Monday, October 11, 2010

Chili --A Food that Bites Back

Word is out: hotels in NYC are infested with bed bugs. Fox News reports that a high-rise in Philly is suffering the same problem...What's this got to do with a food blog?  Well chilis apparently are a natural fumigant, repelling vermin including bedbugs and rats. (see Chilies when burned supposedly give you protection against vampires, werewolves and other things that go bump in the night (chilis are a key ingredient in some exorcisms according to another online source). So how come they also double up as an aphrodisiac?

Now this gets technical. Or physiological, to be more precise. In the words of Discovery Health, the side effects you get from eating chilies (such as profuse sweating, a faster heart beat, increased blood circulation) are identical to those experienced when you are getting aroused.  Capsaicin, which is also a powerful painkiller, is the chemical responsible for creating these particular amatory special effects.

So what do the bed bugs, vampires and werewolves know about chilies that we don't..?

Chill out to the Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge" track:

Note to self:  remember to call their fan club to find out what conditioner their lead singer uses.  Luscious locks...

Marla's Fiery Peanut Salsa Marinade

Thanks to Marla Neeson for offering up one of her fave chili recipes.
* 2 dried chipotle chilies
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 large ripe tomatoes (pan roasted until blistered, black and soft, then chopped with skin)
* 10 cloves garlic (pan roasted until brown and soft, peeled, and finely chopped)
* 1 tsp. finely ground canela (Mexican cinnamon)
* 1 medium sized white onion (thickly sliced, pan roasted until brown and soft, and coarsely chopped)
* 2 whole cloves, ground
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh marjoram
* 1 Tbsp. olive oil
* 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
* 1/3 c. chopped, unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, toast chilies until brown and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly, slit open,and remove seeds.  In a large bowl, toss chilies with the water and let soak 10 minutes.  In a blender, puree chilies with water.  In a bowl mix together with remaining ingredients except peanuts.  For best results, add peanuts to prepared salsa no more than 1 hour before serving.

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