Tag Archives: Peppers

Fermented Chili Paste

A bowl of fermented chili paste.

With so many peppers coming from the garden and fermentation on the brain I wanted to try my own fermented chili paste. My recipe is very much like sambal in terms of ingredients and consistency, though sambal isn’t usually fermented. Korean Gochujang is a fermented chili paste, but it also contains a lot of starches like rice, soybean, and malted barley. So this preparation isn’t really of a traditional style, but it turned out quite good and I can definitely see it becoming a pantry staple.

One of the main reasons I think I’ll make this every year: you can process a large quantity of peppers very quickly. Simply chop coarsely, pulse a few times in a food processor, toss … Continue reading.

How to Cut Bell Peppers

For most applications the inside of a bell pepper, the pale membrane holding all the seeds, needs to be removed.  In my experience most home cooks do this by cutting the pepper in half, then scooping out the seeds with their fingers.  Frankly this is barbarous: it’s a slow, clumsy method that will always leave seeds behind.

Your knife is faster and more fastidious than your fingers.  Here’s a quick and thorough way to separate the core from the flesh.

How to Cut Bell Peppers

Cut the top and bottom off the pepper.

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Make a vertical cut through the wall of the pepper, then run your knife along the inside of the wall, like so:

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In this manner you can … Continue reading.

Dried Chili Peppers

Dried chili peppersWe didn’t eat spicy food when I was growing up.  Not at all.

I didn’t learn to appreciate spicy food until I was in my early twenties, and it was at an Italian restaurant, of all places.  I patronized Mercato in Calgary throughout high school, then later I had the opportunity to work in their kitchen.  They make food from all over Italy, but the owners are Calabrian, and there’s always a few pastas on the menu made by infusing olive oil with garlic and hot chili flakes.  I remember the first time that I realized how effective a little heat can be.  It wakes up your mouth, and it elongates the sensation of the dish, as your mouth is … Continue reading.