'Chile Pepper Magazine' on Serious Eats

Serious Heat: My Love for Mojo Sauce

My first introduction into the wonder of mojo sauce was one of the early seasons of Top Chef, where a contestant (the always entertaining, Howie from the Miami season) braised pork shoulder in a mojo sauce to rave reviews. But that's only the beginning of mojo, which I've discovered since then has many uses and variations. Mojo does triple-duty as a fiery marinade, a condiment, and as a tenderizer for meats, seafood and poultry. More

Serious Heat Lonzo's Jalapeño Cheese SpreaDip

"Hands-down the best spicy cheese dip." [Photograph: Lonzo Smith] When you have the honor of working at a spicy food magazine and the requisite iron stomach there are products always in need of tasting (I know, your heart really goes out to me). Most are good, some are not and then there are those stellar few that remind you why you signed up for this whole affair. We know a company's onto something when everyone in the office breaks out into a bidding war over the last drizzle scoop of a product. This year the group went nuts for Lonzo's Jalapeño Cheese SpreaDip. I was practically the last one to try it, as it was hidden in the fridge without... More

Serious Heat: 25 Things To Do with Hot Sauce

[Flickr: add1sun] To say we're obsessed with hot sauce at Chile Pepper magazine is putting it mildly. However, it's around this time of year when we gather an insane amount of sauces for our March feature, the "Hot Sauce issue," and become absolutely giddy over the stuff (which could just be from the high of sipping so many). For weeks our lives revolve around creatively tasting and testing the variety. A little dash here, a mega dash there. We've done so much with them. Here's a quick list of 25 things we've found to do with hot sauce. Bonus: Hot Sauce Giveaway If you tell us your favorite way to use hot sauce in the comments, you'll automatically be... More

Taste Test: Spicy Chips

Between the abundance of college football bowls and NFL games on television right now, who doesn't want to dive into a bag of tasty chips while watching? And what could heighten the salty perfection of chips better than a dash of spice. More

Gift Guide: For the Chilehead

Don't know a spicy food freak? Try our full complement of lists. —Ed. Look no further when you need a spicy gift to jazz up the holidays. These are our favorites from the past year, from zesty food products to cookware and apparel that captures the chilehead pride. Chile Pepper Lights: Help Santa find the way to those cookies with these chile lights to decorate the Christmas tree and show off that spicy spirit. Available online at sunland.com; $14.50 Chile Mouse:A chile pepper in the hand is worth two in the belly with this cute (and comfortable) mouse, compatible with all computers. Available online at mousenvy.com; $30 DualSoaper: As someone who is constantly rushing to the sink to wash my... More

Serious Heat: How Do You Stuff Your Peppers?

[Photographs: Bill Milne] Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Peppers View the complete recipe here » My weakness for stuffed chiles started as a child living in Arizona with chile rellenos, the fried counterpart to stuffed chiles. When my family and I moved to the South, every Mexican restaurant disappointed me. And, let's face it, my expectations for them were far too high. Most often, the chile relleno would be a canned green chile under a mound of ground beef, both covered in a glop of cheese. I stayed away from stuffed chiles and chiles rellenos just on principal alone. But then there was Kincaid's Burgers in Fort Worth, Texas, that reignited my passion for stuffed chiles in the form of... More

Serious Heat: What's Your Secret Chili Ingredient?

[Flickr: House Of Sims] Chili Recipes Beef and Dark Beer Chili Hot Dog Chili White Chicken Chili Carne con Chile Barack Obama's Chili Three-Bean Chocolate Chili Black Bean Chili with Eggplant When winter looms and it's time for those one-pot meals, nothing hits the comfort factor like a big bowl of chili. There's the endless debate over beans—should chili should include them or not?—but I say to each their own. I'm more interested in what secret ingredients you add to your chili for that unique wow factor. Some months ago, I interviewed Todd Larrabee, who found a club with a long-standing (25 years!) Super Bowl tradition of chili cookoffs. The secret ingredient of this year's winner was grape jam... More

Serious Heat: Spicy Chocolate for Halloween

On Wednesdays, Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, drops by with Serious Heat. [Flickr: Fiona Watson] When others find out your world is spent submerged in hot and spicy food, there are questions galore. One of the most popular revolves around the best thing I've ever tasted. Of course, the answer constantly changes. But recently I've been craving spicy chocolate. Start with the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of chocolate and add a tinge, or even a flame of heat, and you've got perfection. We searched for the best spicy chocolates, munching through bars that crunched and burned. I personally can't get enough of Chuao Firecracker—a smoky chocolate that pops in your mouth like tiny fireworks. It's a revelation for the... More

Serious Heat: Cayenne Tea to Cure the Sniffles

"My sinuses cleared up pronto, which made the slight pain worth it." [Flickr: alancleaver_2000] Between the trigger of allergies and start of flu season, people go to great lengths to relieve their sinuses during fall. Take my childhood friend, Elizabeth. When we were younger, black pepper was too spicy for her. Though her palate has since become stronger, she's still on the low end when it comes to heat tolerance. [Flickr: ArielAmanda] So I was surprised when she told me how successful cayenne tea was in helping her allergies. "I read in Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford that cayenne pepper will alleviate congestion, so I figured it would be easiest to use in a tea," she said.... More

Serious Heat: A Guide to Chile Substitutions

What to do when you don't have the right chile. You know the drill. You've clipped or printed out a recipe that's supposed to be tonight's dinner. Except, the grocery store betrays you—not having those few essential items you need. As an editor at Chile Pepper magazine, for me that usually means a certain chile necessary to test or develop a recipe. For example, in certain regions, some chiles like cayenne are impossible to find fresh. The key to finding an adequate chile replacement is knowing its heat level, sweetness, and smokiness. We pooled our resources to come up with a substitution guide for whole chiles. While it focuses on whole fresh or dried chiles, you can always use a... More

Serious Heat: The Quickie Banh Mi

Slathered with a mayo-Sriracha mixture, the banh mi is a Vietnamese-inspired sandwich that piles pickled veggies, cilantro, jalapenos and various meats on a French baguette. Just because there's no banh mi restaurant in your area, doesn't mean you can't experience the deliciousness of this exotic sandwich at home. More

Serious Heat: Mustards to Spice Up Labor Day Cookouts

Note: On Wednesdays, Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, drops by with Serious Heat, with additional writing by Lillian Cho. [Photograph: Bill Milne] Think a lone jar of Dijon or squeeze-bottle of yellow in your fridge covers all your mustard needs for the Labor Day grilling holiday? Well, we were under that assumption too until we went on a quest to find the best spicy mustards around. From orange to white, smooth to chunky, mild to weepingly hot, each mustard we sampled was so original that by the time we had reached the end of the taste-test, we were mustard maniacs. These are our top favorites. But we're still open to opinion. What are your favorite mustards that... More

Serious Heat: Peppercorns 101

Note: On Wednesdays, Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, drops by with Serious Heat. [iStockphoto: Juanmonino] Come on now, let's be adventurous. Why fill that pepper grinder with just black peppercorns when you can spice it up with a variety of options. Penzy's offers a great selection of mixed peppercorn blends. But how do you know the difference? Here's a breakdown: Black Peppercorns Grinding black peppercorns create a strong flavor, aroma and heat. Harvested before the berry is fully ripe, they are boiled briefly and then dried by machine or by sunlight (which causes the wrinkly skin). Most generic black pepper sold in grocery stores contains Brazilian black pepper that isn't as pungent as other varieties. Tellicherry Peppercorns... More

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