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Robin Garr

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The red and the black ... pepper, that is

by Robin Garr » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:11 am

Back around 1986 or thereabouts, when I had the very happy occasion of meeting Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme at his K Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen for an interview for the old Louisville Times, we got to spend a little time in his kitchen banging some skillets around, and he gave me a handful of cooking tips that I’ve never forgotten.

One of the best of those tips was so simple that I do it routinely, without even thinking much about it: When you want to make a hot-and-spicy dish, don’t just go for the fire, but think about your ingredients and bring together piquant flavors that support each other while adding a bit of complexity to the heat.

Specifically, don't just use red or black pepper but build a mix.
On the red side, you name it, from Louisiana Hot Sauce or Central American habanero sauces to cayenne, dried red-pepper flakes or, maybe best of all, Asian fire such as Sriracha “Rooster Sauce” or, one of my favorites, Indonesian sambal oelek. On the black side, make it freshly ground, please, and go with the best quality peppercorns you can find. I’m a big fan of Indian Tellicherry (from Penzeys.com), and keep it around in pint jars, with one good pepper grinder for the table and another in the kitchen.

Tonight I reprised the Korean roasted brussels sprouts that I enjoyed in a local restaurant recently and sought to replicate at home the other night. Both times, a big part of the key to success has been using a combination of ground Tellicherry and sambal oelek, and don’t be shy about either.

Red and black. From this wild dish to something as simple as adding a kick to your scrambled eggs or bloody mary, it’s a working combo. I recommend it.
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James Dietz

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Re: The red and the black ... pepper, that is

by James Dietz » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:56 am

Robin, anything else besides the red and black? Salt, obviously. Pan or oven roasted? Olive oil, yes? What else? I love Brussels sprouts.
Cheers, Jim
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Robin Garr

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Re: The red and the black ... pepper, that is

by Robin Garr » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:00 am

James Dietz wrote:Robin, anything else besides the red and black? Salt, obviously. Pan or oven roasted? Olive oil, yes? What else? I love Brussels sprouts.

Jim, my apologies. I sure thought I had posted the original when I made this dish last week! Here's a link to a blog post:

http://www.eatfeedlovelive.com/2013/11/ ... ssels.html
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: The red and the black ... pepper, that is

by Karen/NoCA » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:02 pm

For some reason this thread got me to thinking about Cynthia Winslow. Was she the one who made breads, pizza, hung out with Stuart Yaniger? Does she have a blog? I think I used to have her blog on my list of favorites, it was pretty good. If she is the person I am thinking about, she had a friend who made a spice mix from hot red peppers and black pepper. I ordered a jar, and it is very hot. Just a tiny bit does wonders. I also like Penzey's Black and Red, a mix of Tellicherry black pepper and Cayenne Red Pepper. If I have this right, does anyone have a link to Cynthia's blog?
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Robin Garr

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Re: The red and the black ... pepper, that is

by Robin Garr » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:37 pm

Karen, Cynthia's internet presence is mostly about her art. Do you ever do Twitter? Probably the best way to keep up with her mostly artistic news is via Twitter: follow @CynthiaWenslow or click https://twitter.com/CynthiaWenslow .
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Jenise

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Re: The red and the black ... pepper, that is

by Jenise » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:13 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:For some reason this thread got me to thinking about Cynthia Winslow. Was she the one who made breads, pizza, hung out with Stuart Yaniger? Does she have a blog? I think I used to have her blog on my list of favorites, it was pretty good. If she is the person I am thinking about, she had a friend who made a spice mix from hot red peppers and black pepper. I ordered a jar, and it is very hot. Just a tiny bit does wonders. I also like Penzey's Black and Red, a mix of Tellicherry black pepper and Cayenne Red Pepper. If I have this right, does anyone have a link to Cynthia's blog?


She didn't just hang out with Stu Yaniger, she married him! She loved hot peppers, so you are probably right about where you ordered that mix from. But it might be Celia's cooking blog you're thinking of. Has a title that alludes to something like a Fig and Lime Cordial.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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