Speaking of chilies, here is a go-to menu for a fall/winter dinner party that features four different varieties and forms of our favorite heater-uppers--fresh jalapenos, dried anchos, chipotles in adobo, and chili flakes. And, yes, you can procure virtually everything you need for these delish dishes at Reading Terminal Market.
Even better, you can do pretty much all of it ahead of time, which leaves you free to enjoy your guests and your cocktails before serving this masterpiece of a meal.
3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 pt cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro rinsed well and chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (see video below for procedure)
juice of 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
Mix all ingredients. Allow salad to sit for at least one hour before serving. Can be made 1 day ahead.
To clean your jalapeno::
Chili Braised Short Ribs
For each serving:
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1/4 cup dark chocolate morsels (bittersweet or semi sweet)
1/2 cup milk
sprinkle of red chili flakes
Mix cocoa, sugar and water into paste in small saucepan; heat on medium til bubbly. Add milk, morsels and chili flakes. Continue heating on medium/medium low. Stir til blended and completely melted. Serve immediately, or set aside and reheat as needed.
We promise, your guests will be wowed. And, with the reputed aphrodisiac quailities of chilis, it could be a long and interesting night for everyone. Wow, indeed.