Monday, December 2, 2013

Add Spice To A Cold Night

There's a nip in the air nowadays. It leaves us shivering and wanting something hot.Why not bring heat to the dinner table in the form of different spicy dishes?They could be classics revved up or exotic fare peppered with different blends of spices. It makes for an interesting and delicious chill chaser.

One of the most classic spicy dishes is chili. This can be tailored to everyone's tastes. You can create a mild one with just some cumin and cayenne pepper. For more fire , add spicy sausages and jalapeno chilis.Ancho chilis can also spike it to another level.  Another way of creating a tongue toasting dish is  creating the chili the night before and letting the fire from all the spices kick in.Make a huge batch  and then freeze some for easy future meals during the busy Christmas season. Another spicy dish that can be made in huge amounts and frozen is arrabiata or translated "angry" sauce. This is a classic Southern Italian one that goes great with any kind of pasta from penne to angel hair. Its'  heat comes from the addition of crushed red pepper flakes to any tomato sauce. You can also add the pepper to meatballs too for more bite.

Indian food is know for its' variety of spices and dinners.Curry is always a crowd pleaser and can be made with traditional blends  of cayenne, curry spice itself along with cinnamon and paprika.For true flavor try dahl. This is a mixture of fresh ginger, jalapeno and lentils mixed with tomatoes and served with naan bread.Another cuisine known for its' heat is the Chinese Sichuan. Located in the center of the country, the region is famous for its' varieties of fiery peppercorns. Try making spicy dumplings spiked with them or better yet a peppery chicken or beef dish.The cuisine is big in chilis too and these figure prominently in a boiled beef with hot sauce.This last is so hot that the recipe does come with a warning.

As the temps drop ,it's time to create dishes that warm the heart and body. Try a fiery chili or a spicy Sichuan dumpling to shake off that cold. It's and fun and tasty way to get toasty.

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