Spice Notes

Pumpkin-Kale Enchiladas

Last October the shop was bedecked with lovely heirloom pumpkins. As they began to see the end of their lives as decorations, we roasted them and added them to everything — and I mean everything! This recipe was conceived to please the vegetarian we had on staff at the time, as well as all of the ardent carnivores we always have around. It’s the best of our pumpkin experimentation and was the first dish to disappear at our most recent tasting.

Cooking with whole chile pods can be intimidating if you’ve never done it, but it isn’t difficult and the flavors are unparalleled. It should be mentioned that “chile” is not synonymous with heat. In this sauce, darkly sweet Anchos complement the roasted pumpkin, while Pasilla Negro and Mulato provide an earthy base to support the sharpness of the kale. Just a touch of smoke is added with the Pasilla Oaxaca, producing a rich and complex concoction that is remarkably mild. If you like your Latin fare a little spicier, you can customize the heat level with a pinch or two of Chipotle Flakes.

Don't fear the kale! Check out the recipe! >

Ghost Chile Honey Chocolate Cake

The combination of chile and chocolate is irresistible, and this Ghost Chile Honey Cake is a mouth watering example. By infusing the chile into honey, we were able to mellow the heat and reveal the subtle fruity flavor of the Ghost Chile. The fudgy and fiery creaminess of the frosting, the moist chocolate cake, and the synergistic tang of the marmalade combine together to make one luscious cake. While it’s perfect for a Halloween party, we’ve made this cake for birthdays, holiday gatherings, and just when we wanted a thick slice of a really good chocolate cake. Enjoy!

I ain't afraid of this ghost! >

Voodoo Jalapeño Poppers

We’ve had a bumper crop of jalapeño peppers from the garden this year and that means POPPERS! Autumn is chile season, though Jalapeños are readily available at the grocery store year round. The flavor buzz from these was well worth the effort of seeding all those little suckers, but do wear gloves! The warm bite of jalapeño with smoky paprika in the cheese, and the Voodoo sprinkle on top of these poppers goes down well chased by a rich porter. Enjoy a whole platter by yourself while you watch the game like we did, or serve them up at your next fall fête.

I ate the whole batch and you will too! >

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