I Love Hot Stuff!

i've won bar bets by drinking bottles of hot sauce. At one time I had a collection of hot sauces that ran into the hundreds. (I gave this up when I found that the refrigerator had a diminished capacity for beer.) Nevertheless, I still keep some favorites around. The other great hot thing is PEPPERS! And one of the best of the powerful pods is...

Chipotle Peppers

Chipotle peppers are really just jalapeños that have been slow-smoked over Mexican fires of unknown content. But they sure don't act like jalapeños! Aficianados of fiery foods agree: they actually seem to get hotter from the smoking! You can get them at Mexican or Latin supermarkets and stores. Chipotles add a hot, smokey taste to everything they mix with. And you sure can't go wrong with chicken.

Chipotle Chicken

Got to be honest here: This isn't my recipe. My friend Malcolm, a frequent visitor to Mexico, came back with a few cans of Chipotles a few years ago, and being a great hand in the kitchen, starting experimenting. Of all the recipes he came up with, this was the best. It's also so simple it's almost embarassing. Since then, I've terrorized dozens of people with its fiery powers (read the Interesting Anecdote). Here's what you need:

4 Chicken breasts

1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Enough chicken broth to cover the chicken (fresh from those soup stock places is best, but Campbell's will do quite well)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brown the chicken breasts in a frying pan and place them in a large oven proof container, like a cast-iron stock pot or a large casserole. Add the can of chipotles and the chicken stock---enough to cover the breasts. Cook the chicken, uncovered in the oven for about one hour or until the chicken is tender.

The smokey, fiery flavor of the peppers permeates the chicken, and what's left in the pot is delicious, too. That stock, chipotle, and chicken juice is great over rice, or you can add it a bit at a time to a mixture of flour and cream in a saucepan over medium heat to make a fabulous gravy.

Orange-Chipotle Seafood Sauce

Malcom continues to experiment with Chipotles, and came up with this one for folks who don't like chickens. It's a sauce you can use on shrimp, fish---any kind of sea food. It's easy and quick to make and it's both tasty and spectacular. You'll need:

1½ cups of orange juice (fresh squeezed, NOT frozen concentrate)

3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

3 or 4 of of those canned chipotles, chopped fine

In a saucepan, start boiling the orange juice down. Add the chopped chipotles right away, so they can blend in.
Once the orange juice is reduced by half, add the butter. Let it melt, stir it in, and spoon the sauce over your grilled shrimp or braised fish.

Taste it, pause for a moment, and say, "Wow , that's good!"

BEWARE of eating a whole chipotle pepper at once (see the Interesting Anecdote)

Eric Scholz Passed along a hot sauce story that is well worth your attention

An amazing TRUE story:
Assault With A Deadly Pepper!

If you like hot stuff, you'll love The Hot Shop, The Red Hot Chili Paper
(lots of recipes here)
and a fine magazine well represented on the Web: Chili Pepper!

Dave De Witt, who founded Chili Pepper, recently disappeared from their pages.
He popped up here at a brand new publication, Fiery Foods!

Melinda's is the best habanero sauce in the WORLD---bar none!!

Pyropeppermania is a site that has all sorts of hot sauces for sale over the net.

Here's a site that is truly a Cybersupermarket of Sauce: Hot Sauce Harry's!

Hot sauces? These guys have everything! Check out Peppers.com!

Wanna know what's burnin' me up?

Bob Dylan says: "Eat peppers every day and you'll never get sick."
(Apparently, they will make you sing in a really funny voice, though.)