Medium 9781574411935

The Peppers Cookbook

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Award-winner Jean Andrews has been called "the first lady of chili peppers" and her own registered trademark, "The Pepper Lady." She now follows up on the success of her earlier books, Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicums and The Pepper Trail , with a new collection of more than two hundred recipes for pepper lovers everywhere. Andrews begins with how to select peppers (with an illustrated glossary provided), how to store and peel them, and how to utilize various cooking techniques to unlock their flavors. A chapter on some typical ingredients that are used in pepper recipes will be a boon for the harried cook. The Peppers Cookbook also features a section on nutrition and two indexes, one by recipe and one by pepper type, for those searching for a recipe to use specific peppers found in the market. The majority of the book contains new recipes along with the best recipes from her award-winning Pepper Trail book. The mouth-watering recipes herein range from appetizers to main courses, sauces, and desserts, including Roasted Red Pepper Dip, Creamy Pepper and Tomato Soup, Jicama and Pepper Salad, Chipotle-Portabella Tartlets, Green Corn Tamale Pie, Anatolian Stew, South Texas Turkey with Tamale Dressing, Shrimp Amal, Couscous-Stuffed Eggplant, and Creamy Serrano Dressing.

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7 Chapters

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1. Appetizers, Salads, and Soups



(Also see Sauces and Spreads P. 141)


The Bloody Mary was first made in the 1920s at Harry’s Bar in

Paris, France, by Ferdinand Petiot. For a change try my version using tequilla.

Makes 12 Servings

⅓ cup fresh lime juice

3–5 serranos, stemmed and seeded (to taste)

1 bunch cilantro (fresh coriander), stemmed and chopped (reserve some sprigs for garnish)

1 46-ounce can picante V-8® juice

¾ cup tequilla or vodka, chilled

Salt to taste

Blend first three ingredients in blender. Mix with V-8®

Juice and tequilla. Strain into a pitcher; twice if necessary.

Serve in a hi-ball glass over ice; salt to taste. Add a sprig of cilantro or a slice of lime for garnish.


h The Peppers Cookbook



This creamy dip can be made quickly by substituting ⅔ cup of drained, canned roasted red peppers instead of roasting the peppers yourself.

Makes 1½ Cups

2 medium red Bell Peppers or ⅔ cup canned/jarred roasted red peppers

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced


2. Breads, Savory Tarts, and Pastas


Introduction to Breads, Savory Tarts, and Pastas

Choosing the Right Flour

Flour is the finely powdered particles of any substance; in this case it is finely ground particles of cereal grains used for making breads. The word “flour” comes from the

“flower” or the best part of the grain left after milling. Here we refer specifically to flour made from wheat (Triticum) although there are many others.Wheat flours may look alike, but there are important differences that make some better than others for certain cooking jobs. Should you use unbleached all-purpose flour, cake flour, or bread flour for pie crusts, crisp cookies, or crusty light breads? A few facts will clarify the difference between flours.

Cereal grains are the seed-like fruits from the grass family of plants. Several were among the first cultivated crops. It is generally believed that domestication of cereal grains was a prerequisite to civilization. Today about a dozen of the thirty-five cultivated grains are significant, of which barley, wheat, rye, oats, rice, corn, and sorghum are probably the most important. First barley, then wheat, both popular in biblical times, were domesticated in the


3. Meat, Fowl, and Seafood



Four Old Time Texas Favorites


The incomparable, favorite chip, Frito, was originated about 1932 by Elmer Doolin in San Antonio,Texas, in a little old house on

South Flores Street. His wife, Daisy, made the first Frito pie when she dumped her bowl of chili directly into a bag of Fritos.

Her handy innovation caught on with kids of all ages and is still going strong—but has graduated to a bowl. You can use chili made from one of the recipes in this book or just open and heat a can of Wolf Brand ® Chili without beans. Wolf Brand ® Chili is also a native of Texas but now owned by Quaker Oats. If not in your store, order from Wolf Brand Products, P.O. Box 617,

Corsicana,TX, 75151.

Makes—depends on amount of chili on hand.


Chili con carne

Onions, chopped

Longhorn cheddar cheese, shredded

Salsa picante

In each individual bowl spread about ¾ cup Fritos and sprinkle onion equally on top. Put equal amounts of hot chili on top of the Fritos and top with cheese. Pass the salsa at the table.


4. Vegetables, Casseroles, and Soufflés


Vegetable Dishes



This unusual corn and coconut dish comes from exotic Gujarat, a state in India adjacent to Pakistan on the Indian Ocean— famous for its textiles and one of my favorite areas in India.


These mouth-watering tamales are made with fresh white field corn, not sweet corn, and wrapped in the fresh, green, undried shucks.You have to eat them to believe how good they are.

Makes About 28 three-inch tamales

Makes 4 Servings

3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (1 lb)

2 cups milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

2 serrano or jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

1 tablespoon butter

4 tablespoons fresh or dried coconut, grated

6 cilantro sprigs, chopped







Put corn and milk in a saucepan; cook over medium heat until milk is reduced to three-quarter original amount, stir frequently—30 to 40 min. Add salt to taste. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; toast cumin seeds. Add serranos, ginger, turmeric, Aleppo pepper, and corn mixture; mix well. Add butter, coconut and cilantro; mix well; cook just until well heated.Adjust seasoning.


5. Sauces, Spreads, Dressings, and Pestos



This introduction was in my book The Pepper Trail but it bears repeating.

Sauces are described as every kind of liquid or semi-liquid seasoning for food. They may or may not use spices. The ancient Latin word for broths or soups (sauces) was

“juices” or ius in singular form. The French sauce and the

Spanish and Italian salsa succeeded ius. Sauce is derived from the Latin for salted, saltus. Humans first seasoned their food with salts, then sauces. During the evolution of sauces only the more-or-less liquid consistency has remained relatively constant, with taste being the limitless element. Obviously there are many categories of sauces that have been incorporated into virtually every cuisine.

In medieval European households sauces were mainly served with foods preserved by brining and pickling.These sauces made the foods more palatable, or more tolerable in that period of no refrigeration and slow transportation. In most of the rest of the world they were used as a vehicle for legumes, vegetables, and/or meat that was served with the local starch core—rice, maize, manioc, potatoes, pasta—to make it nutritious and palatable.


6. Desserts! Desserts! Desserts!


Desserts! Desserts! Desserts!

Just Desserts

Desserts and chocolate with chili peppers? That is nothing new. It all began with the Pre-Columbian Olmec Indians of Mesoamerica who left records of their use of chili peppers and cacao as early as 1,000 B.C. They and their neighboring Mayans drank a stimulating, unsweetened, frothy drink made of the roasted and ground cacao beans combined with chili peppers, and often with native spices such as annato, allspice, and vanilla, three of the many comestible New World plants that were unknown to the

Old World before the Columbian Exchange that began in 1492.

Mesoamerica is the constricted area of the Americas that separates the larger masses of North and South

America. It includes southern Mexico with the Valley of

Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, British

Honduras (now Belize), El Salvador, and the northern part of Honduras. Further south in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia was the Andean Area where the great Inca Empire reigned in its final glory. The indigenous people of those areas of diverse geography were agriculturists who domesticated and cultivated many plants including chili peppers of different species in both areas. On the other hand, the only domesticated animals were the turkey and the dog, both used for meat. There were no wild animal species in the


7. Relishes, Chutneys, Preserves, and Condiments


Relishes, Chutneys, Preserves, and Condiments

Introduction to Preserving

We can thank the Arabs for preserves, marmalades, jellies, jams, and those sweet condiments that grace our tables and rot our teeth. The Arabs took over the Greco-Roman practice of conserving fruits in honey, and extended or improved the process when they acquired sugar. Sugar had come to Arabia via Persia. The Persians had obtained it from India where the technology of making “raw” sugar originated around 500 B.C., following the introduction of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), probably from New

Guinea. As early as 325 B.C. the Greek geographer Strabo reported that sugarcane was present in India.The Persians carried sugar westward in the sixth century A.D. The Arabs got it from them and introduced it to Syria, North Africa, and Spain. However, at that time the Far East was the only known area of the Old World where the climatic conditions permitted the cultivation of sugar. Consequently, only a small amount made its way to Europe via the Middle East and Venice before 1500.Throughout that period, honey was the primary sweetener, while the costly imported sugar was reserved for medicinal purposes. The



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