Peppers, both hot and sweet, are wonderful to put into any dish. They liven up everything , from simple salads to tame drinks. Now there's a new cookbook celebrating them and their long history.It's a great addition to any home chef's library.
Judith Finlayson wrote The Chile Pepper Bible (Robert Rose Press) that' has both savory and sweet (!) recipes featuring all sorts of peppers. She is the author of many cookbooks that center around slow cooking, dips and salsa along with vegetarian cooking and appetizers.This latest is a dazzling amount of recipes that range from salsas to ice cream. Many home chefs refuse to cook with any kind of peppers, fearing the heat may be too much. This book alleviates all fears. Ms. Finlayson opens up the book with a detailed picture guide on every pepper grown on earth. She also gives us the Scoville scale which measures the levels of heat or fieriness..It was created in 1912 by William Scoville , a chemist who determined how much sugar water it takes to neutralize the heat. It takes 5,000 drops to neutralize a jalapeno pepper so it would be classified as 5,000 SHU or Scoville Heat Unit. This is what I love about the book,It has so many nuggets of information and history. She writes of how peppers became a staple of various regions, from India to England, and from America to China. There is an interesting history of Tabasco Sauce along with the chemical breakdown of capiscums. The last surprisingly links them to the vanilla plant.
There are many international recipes since peppers are universally used in all aspects of cooking, The recipes are divided into sections , from appetizers all the way to dessert. Each has a good amount of recipes to try The appetizer section has such diversity as the Southern classic deviled eggs with cayenne and pickled bird type peppers to the Korean kimchi patties with a chili paste dip.Soups are also represented in the book and there is a variety to choose from. Home chefs will love making Bermudan Fish Chowder along with the famed Chinese Hot and Sour Soup, redolent with red finger chiles and sliced onions and scallions.Meat lovers will enjoy the recipes for Brazilian feijoada, Turkish style stuffed peppers and Catalan meatballs.There is also Ms. Finlayson's version of Kung Pao Chicken given a kick with the addition of cayenne peppers.If a whole meal made with heat is too daunting, there are plenty of side recipes.Try her recipe for the Indian based Spinach and Tomato Dal, a flavorful chickpea paste livened up with Kashmiri ground chile pepper.Her paprika laced Home Style Hash Browns will liven up any weekend brunch, The most surprising are the dessert and drink recipes.Pecan pie along with spicy orange coconut ice cream gets a jolt of fire along with tomato drinks.
The Chile Pepper Bible is a great cookbook for those who to add heat and spice to their cooking and baking. Home chefs can experiment with recipes from all over the world and create spicy and interesting dishes and even desserts. It's an exciting and interesting must have for any kitchen,