December 21, 1988 |
Chili peppers add not only heat but flavor to a dish. But when you overindulge, the effect can be uncomfortable, if not painful. The substance that makes you feel as if you're on fire is capsaicin, and tolerance to it varies from one individual to another. There are people who eat hot peppers as if their mouths were asbestos-lined. Others wince in pain at the smallest bite. The more chili peppers you eat over a period of time, the more you become immune to the effects. There are ways, however, to minimize the "hotness" without building up an immunity.
April 14, 1991 |
Americans are naive about spices. Uncomfortable when dinner exudes a floral fragrance, and uneducated in the ways of saffron, cardamom and turmeric, we restrict our palates to salt and pepper, punctuated by an occasional parsley sprig or burst of chili. Consequently, we find ourselves in a seasoning gap - wanting more flavor without any idea of how to get it. One of the humbling aspects to an American cook in the pursuit of flavor is the inevitable conclusion that the true experts in this field often are from cultures that are less affluent than ours.
February 21, 2008 |
Spicy, flavorful Kung Pao Chicken is coated with a sauce of garlic, ginger, red chili peppers, and soy sauce. Serve it over noodles, symbolic of a long life. Kung Pao Chicken Makes 2 servings 1. Cut chicken into thin slices (about 1/4-inch thick). Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, red chilies and garlic. Place ginger slices in garlic press and squeeze juice and pulp into sauce. Add chicken and let stand, tossing once or twice. Prepare the noodles. 2. Remove chicken from marinade.
December 26, 2000
Some say the street merchants have made sidewalks congested and unsightly. The councilman has proposed eliminating 21 vendor locations. When rain hangs in the air and all you want is as nameless as the fog, walk down Eleventh Street where gloves hang from stalls like strung chili peppers, piquins, red and dangerous, where lilies droop spotted tongues over cans of Santa Clara Air Deodorizer, their printed prayers beseeching Do justice at all times for me while essential oils press warm invitations into air that's full of woodsmoke from the oil drums, inviting you to wish for nothing more than lavender and cinnamon, the necessary danger of musk and rose.
June 17, 1992 |
Ten years ago, few Americans had ever tasted salsa. Today, many of us, it seems, can't live without it. Once the province of humble Tex-Mex eateries, salsas are turning up at our most respected restaurants and in home kitchens many miles north of the border. Originally made with tomatoes as the main ingredient, salsas today are made from all kinds of fruit - from mangoes to kiwi, melon to pineapple. Salsas also make the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and seafood, and a fruit salsa is the perfect accompaniment to summer barbecues.
February 22, 1995 |
When Saito and Takao Ai moved from Tokyo to Delaware County in the early 1980s, they opened a 30-seat Japanese restaurant in Upper Darby called Asakura Plaza. The initial response was underwhelming. Japanese food was strange and scary to many Philadelphians, who associated it primarily with sushi. The restaurateurs, who spoke almost no English, persevered. They had to: They had moved here with the goal of sending their three young sons - Tony, John and Kenji - to American schools.
May 5, 1994 |
In Amanda McCutcheon's Wallingford studio, chili pepper seedlings stretch upward toward heat lamps. Boxes of cassettes, an easel and palettes, and finished paintings lie scattered about the room. Beside getting ready for an exhibit that opens tomorrow at Penn State in Lima, McCutcheon and her fiance, Rob Ferber, have a budding career growing chili peppers and selling them to local restaurants. McCutcheon's first passion is painting, and she hopes to make her living at it someday.
September 19, 1990 |
HOT FROM THE OVEN If you're a baker who's interested in making some dough, the City of Philadelphia is looking for you. As part of the ceremonies celebrating the restoration of the City Hall Tower, the city is holding a cake baking and decorating contest on Oct. 3. The theme is "City Hall," and amateurs and professionals alike can enter. Two top winners will get $500 each, and there will be other prizes. To enter by the deadline of next Wednesday, call 546-8862. MORE HOT NEWS Chili peppers burn your fingers and can make you cry and sweat, but still, people come back for more.
August 30, 2000 |
Remember when generic white wine was all you knew? You were happy with that - until you tasted a really fabulous vintage, and life got complicated. Then never again could you be satisfied with an undistinguished vino. Chili peppers are like that. If jalapeno - and canned jalapeno at that - is all you know, get ready for a life-altering change. "We as a culture are where we were 30 years ago with wine," says Rosalind Creasy, author of "The Edible Pepper Garden" (Periplus, $14.95)