Tag Archives: spicy

Hangover Faves

12 Nov

It’s Sunday morning at 11am. You are torn between lying in bed all day or lying on the couch all day. Your head hurts, your mouth is dry, you’re pretty sure you can hear your liver say, “you’ve gotta be kidding me, dude. What were you thinking?” That’s right: you are undeniably hungover. After popping some painkillers to quell the raging jackhammering in your brain, it eventually occurs to you that food might be a good idea, despite some protest from your stomach. “Be quiet, Stomach. This is for the best, I promise.” You stumble out to the living room and ponder that age old question: what will make you stop feeling so hideous?

Most people’s options seem to fall into two groups: greasy or spicy.  Both groups swear by their choices and I’ve tried both. The eggs/bacon combo is something I like on a morning when I’m feeling good, NOT when I’m hungover. Inevitably, I feel much, much worse. Far from giving me the energy to get through the day, this combo makes me want to crawl back into bed and hope the world forgets about me til I feel better. I would much rather go for the spicy option, very popular in Latin America. (Menudo, anyone?)  A spicy soup or noodle dish is delicious just about anytime as far as I’m concerned; however, when my stomach is sensitive anyway, I’m steering clear.

Personally, my favourite post-imbibing meal is plain toast with a salt-and-peppered avocado. The toast absorbs some of the alcohol left in your system and the avocado is substantial enough that you’re full without that gross, “ohmigod what did I just do?” feeling. Satisfying without being heavy, this little meal is a great option for anyone who can’t fathom the thought of having the greasy or spicy breakfast options. Accompanied by a very large glass of water and a couple of coffees, this always sets me right. I may not move off the couch the rest of the day, but at least that’s due to lethargy and not extreme pain.

What about you? Drop me a note and let me know what you reach for after a night of (over) indulgence!

Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce

29 Aug

My list of Things To Make in 2011 is seemingly endless but I have slowly but surely moved down it over the last eight months. There had been much talk of all things barbecue this summer and, on Friday, I decided the time was nigh: time to make my own barbecue sauce. I scoured the internets (yes, all of them) until I came across a recipe that looked like a great starting point. I prefer tomato-based sauces to the vinegar or mustard ones – though I surely wouldn’t turn up my nose should one of them be proffered – and this one had a ketchup base with lots of spicy seasonings. Sold! Off to the store we went to grab the few items I didn’t already have in the pantry and a nice, big pork butt on which I could slather this tasty concoction.

To get the few items I couldn’t find at the local grocery store, we popped into El Marketino on Keele St. just north of Wilson. You can certainly find everything in Kensington, too; but if you’re in the neighbourhood closer to the 401, I highly suggest giving them a try. I grabbed some great guajillo chile powder there that will likely find it’s way into many more dishes.

This sauce starts off sweet, then you get the slow burn at the back of your mouth. If you like things on the sweeter side, you can increase the amount of honey; if you like things spicier, add more of the chipotles, chile powder and/or cayenne.

Makes roughly 1 1/2 cups.


1 c onions, chopped
2 clove garlic
3/4 c ketchup
1/4 c honey
1/4 c brown sugar
3-4 chipotles in adobo, chopped (and some of the sauce  if you like more heat)
2 tb apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tb molasses
1 1/2 tb Worcestershire
1 ts chile powder
1 ts paprika
1-2 ts cayenne
salt & pepper to taste


1. Heat the olive oil to medium heat  in a pot and saute the garlic and onions for 8 – 10 minutes.
2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.
3. Readjust the heat to low and allow to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. With an immersion blender or food processor, puree the mixture until smooth. You may need to add water to achieve the consistency you desire. If it’s too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of water at a time.

Spicy-Salty-Creamy Jalapeno Poppers

15 Nov

J and I have been talking about making poppers  for a while now and I decided it was time to get ’em done already! This recipe is good for the newly-minted, the curious and the well-indoctrinated with respect to heat tolerance. The heat from the peppers is balanced out nicely by the creaminess of the cheese and the saltiness of the prosciutto. Also, because they’re roasted, they lose some of their potency.

While I do thoroughly enjoy the deep-fried version with a pint of whatever is on tap, this version is baked and…probably not something you’re gonna find at the pub. They are quickly made and just-as-quickly devoured in front of your eyes.

Makes 20.


10 jalapenos
1 package cream cheese, room temp
8-10 slices prosciutto


1. Preheat the oven to 400, with the rack in the middle.
2. Clean and vertically slice the jalapenos into halves. Remove the seeds and membranes.*
3.  With a knife, fill the insides of the jalapeno halves with the cream cheese.4
4. Wrap the peppers with slices of prosciutto.  You may need to slice the prosciutto to make it thinner, depending on the size of the jalapenos.
5. Place them on a foil-lined sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

*you might want to wear latex gloves to handle the peppers. I used a spoon to get out the seeds & membranes, but I also washed my hands 18 times to ensure my finger tips wouldn’t burn for hours. I speak from experience….it’s not pleasant.

Pork Tenderloin in Coconut-Chile Sauce

18 Oct

Adapted from Tyler Florence’s recipe, this dish is warming, comforting, brightly-flavoured and is destined for heavy rotation in our kitchen! It does have a few steps, but they’re not difficult. Timing is key, as always, but I think I’ve got it worked out! I’ve included pictures of the individual components of this three-parter. Click to see them enlarged.

Serves 2.


1 1lb pork tenderloin
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lime, juice
salt & pepper

Coconut-Chile Sauce
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
1″ ginger, grated
2 garlic, minced
1 chile (Bird, jalapeno, whatever ya like), diced
1/4 c cilantro stems
14 oz coconut milk
1 ts sugar
1 lime, juiced
1 tb fish sauce
1 dash hot sauce, optional
salt & pepper

Tomato & Coconut Salad

1 c shredded coconut
2 c tomatoes, chopped
1/2 sweet pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 c cilantro (leaves)
1/4 c mint leaves
dash of olive oil
1/2 lime, juiced
salt & pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Place the pork on a platter and pour over the olive oil, lime juice & sprinkle with salt & pepper on all sides. Marinate for 10-15 minutes.
3. Toss the pork in the oven for roughly 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165-170, depending on how well you like your pork cooked. Rest for 10 minutes.
4. In the meantime, heat up the olive oil at medium in a medium sauce pan.  Add garlic, ginger, chile and cilantro stems. Cook 3 minutes.
5. Add the coconut milk and sugar, simmering for another 5 minutes.
6. Squeeze in the lime juice and add the fish sauce, hot sauce, and a dash of salt & pepper. Adjust to taste. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the pork is done.
7. In a medium bowl, add tomatoes, shredded coconut,  sweet pepper, red onion, chile, cilantro leaves, mint, olive oil, salt & pepper and lime juice. Adjust according to taste.
8.  Slice pork into medallions and serve over rice. Pour the sauce over the pork and top with coconut & tomato salad.

Asian Pasta

17 Aug

We call this “peanut butter pasta” at home, but that can sound kind of unappealing. My mother-in-law made this a while back and I absolutely dug it. It covers a wide range of flavours – salty, sweet, hot – and is very versatile.

Serves 4.


12 oz spaghetti (or however much you think you need! Some peeps are hungry, okay?)
1/2 green/red/yellow pepper, julienned
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cabbage (Napa or red. Depends on your preference)
1/2 onion, julienned
1/2 c peanut butter
1/4 c soy sauce
2 tb sesame oil
2 tb cider vinegar
1 tb hot sauce
2 tb olive oil
1 ts salt
1 ts pepper
2 tb sesame seeds (toasted if you have time)
1 scallion, chopped


1. Set a large pot of water on to boil.
2. Slice (julienne) all the vegetables. (Note: you can really put in any veg you like. It all works!)
3. Whisk together the peanut butter, soy, sesame oil, vinegar and hot sauce. Taste it! You might want to add more of one ingredient depending on your personal preference.
4. The pasta should take 6-8 minutes to cook. Add salt to the pasta water, followed by the spaghetti.
5. Heat the oil in a medium pan to medium heat. Add vegetables, then salt and pepper.
6. Drain the pasta, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid. Add the vegetables and sauce to the pasta. Combine all the ingredients and add some of the reserved water if the sauce is too thick.
7. Plate the dish and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and scallion.

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