Grilled Spring Asparagus with Spicy Lemon Mop

Dave DeWitt Leave a Comment

No, you can’t use canned or frozen–it only works with fresh asparagus, so take advantage of those spring asparagus months. This is an excellent accompaniment to grilled seafood, and you can find some of that in chapter 8.


Spicy Lemon Mop

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh preferred

  • 2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley or rosemary

  • Freshly ground black pepper

The Asparagus

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus


Combine all the ingredients for the mop and mix well.

Cut off the tough stem ends of the asparagus, rinse and place in non-reactive, shallow bowl. Pour the mop over the asparagus and marinate, at room temperature, for an hour.

Grill the asparagus over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side or until done but still crisp.

Ras el Hanout

Dave DeWitt Leave a Comment

This recipe and others can be found in the following article:

Moroccan Tagines

by Nancy Gerlach 


Tagines or tajines are wonderfully aromatic North African stews that combine meats, poultry, chicken, or fish with fruits, vegetables and a large variety of spices. The centerpiece of Moroccan meals, there are literally hundreds of traditional tagines as well as many regional variations 


1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
One 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
6 allspice berries
4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric


Heat a heavy skillet over high heat, add the caraway, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves and dry-roast until the seeds darken and become fragrant, being careful that they don’t burn. Allow the mixture to cool completely.

Place the toasted mixture in a spice mill or coffee grinder along with the lavender, and process to a fine powder. Sift the mixture if you want a fine blend.

Combine the toasted mix with the remaining ground spices and stir to blend. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place for up to 4 months.

Sichuan Cucumber Salad

Dave DeWitt Leave a Comment

This unusual salad is from Martin Yan, who gave it to us some years ago, but it still holds up well. It is easy to make and easy to eat! The ingredients all meld together to produce a salad with that is excellent to serve with almost any dish.

From the article Exotic and Spicy Salads.


•    1 large cucumber
•    1 teaspoon salt

For the Dressing:

•    3 tablespoons cooking oil
•    3 tablespoons minced garlic
•    1 1/2 teaspoons ground toasted Sichuan peppercorns
•    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
•    2 teaspoons sesame oil
•    2 teaspoons sugar
•    1 teaspoon Asian Chilli Garlic Sauce, or substitute your favorite Asian chile paste (found in Asian markets)


Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Combine the cucumber slices and salt. Stir to coat and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat the cooking oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and Sichuan peppercorns; cook until fragrant. Remove to a bowl and let cool. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and mix until well blended. Pour over cucumber slices and mix well. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.

Heat Scale: Medium

Sliced Jalapenos


Fiery Foods Manager Humor Leave a Comment

Jalape-oh-no!   By Gwyneth Doland Editor’s Note:   Photo above by Harald Zoschke.  Photos below by Gwyneth. –Dave DeWitt On the Saturday before Labor Day I drove out to Sky City Casino at Acoma Pueblo for the 2006 World Championship Jalapeño Competition, an event attended by about 100 people, but nevertheless officially sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE). …

The Chili con Carne Project

The GREAT Chili con Carne Project, Part 7: CASI-Style Cookoff Chilis

Fiery Foods Manager Chili con Carne Leave a Comment

by Dave DeWitt Part 7: Cookoff Chilis, CASI-Style   Recipes: Dorene Ritchey’s 5-R Chili Hot Pants Chili Buzzard’s Breath Chili Judge Arly P. Haffazz Chili John Billy’s Chili Pedernales River Rat Chili Fat Dog Chili High Octane Chili The Great Chili con Carne Project Index The history of chili cookoffs begins with the Chili Appreciation Society International, which was the …