Wednesday, 19 November 2014

In praise of chillis; my top chilli recipes

Chillis are one of my favourite ingredient.  Recently on a trip to Italy I felt inspired to take a photo of these beautiful chillis, their bright waxy skins were so beautiful.

It made me realise how much I cook with chillis and enjoy eating them.  I think chillis are key to fast cooking for one because it is a way to pack in flavour without necessarily cooking for a long time.

What's more is that chillis are so versatile.  You can use them fresh, frozen, dried, ground or pickled, even use them smoked, actually smoked chipotles are beautiful.  I will write a recipe using them soon.

Chilli in Curry Pastes

One way to use chillis is to make into a spicy paste.  What's more is you can then often use these pastes from the freezer which makes them far more practical for the solo cook.

Head for India with Paneer Tikka, Saag Paneer or Chicken Tikka,

Great South East Asian recipes (in my opinion!) include Laksa, Thai Yellow Salmon Curry, Thai Style Prawn soup and Thai Green curry.

Chilli in Salads

In salads like Mexican Chopped Salad or Sticky Chicken and Peanut Salad. A great way to add flavour without masses of calories.

Sauces; the shortcut to chilli flavour

Use chilli based sauces to add heat but using a long life ingredient.  I love using Sweet Chilli sauce in loads of dishes like sticky duck wraps, peanut and sesame noodles, sticky baked salmon and tabasco in salsa.

Chilli and Pasta

And finally, don't forget about a hint of spice with pasta.  I love it with fish and think it makes something reasonably light taste like so much more.  My favourites are this prawn pasta dish and my chilli mackerel pasta.

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