Read an Excerpt
There is no doubt that hot, spicy food is addictive. One you have a taste for it, dishes cooked without hot spices can taste disappointingly bland. The recipes in this collection cater to all levels of taste, ranging form the mildly spiced Piperade to Chillies Stuffed with Curried Crab, a red alert recipe designed for seasoned chili fanatics. In the past, attempts to preserve food often involved generous amounts of pepper and other potent seasonings. Such seasonings were also used to disguise not too savory taste of meats and other foods served past their see-by dates! Although spices can add fragrance, flavor and color to other foods , some are chosen primarily for their heat and strength: the three most important hot spices being chili, mustard and pepper. Other sources of heat are listed on page 7. If you find your mouth and throat burning from too much hot spice (chili is the worst offender) then rice, sliced banana or milk may help a little.
Sizzling Vegetables- Vegetable Fajitas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
4 green chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons oregano or cilantro
1/2 lb, (2 heaped cups) button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
12 warmed tortillas, to serve
chives, to garnish
1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and gently saute the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, until soft and golden brown.
2. Add the red and green peppers, chiles, and oregano or cilantro, and stir well. Saute gently for about 10 minutes, until cooked and just tender.
3. Add the mushrooms and cook quickly for 1 minute more, stirring to mix the mushrooms thoroughly with other vegetables. Season the vegetable mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
4. To serve, spoon the sizzling hot vegetable mixture into the warmed tortillas, and roll up or fold over. Serve hot, garnished with chives.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes