A Chile and a Spoon

A few weeks ago, we stumbled across the notice of a kind of a contest (through our Cooking Contest Central  recipe contest newsletter, I think.  This a great and inexpensive resource, by the way, for anyone who loves to cook and create – then you enter your creative recipes in contests, and sometimes, you even win.  And, if not, you’ve had fun in the process), where, if you sent an email and declared your love of chile peppers, you’d receive a packet of peppers, from which you’d create a recipe that required a spoon to eat it with, and post it on your blog. 

So, I sent out a quick email, describing Michael’s thai chile eating contest many years ago.  Of course it wasn’t a ….. contest …… so much as just a bunch of guys (and gals) sitting around, enjoying a Montana evening, drinking some home-brew, and intermittently popping thai chiles all evening.  Michael ate so many that,  in the middle of the night, he thought he was having a heart attack.  A trip to the doctor in the morning confirmed it was a case of too many chiles and the “heart attack” pain was caused by the contractions of the diaphragm reacting to the heat of the chiles.  Still, he – we – both love chiles of any kind, but, honestly, we now both limit consumption of thai chiles to …. a reasonable amount.   

Anyway, I kind of forgot about sending out that email, and thought maybe I’d missed a deadline.  But – surprise! – about a week later, we received this wonderful sampler box of six different kinds of chiles from Marx Foods:  Thai, Guajillo, Puya, Tepin, Cascabel (they’re like little Christmas ornaments that rattle), and Smoked Serrano.   

Thrilled with this little lagniappe of a gift, we were also curious about Marx Foods and were surprised to see they sell just about everything:    Meat (including kangaroo), poultry, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, oysters, pasta, produce, truffles, spices, dried beans, over ten varieties of rice, eco plates, various salts, all kinds of dried peppers, and even edible flowers.  It’s a lovely site, all prices include shipping, and the CEO (Justin Marx) has a fun blog.

We were a little overwhelmed with the peppers, but had fun smelling them, rattling them …. just admiring them ……. and then set out to create our recipe.  Herewith is

Smokey Chocolate Mousse For Adults….. With a Kick

5 Marx Foods Smoked Serrano Chiles

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup, plus 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

3 Tablespoons butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup Laphroaig (or other smoky, single malt Scotch)

For Garnish:  Additional Whipping cream, Smoked Serrano Chile Powder (a small quantity reserved from the 5 Chiles listed above), 4 Tepin Chiles, and 12 Thai Chiles

In a non-stick skillet, roast the smoked Serrano chiles over medium heat, keeping watch so they don’t burn, until drier and brittle.  When cool (it won’t take long), break open the chiles and remove the seeds.  Place chiles in either a spice grinder (a coffee grinder works) or use a mortar and pestle and pulverize to a powder (it’s kinda fun).   Set aside. 

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate, salt, 1/3 cup cream, and butter together until smooth.  Then stir in all but about ½ teaspoon of the pulverized Serrano Chile Powder (set this amount aside to use as a garnish).  Let cool slightly.

Whip the whipping cream, adding sugar gradually, until very stiff peaks form (but don’t turn the corner into it becoming butter).  Set aside about 1/3 cup whipped cream for garnish.  Fold the Laphroaig into the whipped cream, and then fold the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. 

Distribute evenly among four martini-type glasses and refrigerate.  To serve, top with a dollop of the reserved whipped cream, and garnish with a sprinkle of Serrano Chile Powder, a single “cherry” of Tepin Chile, and three Thai Chiles per Martini glass.   

This is also good with some Irish-style coffee, using more of that Laphroaig, and topped with whipped cream and a dusting of smoked Serrano chile powder.

Now ….. off to create other recipes using the rest of these yummy chiles!

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About Karen

While loving the wizardry of words, I also love to travel because of that present-moment sense that each day is a gift to unwrap that the experience of travel conveys so well. Other passions include hiking, gardening, photographing, movies and documentaries, reading, writing (I've finished my first novel .... and seeking an agent) and entering recipe contests. Michael and I are both fascinated with factory tours, literary landmarks, and seeking restaurants mentioned in novels - just to see if they exist. Our favorite restaurant we've found this way is the Nuevo Latino-style Yuca (www.yuca.com) in Miami.
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One Response to A Chile and a Spoon

  1. Jennifer says:

    First off – very cool you received the peppers!
    Second – yum! I’m gonna have to try this, I enjoy chocolate bars with hot pepper so I’ll probably enjoy this.

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