Is your food spicy & hot or just hot? We had an experience last weekend where we thought we'd figured out the heat level of some jalapeno peppers. I seeded & de-veined them however once the peppers were pulled off the grill we were all crying from the pain. (literally!! Did something happen to this late summer jalapeno crop? We love them but seriously way past habanero heat level these peppers were...) The family is not short in the heat tolerance area so we thought we'd better temper the jalapeno intake this week. We opted for the Hatch peppers, a nice spicy change of pace after the over the top jalapenos. (the smoke is still drifting from my ears...) As the saying goes: “Variety's the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor” and so I was in search of flavor with or without that tall glass of ice water close at hand~ For a kinder gentler jalapeno recipe check out our New Blog at Fresh from the Heart of Texas.
Hatch Chili festivities have begun here in town. While we are a lengthy drive from New Mexico, Texans do love a good spicy chili & a reason to celebrate. At several local stores around the area, the large roasters full of Hatch Chilis are set up outside (in our 100+ summer temps) searing those Hatch Chilis. The peppers can be purchased fresh or straight out of the chili roaster.
Inspired by a side dish challenge from fellow blogger Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice I searched for a way to incorporate one of my favorite spicy peppers into a side dish. Not to be a double dipper but I also follow Gloria Chadwick's blogs & love her Hatch Chili Heaven blog where she is positively green about all things Hatch. She inspired me to zip up the spice in my Cauliflower dish. Searching through several cookbooks I came across an Indian recipe which blends a wonderful array of spices & flavors into a thick flavorful sauce topping cauliflower. While I enjoy the flavor of several curry mixtures, Mr Texas to Mexico is not really a fan. I am however happy to say this sauce contains no curry blend. The tomato, ginger & garlic sauce really create a magic that can transport even an average menu into something exciting with a head of cauliflower. The heat in this dish can be taken up or down depending on what your preferences are.
Two books I've been reading are: The complete Hot & Spicy Cookbook & on the Chile trail, 100 Great Recipes from Across America. ( a birthday gift from Hornsfan) The last by Coyote Joe, also known as Mad Coyote Joe Daignaeult. I can recommend both books & believe the Hot & Spicy cookbook goes a long way towards helping cooks decipher some of the special ingredients involved in cuisines of 5 different countries featured in the book.
Cauliflower for me is great steamed with a squeeze of lemon & pepper...that was before I tasted this recipe.
Chili Roasted Cauliflower
3 Medium Tomatoes. sliced
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch of peeled, sliced, ginger root
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2 Tbsp. Ghee, or clarified butter
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground chili powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 c. peas, if frozen thaw
1 Hatch Green Chili, seeded, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Med. Cauliflower, cut heart out & blanch
Blend tomatoes, onion, garlic & ginger in the blender forming a nice paste. Heat butter or ghee in a skillet over medium heat, add the paste, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala. Stir fry until the paste & spices separate. Mixture will be pulling away from skillet & have loose texture to it. This process takes 5-6 minutes. Add the peas, Hatch Green Chilis & salt then continue to cook 4-5 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Place the Blanched Cauliflower in a large ovenproof dish, pour the spices over it. Place in preheated oven *375 for 30 minutes or till the Cauliflower is the texture you want it. I like this vegetable to maintain a crisp quality to it. Serve flat on plate with the spices on the Cauliflower florets. Serves 4, great served with warm nam bread.