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Cooking articles

Cooking with Chili Peppers

With their dynamic personalities, chili peppers deliver heat in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, tastes, aromas, and potency. Universally popular, they're enjoyed for their ability to perk up virtually any dish.

Chilies play an integral role in many recipes, especially certain ethnic dishes. In Mexican cooking, for example, chilies are pretty much a necessity. While known for their spicy heat, chilies can also add mild and subtle flavor to dishes, depending upon the variety chosen. With chilies, possibilities are only limited by your creativity.

If you’re not able to get fresh chilies or aren’t quite sure which ones to use, you can always reach for a chili powder blend. Blends combine the kick of chili pepper with other spices like cumin, oregano, coriander, garlic, allspice, and cloves.

When cooking, keep in mind that the smallest peppers are generally the hottest and that the seeds and stems (the hottest parts of the peppers) are usually removed during preparation. Always wear rubber gloves when handling chilies, as the capsaicin oils that give them their heat can actually burn your skin (or your eyes, when you touch them with your hands).

Enjoy the tropical flavor of this exotically seasoned, refreshing topping, which uses fresh chili peppers and annatto seeds. Known in Mexico as achiote, annatto seeds impart a rich yellow color and mild, distinctive flavor to foods such as rice and sauces.

Caribbean-Style Fish
Capers, cherries and chili peppers combine with paprika, cumin and a few other spices to create this surprisingly easy chicken dish.

Chicken with Dried Cherries, Capers, and Chilis

Poblano Chili Peppers

Most familiar as the variety of pepper used in the popular dish Chile relleno, the poblano originates in the state of Puebla, Mexico. When dried it's called an ancho chile. Even though poblanos are known for their mild flavor, every now and then a poblano can pack some punch.

Try this recipe containing poblanos and our Simply Organic Mild Chili Seasoning Mix. It’s seasoned with favorites like cumin, paprika, cloves and allspice to bring a warm, hearty taste to your table.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Red or Green Chilies

So which is hotter, the red or the green chilies? Well, it depends. Green is usually considered a bit hotter, while red is milder but more pungent. Green chilies are more likely than red to vary in their heat content.

One thing doesn’t vary, however. Green chilies have a higher level of vitamin C than red. A chili pepper can contain up to six times as much vitamin C as an orange, but the vitamin content decreases with cooking and in dried chili powder. Chilies are also high in levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and the B vitamins.

Back to red or green, and which you should choose. If you truly can’t make up your mind, and you’re out enjoying a meal in a Mexican restaurant, try using the term “Christmas” — this will let your server know you want both! 

Here’s a dish that features green chilies in a unique stuffed crepe.

Stuffed Mung Bean Crepe

Chili mixes

Simply Organic brings chili flavor to your dishes in both our Chili Mixes and our Southwest Seasonings.

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