Chasing Chiles

On Thursday, Charlotte Talks explored our love for all things spicy. Podcast the show or listen back here.

Here in the South we like our spicy food. Whether it be hot wings, chili, ethnic food, or just sprinkling Tabasco sauce on just about anything, Southerners like to spice things up. Chef Kurt Friese was so interested in what makes spicy food hot, he followed the chili trail into many parts of the world including the Deep South and Mexico. He wrote a book about his experience called Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail. We’ll look at the world of spicy food, what some of the hottest chili’s in the world are, what the sensation of spicy/hot does for our food palate and share some great spicy food recipes when Charlotte Talks spices things up.
Peter Reinhart
– Chef-on-Assignment, Johnson and Wales
Chef Kurt Friese – Co-Author, Chasing Chiles: Host Spots Along the Pepper Trail
Frank Scibelli – Owner of Cantina 1511, Mama Ricotta’s and Big Daddy’s

Recipe for Iowa City Chili ‘below the fold.’

Iowa City Chili
(Recipe by Kurt Michael Friese)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels (frozen is fine)
  • 2 hot peppers of your choice, fresh or dried, seeded and minced
  • 4 tablespoons hot smoked Spanish paprika
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1 pint canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 pint tomato puree
  • 18 ounces dark beer (such as bock or stout)
  • 4 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Sauté ground beef, onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper for 10-12 minutes, until browned, breaking up meat as you stir. Add bell peppers, corn, and hot peppers. Continue to cook over medium heat until peppers are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the remaining ingredients and gently bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours, then turn off heat and allow to cool before refrigerating. Reheat when ready to eat. Serve with grated cheese, chopped onions, corn bread, tortilla chips, or whatever accompaniments turn you on.

Serves 8


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