Fire up the flavor of everything from nuts to dessert with a pinch of this exotic red chili pepper.
- Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Ana Kelly, Mindi Shapiro
Bring the Heat!Also called red pepper, this spicy, smoky addition to your cooking is made from various chiles blended together. You have probably sprinkled some into your chili, but this spice also livens up cheese straws and chocolate pot de crème.
Spicy Herb Roasted NutsMaple syrup adds a sweet counterpoint to spicy cayenne in this addictive snack of almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts. Use fresh or dried herbs, but make plenty. These nuts keep in the freezer for up to one month.
Cheese TwistsPuff pastry, grated Parmesan, an egg, and a few spices are all you need for this oh-so-easy-to-make appetizer. But it's the kick of cayenne that elevates these buttery twists into something special.
Romesco SauceTypically served with grilled fish or chicken, this traditional Spanish sauce bursts with the flavors of roasted almonds, smoky sweet paprika, cayenne, red bell peppers, tomato, garlic, breadcrumbs, and olive oil. It's also a great condiment for sandwiches.
Beef Stew in Spicy Berbere SauceEthiopian cooks favor a spice blend called berbere (made with cayenne, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and paprika) to flavor savory dishes. Put it on beef chuck roast for a simple stew that simmers to perfection in two hours.
Smoky Beef-and-Bacon ChiliFire roasted tomatoes, bacon, ground beef, beer, and spices simmer for 30 minutes to build a rich, complex chili that's even better the next day. Serve it with cornbread and all the traditional chili toppings.
Goan Duck Vindaloo in Hot-and-Sour Cayenne SauceIn India, the term Vindaloo is reserved for the hottest of curry dishes. But in this recipe, potatoes and a host of other sweet and savory spices help tame the heat. Substitute chicken breasts for the duck breasts if you like.
Mexican Chocolate Pots de CrèmeDeep dark chocolate goes South of the Border in this creamy dessert laced with a subtle bite of cayenne and the sweet lingering flavor of cinnamon. Start baking early in the day since this pudding-like dessert needs to chill for three hours.