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Chile Pepper Institute director Paul Bosland had so many chili pepper recipes that when asked for his favorite, he sent two. (iStockphoto)

Can You Handle the Heat of Chili Peppers?

Learn how to stuff a jalapeno pepper and to give your brownies a spicy kick with two recipes involving chili peppers

smithsonian.com

Chili peppers are more than just the heat in salsa. Chile Pepper Institute director Paul Bosland had so many chili pepper recipes on hand that when asked for his favorite, he sent two. The first uses a “grande” pod, the NuMex Jalmundo, which is a type of jalapeño. “If hotter stuffed jalapeños are desired, a few dashes of Louisiana hot sauce/Tabasco in the cheese mixture can push the heat level up,” Bosland says.

The second recipe uses the world’s hottest chili pepper, the Naga (or Bhut) Jolokia. In brownies. Bosland says he makes these brownies every year for his department’s Christmas party where they are a big hit, but he warns that even “one tablespoon [of the chili powder] can be too much for some.”

NuMex Jalmundo Western-styled Stuffed Jalapeño

Ingredients:

12 NuMex Jalmundo jalapeños (jumbo size), halved and deseeded
1 (8 ounce) package smooth cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) package shredded jalapeno flavored cheddar cheese
6 bacon strips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Split one side of the jalapeño lengthwise and remove seeds.

3. In a bowl, mix together cream cheese and cheddar cheese.

4. Stuff jalapeño halves with the cheese mixture.

5. Wrap each stuffed pod tightly with a half strip of bacon. Use a toothpick to hold bacon in place.

6. Arrange in a single layer on a lightly greased medium baking sheet.

7. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cooking time can vary. When the bacon is cooked, the jalapeños are done.

Bhut Jolokia* Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Bhut Jolokia chili powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.

3. In a small saucepan, melt butter with cocoa.

4. Beat eggs until foamy, then gradually beat in sugar.

5. Add cocoa-butter mixture to egg mixture.

6. Sift flour and baking powder then sift half of it into batter.

7. Mix pecans into the remaining flour; add to cake batter; stir to blend well.

8. Add vanilla and Bhut Jolokia chili powder.

9. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

*Bhut Jolokia are also known as Naga Jolokia peppers.

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About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

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