Looking for new ways to use your homegrown chilies? Brooklyn Botanic Gardens has a recipe for Chile Pepper Sambal, a delicious spicy condiment.
Chile pastes are common in Chinese, Korean, Mexican, Tunisian, and Hungarian cuisines, but they’re especially important in Southeast Asian cuisine. You may be familiar with the bright red version known as sambal oelek, found on the tables of Asian restaurants throughout the city. Below is a variation that’s easy to make and a bit sweeter than the commercially produced variety. It’s part jelly, part chutney, part paste and has a sweet, sour, salty, and very spicy flavor that will make any dish come to life. Try it on rice or noodle dishes or scrambled eggs, mixed with barbecue sauce, or my favorite way: spread on crostini with goat cheese.
Incidentally, the other day I was talking to someone who told me he eats hot chiles regularly as a method of pain relief. Do you do this? I know capsaicin is used in some topical pain ointments, so I guess ingesting it would have a similar effect.