Donald Link
May 01, 2009

Recipes with Spice:

Cajun and CreoleCajun and Creole Dishes A Lesson in New Orleans FlavorsA Lesson in New Orleans FlavorsSpicy RecipesSpicy Foods


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.