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Spicing

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

My dilemma when preparing meals is I'm the only one that likes spicy. So when I cook something like chili I add chipotle powder to my bowl. It's ok but not as good as cooking it in.

 

My next culinary adventure is to try making a Thai curry. I notice there some mild curry pastes on the market but I wonder how best to spice up my bowl. I guess I could just add chipotle like I do to just about anything from potato salad to chili. But I'm not sure how appropriate chipotle would be in this case. I'ld rather just add chopped chillies especially when I have plenty in the garden but I don't want to cook two batches.  How best to spice a mild curry after it's cooked?   

 

post #2 of 22
That's a bit tricky, but I guess I would fry up a tablespoon or 2 more curry paste than you are going to use for the mild batch. Remove these 2 tablespoons and keep aside.
Make the mild curry and add the extra fried paste to your own.
Alternatively just use chili paste (sambal ulek or so).

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post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you butzy

 

That could be worth a try.

 

Wow all the way from Zambia. Isn't the internet amazing?

post #4 of 22

Use the chilies from your garden. Saute and hit them with a tablespoon or two of liquid whether it is stock, coconut milk, water, whatever you are going to use in curry. Lid them and let sit until you are finished cooking and plating, then stir them into your bowl.

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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks cheflayne

 

This sounds like a good way to go in the summertime. I suppose I could even set the chillies aside in my bowl and pour the mild batch on top.  

post #6 of 22

I make it similar to butzy ...

 

make your base / foundation / paste whatever for the 'wimps' ... divide it in half or 1/4 into another small pan add the hot stuff cook/fry as required and set aside.

 

Make the dish as normal and then at the end add in your hot mixture to your portion.

 

Pre-cooked sambals are also a way to get the heat without extra dishes.  My standby.. always in the house Conimex, Badjak, Manis, Oelek

https://www.google.ca/search?q=conimex+sambal&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=HcJ&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Uu4ZU_GJH4mArAH5_oBo&ved=0CCkQsAQ&biw=1400&bih=767

 

Same with Indian pickles.  Mother's Recipe is a brand that I trust - just watch out for any pits in the mango pickle.   The Lime Pickle - Hot is amazing.   Lots of heat but natural and tons of flavour.

http://www.mothersrecipe.com/InnerPages/Foreign/Products.aspx?CategoryId=2&BrandId=1

 

Both are cooked so you can add it to a finished dish.

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post #7 of 22

My wife prefers mild seasoning.  I have a small 5" cast iron skillet I use for my eggs and for cooking up a bit of extra onions, garlic, chili, whatever to add to my portion of stir fry, curry, etc.

 

mjb.

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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelGA View Post
 

I make it similar to butzy ...

 

make your base / foundation / paste whatever for the 'wimps' ... divide it in half or 1/4 into another small pan add the hot stuff cook/fry as required and set aside.

 

Make the dish as normal and then at the end add in your hot mixture to your portion.

 

Pre-cooked sambals are also a way to get the heat without extra dishes.  My standby.. always in the house Conimex, Badjak, Manis, Oelek

https://www.google.ca/search?q=conimex+sambal&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=HcJ&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Uu4ZU_GJH4mArAH5_oBo&ved=0CCkQsAQ&biw=1400&bih=767

 

Same with Indian pickles.  Mother's Recipe is a brand that I trust - just watch out for any pits in the mango pickle.   The Lime Pickle - Hot is amazing.   Lots of heat but natural and tons of flavour.

http://www.mothersrecipe.com/InnerPages/Foreign/Products.aspx?CategoryId=2&BrandId=1

 

Both are cooked so you can add it to a finished dish.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I will have to experiment with some other jarred methods of adding flavorful spiciness to my bowl. 

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post
 

My wife prefers mild seasoning.  I have a small 5" cast iron skillet I use for my eggs and for cooking up a bit of extra onions, garlic, chili, whatever to add to my portion of stir fry, curry, etc.

 

mjb.

Probably the best way is to go ahead and use another pan. It's not so much extra trouble.

 

Thanks for the suggestion teamfat.  

post #10 of 22

Another thing to amp up a dish are salted chilis. I always preserve a bit of my harvest in salt. Adding those to the finished dish gives the full chili flavour, not just the hotness.

post #11 of 22
I make my own chili pastes (basically just because I can't get a lot of them here).
They are always on the table in case someone wants to spice up their meal.

@michael, you should try the sambal brandal and sambal rawit as well. They first one is very tsdty, the second one as well, but carries a good tang!

@salty dog
Have you tried making your own pastes? I quite enjoy making them.
Oh, and don't forget to put a little extra heat in your partners food, just a little every time and before you know it they eat as hot as you :-).
Greetings from sunny Zambia

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post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by butzy View Post

I make my own chili pastes (basically just because I can't get a lot of them here).
They are always on the table in case someone wants to spice up their meal.

@michael, you should try the sambal brandal and sambal rawit as well. They first one is very tsdty, the second one as well, but carries a good tang!

@salty dog
Have you tried making your own pastes? I quite enjoy making them.
Oh, and don't forget to put a little extra heat in your partners food, just a little every time and before you know it they eat as hot as you :-).
Greetings from sunny Zambia

Don't forget about sambal terasi and sambal bajak... Rich, deep and tangy, both of them.

post #13 of 22
Love those ones too, Gene, but sambal trassi might be a bit overpowering and can change the taste of a Thai curry quite a bit if you would mix it in with the curry.
As a side or accompaniment, it would work for me (as do the sambal toatjo, sambal peteh and actually almost all sambals :-) )

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post #14 of 22

Aye, butzy - you need to know how to apply them. When used properly, I am still in love with those two :)

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

@GeneMachine

  I just looked up salted chilies. Looks like a good simple way for me to keep some of my harvest a few months extra.

 

@butzy

I've not made chili paste yet. I will have to give it a try. 

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by salty dog View Post
 

@GeneMachine

  I just looked up salted chilies. Looks like a good simple way for me to keep some of my harvest a few months extra.

 

Defintily give it a try. I tend to harvest a lot, so some are used fresh during the summer and autumn, some get dried, some get pickled and some get salted. Of all the preserved ones, the salted ones have the best flavour, preserving the more subtle flavours of the chilis. The dried ones are just hot, but the salted ones keep all their fruity and citrus-like flavours.

post #17 of 22
So how do you salt them?
Do you just use salt, or aalt and water (saturated salt solution) ?

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post #18 of 22

The way I've done it is put chili's and salt in a food processor and then blend them. 

You end up with a chili salt, the chili's will dehydrate but keep great.

 

Obviously use a sea salt or kosher salt... not iodized table salt.

 

I also sometimes add lemon or orange zest and other seasonings to make specific blends.

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #19 of 22

My way to preserve them is to slice them in 0.5 cm rings, then completely coat them in salt. Keeps for ages.

 

To use them, take the rings out, rinse them to get rid of the excess salt and season with them.

post #20 of 22

Thank you so much Gene Machine!  That is a fabulous idea that I had never heard of before. I'll have to keep it in mind for when I overbuy chilis at the market.

post #21 of 22

My pleasure, Terry - the technique is chinese, I found it in one of Fuchsia Dunlop's excellent chinese cookbooks, I think it was the Hunanese "Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook".

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 

With a nice harvest of various peppers from the garden I've settled on using a small pan to sauté some chillies and adding some of the mild meal to the chillies then adding that to my bowl.

 

I've also salted some chillies and I think they'll come in handy.

 

I've still a lot of Thai chillies to put up. I'm thinking of processing them into a paste with some garlic. Then freezing the paste. I'll try to squish the paste flat in freezer bags so I can break some off as needed. 

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