Rates and Sizes

--Enhanced Listings Rates and Sizes

Access the Advertising Rates here.

Fall in the Valley

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Cottonwoods against a perfect sky.  Daytime temps in the mid-70s.  Nights crisp but only one or two light frosts so far.  Grilling up a batch of endangered silvery minnows (just kidding).  We harvested green tomatoes, wrapped them in newspaper, and they're ripening nicely. We've already voted, so we won't get caught in the crowds tomorrow.  Fall is definitely the best season in New Mexico.

The Last Pepper in the Patch

Posted by: Neil Travis Honaker

Tagged in: grilling , fiery foods

Some time this week I'll have to spend an afternoon cleaning up the garden. Or what's left of it. Growing chile peppers in Kentucky is always a battle against time. It seems like I'm either waiting impatiently for the spring threat of frost to pass (normally not until the week after the Kentucky Derby) or hoping desperately for a last bunch of peppers to ripen before the first frost of the fall sets in (usually shortly after Halloween--this year it came early). Usually it's the habaneros that give me fits. As a late blooming plant they are just starting to really flourish when the temperature begins to drop. Traditionally, our last meal from the pepper patch each year features the last peppers to ripen, and it's always the habaneros. So while the temperature outside may be dropping, the heat around the dinner table is definitely on the rise as a final batch of jerk chicken wings hits the grill. The addition of a little Haitian Rum turns regular jerk into Voodoo Jerk Chicken, appropriate for the post-Halloween, Day of the Dead or All Soul's Day feast and always a crowd pleaser around here.

Voodoo Jerk Chicken Wings

* 2-1/2 to 3 pounds chicken wings
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 to 3 habanero peppers, chopped
* 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
* 3 tablespoons Haitian Rum Barbancourt
* 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
* 3 tablespoons soy sauce
* 3 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1 teaspoon thyme
* cilantro, chopped for garnish

Clean the chicken and place in a re-sealable container or plastic bag. Using a food processor, pulse the remaining ingredients together until they are well combined. Pour the marinade over the chicken, seal and refrigerate for at least 3 and up to 24 hours (the longer the chicken marinates the hotter the final product). Grill over medium high heat until done (20-25 minutes). Arrange chicken wings on a platter, garnish with the lime wedges and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro.

Yield: 6 servings

Heat Scale: Hot

--Neil Travis Honaker

Amazing Ornamentals

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Marco Budinis reports from Parma, Italy.  It was field day at Azienda Agraria Sperimentale (Agricultural Experiment Station), and ornamental chile breeder Mario Dadomo was showing off the largest collection of ornamental chiles, or peperoncini, as he calls them, ever assembled.  At left is a beautiful chile heart.



Here is the field:

 And a nice basket of ornamentals:

Congratulations to Bon Bon Bakery and Chocolate of San Diego, Grand Prize (Tasting Division) Winner of the 2009 Scovie Awards Competition with their incredibly tasty Chile Verde Ganache with Sweet Corn!  The Sweet Heat category has won the Grand Prize more than half the time in the 12 year history of the Scovie Awards.  I was a table monitor and the judges at my table, after the sampling, commented on the beautiful appearance of the Chile Verde Ganache, and I think that really helped the product to win.  Of course, flavor had something to do with it as well.  Visit Bon Bon Bakery here.

We are now contacting all winners by phone, and once that is done, we will post all the winners on the SuperSite.

Harald and the Great Pumpkin

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: holidays , contest

Harald, our European editor, reports:  "I'm hugging a 396.4 kg (873 lb.) pumpkin, grown in Gluecksburg, northern Germany.  It was voted most beautiful this year, and 8th place for weight. That's a lot of pumpkin soup, and a hell of a carving job for Halloween, which has become increasingly popular over here the past couple of years."



It's been more than five years now that an Indian "Mystery Chile" was making headlines, and claims for such a "new" variety were published in print, and all over the Internet. With almost one million Scoville Units, it was supposed to be several times hotter than the Red SavinaTM, the current holder of that title in the Guinness World Records. Time and again the hot pod popped up in the news, yet no one in the Western world had seen it. That has changed recently, as new claims for such a potent pepper came from the UK, and also from the renowned Chile Pepper Institute of the New Mexico State University.  Read the entire story, by Harald Zoschke, here.

Great Bowls of Fire!

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: fiery foods , books

Soups are the elegant side of a chef's kitchen. In professional cooking, tradition holds that the head chef always makes the soup. In fact, if you catch the chef eating something in his kitchen, chances are it will be a soup. Why do chefs love soups? Because it gives them a chance to recycle some of the byproducts of the main dishes, as well as take advantage of seasonal ingredients.  In 1997, Ten Speed Press published this book by me and W.C. Longacre and what a labor of love it was!

Read the article here.

Buy the book here.

Here's a pic of one of the soups, Green Chile Bay Shrimp Chowder:

NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: history

New at one of my favorite New Mexico museums is a display called "Real Cristales: Royal Crystals of La Granja, Spain," that features about 70 pieces that were produced in a glass factory under the direction of the King of Spain. Most of the pieces were created around 1760 and were later sold in Mexico.


The exhibit runs through December 8th.  For more information on the museum, go here.

Full disclosure:  I am chair of the governing board of this museum. 

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