I spend a lot of time writing about complex techniques, but in truth, most of the stuff I like to cook for myself at home is pretty simple. This is one of those nice and easy summer dishes that relies only on great produce—zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes—and simple technique, but comes with a little bit of a rough twist at the end.
'chili' on Serious Eats
This corn soup, from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer Purcell (co-authored with Sandy Gluck), is laced with a bit of chipotle powder for a smoky, toasty edge, which is enhanced by roasting the corn kernels with poblano and red bell peppers. A simple and sweet broth is made by simply simmering the cobs in water for a short spell, and the soup is finished with heavy cream, because why not. It looks rich, but it feels surprisingly light and goes down all too easily.
These flaky Jamaican meat patties are filled with curried ground beef, onion, garlic, and Scotch bonnet pepper, plus a slew of aromatic herbs and spices. Formed into half-moon shapes, the patties are cooked until golden in the oven—eating them is almost as good as an actual trip to Jamaica. Almost.
Coming from a book with 'meat' in the title twice, Tom Mylan's chili in the The Meat Hook Meat Book is unsurprisingly brimming with a ton of meat. Okay, not a ton, but an impressive five pounds—two of beef, two of pork, and one of lamb—or 20 quarter-pounders, to put things in perspective.
These Mexican-flavored peppers sport a cheesy, creamy beef-and-rice filling that's spiked with chili powder and cumin. It's topped with an enchilada-style sauce and gets its depth from ancho chili and unsweetened cocoa powders and its aromatics from cumin and lightly floral Mexican oregano.
We may balk at the thought in America, but guinea pigs (cuy) are considered a delicacy in the Andean regions of Peru. Martin Morales's grandmother specialized in a particular preparation of the animal, braised in a sauce of fiery chilies and ground peanuts.
Two types of beans, red kidney and green beans, are combined with pickled red peppers and fire-roasted jalapeños in this amped-up redux of the time-honored three-bean salad.
Hearty bean-based salads are one of my favorite dishes in the summertime. I grew up eating a corn and black bean version, but these days I'll throw just about any vegetable into a bowl with a can or two of beans and a tangy dressing and call it dinner.
Meet the ultimate, upgraded Tex-Mex Enchiladas: Tortillas, rolled up around a cheddar-based filling and completely enveloped by a rich red chili sauce, then topped with even more melted cheese. The sauce is rustic and aromatic, with a haunting cumin aroma and a heat from the chilies that doesn't attack so much as slowly tickle the back of your tongue. We've taken a few liberties, but they're worth it.
Spicy, vinegary, and flavor-packed, this quick chili recipe relies on raw Mexican-style chorizo (you can make it yourself or buy it from a store), with a few simple flavor additions, a couple of cans of beans, and a quick simmer.
Butterflied flank steak rubbed with a garlicky chili rub, then layered with roasted green chilies and pepper jack cheese gets rolled, sliced, and grilled until smoky and charred.
Ultra-crisp potatoes fried in chorizo fat with chunks of chorizo, seared green chilies, and scallions, all topped with baked eggs, avocado, and cilantro. It's a heck of a way to start the day.
Inspired by a TV sitcom, the Sloppy Jessica is a gloriously greasy, wonderfully messy beast of macaroni-and-cheese chili stuffed into a pizza-style bun that's dripping with melted mozzarella cheese.
Rubbed, steamed in beer and rubbed again, these burnished baby back ribs are a great option when it's too cold to grill.
Big, meaty entrées are the first thing I think of when I think of the Paleo diet. Think steak topped with bacon topped with steak, all fried in lard. The cowboy chili in Michelle Tam's new cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo, fits right in with those expectations, but it also wouldn't be out of place in any other omnivorous American cookbook.
A vegan black bean and sweet potato chili packed with rich, complex chili flavor.
Some desserts boast one secret ingredient. This pie has three. Jalapeno and ginger flavor heavy cream, which is mixed into melted bittersweet chocolate spiked with cardamom. The result is heady, spicy, and delightful, with a chocolate crust to match.
Quick-pickled garlic and chilies are a great condiment for punching up the flavor of Asian soups, noodles, stir-fries, and salads.