Category Archives: spicy

Indo-Chinese Lettuce Wraps

Spicy and so good!!  This recipe is taken from “The Epicurious Cookbook – More than 250 of our best-loved four fork recipes” by Tanya Steel and the editors of Epicurious.  I used iceberg lettuce.  The cookbook suggests using butterhead varieties such as Boston or Bibb as they are more pliable and lend a more tender bite, but I was looking for some crunch. 



2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 large yellow onion, cut into medium dice
1 large fresh jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
1 pound ground chicken
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 romaine hearts, leaves separated

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the garam masala, cumin, coriander, and cayenne.
2.  In a large saute pan over moderate heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking.  Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the jalapeno, garlic, and ginger and saute, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
3.  Add the chicken and saute, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the spice mixture, along with the salt and ketchup, and saute 1 minute.
4.  Stir in 1/4 cup water, and saute, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes.  Stir in 1 tablespoon cilantro, then transfer to a medium bowl.
5.  Serve the chicken alongside the lettuce leaves and the remaining 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.  To eat, pile chicken onto a lettuce leaf and top with cilantro. 
Yield: Makes 4 servings 

Spicy Sweet Nuts and Dried Fruit

Another great nut recipe! I used a mixture of almonds, pecans, and peanuts. I used cranberries and apricots as the fruit. This recipe is taken from Canadian Living magazine December 2011. It makes about 6 1/4 cups.

1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
3 cups mixed nuts (such as almonds, and walnut and pecan halves)
3 cups mixed dried fruit (such as cranberries, apricots and pears)


1. In a saucepan, bring sugar, corn syrup, water, cinnamon, ginger, salt and chili powder to boil; boil for 1 minute. Stir in nuts to coat.


2. Spread on greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheets, separating with fork. Bake in 350F oven, stirring once, until golden and bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes. Separate with fork and let cool completely. Transfer to large bowl; stir in fruit.

Tortilla, Sautéed Cornand Plum Tomato Soup

This soup is spicy but very good! It is taken from The Complete Light Kitchen by Rose Reisman. I brushed the tortillas with olive oil, then cut them into thin slices. I baked them in a 400F oven for 7 to 9 minutes. I also used a red pepper instead of the green.





2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
3/4 cup canned corn kernels, drained
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp basmati rice
1 tsp hot chili paste
1 cup diced plum tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup thinly sliced flavored flour tortillas
1/3 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream


1. Spray a non-stick saucepan with cooking oil, add the vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Cook the onion, green pepper and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden. Stir in the corn and cook for 5 minutes, or until the corn begins to brown.
2. Stir in the stock, black beans, rice and chili paste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, cornstarch (dissolved in 1 tbsp of water) and salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
4. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish each serving with tortilla strips, fresh herbs and sour cream.

Asian Style Chicken and Rice Pot with Spicy Citrus sauce

This recipe was taken from Food and Drink magazine, Autumn 2004.  The picture i took was my son’s bowl and I didn’t add the cilantro.  I do highly suggest you do though.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut in half
1 1/2 cups Thai jasmine rice, rinsed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
1 tsp Asian hot chili sauce
1 cup green peas
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 tbsp chopped coriander


1. Slice chicken thighs in half, or quarters if large. Place in bowl, combine shallots, ginger and garlic. Toss chicken with half of shallot mixture and all of soy sauce. Marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt and pepper and add to oil. Fry 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown but not cooked through. Remove from pan, add mushrooms and sauté 1 minute or until softened. Season mushrooms and set aside.
3. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add remaining shallot mixture and sauté 30 seconds. Stir in rice, chicken broth (or water) and chili sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and place chicken pieces and mushrooms over rice. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Scatter in peas and green onions and cook, covered, until both rice and chicken are cooked, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir vegetables and chicken into rice, garnish with coriander. Serve with Spicy Citrus Sauce. (recipe follows)


Spicy Citrus Sauce
This sauce enhances the flavour of the chicken and rice. It should be served in a sauce boat allowing each diner to drizzle some over their plate. The grocery store did not have mint that is why you don’t see it in the picture. 



1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp Asian chili sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint


1. Combine ginger, chili sauce, fish sauce, water, lemon and lime juice, brown sugar and fresh mint in a bowl. Let sit for one hour before serving.
Makes about 1/2 cup.

Spicy Chicken Chili

For this recipe I use 4 chicken breasts cut up.  I have also used ground chicken as well.  This recipe is from Food and Wine magazine’s “Quick from Scratch Chicken Cookbook. 



2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound skinless chicken thighs (about 4), cut into thin strips
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes with their juice
2 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 2/3 cups drained and rinsed pinto beans (from one 15-ounce can)
1 2/3 cups drained and rinsed black beans (from one 15-ounce can)
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (optional)


1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat.  Add the onion and garlic; cook until they start to soften, about 3 minutes.
2. Increase the heat to moderate and stir in the chicken strips.  Cook until they are no longer pink, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt.  Add the jalapenos, the tomatoes with their juice, and the broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
3.  Uncover the saucepan and stir in the beans and black pepper.  Simmer until the chili is thickened, about 15 minutes longer.  Serve topped with the cilantro.