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Donald Link’s Tips for Cooking Spicy Food

Recipes with Spice:

Tips:

1. When recipes call for bell peppers, substitute poblanos and jalapeños, two of Link’s favorite chiles. Poblanos have more flavor than heat, while jalapeños have more heat than flavor; still, jalapeños bring a great freshness to food.

2. Add as many chiles as you can to a dish without making it too spicy; the more chiles you use, the better the flavor will be.

3. Use superspicy fresh cayennes in salsas spiked with jalapeños—just a few contribute an extra kick and another layer of flavor.

4. Dried chiles are best for slow-cooked dishes like stews, and fresh ones for cold or fast dishes like salsas and vinaigrettes.

5. Hot sauce is a good way to add both heat and tang to a dish.

6. Sriracha and other bottled chile-garlic sauces can be great alternatives to hot sauce. They are also terrific in slow-cooked dishes and flavored butters.

Published May 2009
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