Chasing the high of another chili pepper? Ever wonder what makes us crave spicy food? The neurological science behind the pain in your tongue is fascinating, catch it all here!
Chili Peppers are not unique to one country or culture. Evidence of their cultivation dates back to 4,000 BC. But the love of hot foods is exclusive to humans. The rest of the animals on this planet either lack the neurological receptors to register hot food or they avoid peppers altogether, lumping them in with other poisonous plants. Why do we love them so much then?!
I miss many things about NYC, primary among those cravings are my local jerk joint. The well-known neighborhood favorite is The Islands, but for my tastes Fever Grass takes the gold medal (never mind that their storefront was directly across from the crimson entryway to my apartment building).
I love the flavor schmaltz brings to the corn, making something already spicy and salty ever more savory. Regardless of the fat you use here, you'll have to remind yourself to walk away from the bowl. Otherwise you'll eat it in one sitting.
The pillowy grains of couscous offer ample space for the absorption of preserved lemon in all its salty glory. Ever in search of the intersection of salty/sweet/spicy/sour, I found its address in this couscous. Preserved lemon, currants, fresh chili, (and some pinenuts for texture) all crash together in the final dish, causing a riot of flavor and color. Couscous cooks in mere minutes, and with the lemons you've got on hand this dish is a snap.
It's glorious to shovel a spoonful of corn kernels into your mouth and delight in popping them as you chew. The juice from fresh summer corn is, perhaps, what gold tastes like (when left out in the sun to heat for a while). And, as usual, I love pairing something sweet with some heat. Roasted poblano peppers are smoky and hot, a proud match for summer corn.
A good chili deserves more than some crumbly ground beef. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on chili brewed from the beefy scribbles, but now that I’m an adult and have agency over my food choices I find myself more inclined to use a good cut of chuck roast to braise into a spicy shredded chili. Need an accompaniment? Get into this corn bread.