Cayenne and Asthma

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Hi Dave:My daughter as a severe case of asthma. Somewhere she says she read that cayenne pepper will help stop the asthma attack. Has she lost her mind or does she have something going there? Thanks for any information.JudyHello Judy:Some sources claim that taking 2 capsules of cayenne per day strengthens the mucosal lining of the lungs, but one doctor, …

Sambal Trassi (Shrimp paste Condiment)

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

Indonesian Sambals

by Nancy Gerlach, Food Editor Emeritus


  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste (trassi)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped red chiles, such as cayenne

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice, fresh preferred

  • 1 teaspoon salt


To toast the trassi, spread the paste on a piece of foil and fold to seal. Place under a broiler for 2 minutes. Remove and cool.

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Serve this sambal at room temperature.

Marlin Quesadillas

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Make sure to keep an eye on your quesadillas while they’re cooking; you don’t want to overcook the cheese, which should ooze gradually into the fish to create a mixed and delicious flavor. You can substitute any type of fish for marlin.


•    1 tablespoon butter
•    2 12-inch tortillas (the largest kind you can find, usually considered big enough for burritos)
•    1/3 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
•    1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
•    1/2 large tomato, chopped
•    2 teaspoons diced onion
•    2 teaspoons diced jalapeno peppers
•    1/4 pound smoked marlin, cut into thin narrow strips
•    1/4 teaspoon cilantro
•    1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder


In a large cast-iron skillet or griddle, melt the butter. Place one of the tortillas in the pan, and quickly sprinkle the cheese in the center portion of the tortilla, leaving about an inch or so uncovered on the outer edges. Spread the tomato, onion, peppers, and the delicious smoked marlin strips over the melting cheese. Sprinkle the cilantro, chipotle, (and any spices, peppers, salts, or other such seasonings you want to experiment with) on the fresh marlin. Next, place the second tortilla over the quesadilla. Cook for 2 minutes, allowing the bottom tortilla to reach a golden-brown hue.

Successfully flipping the hot quesadilla over to the other side without losing all the contents is a risky maneuver. I recommend using a spatula and proceeding with caution: slow and meticulous is better than trying to show off for your friends, family members, or any pets in the kitchen. I usually use my hands and I usually regret that strategy.

Whatever method you use, as soon as you’ve done that flip, brown the bottom tortilla for another couple of minutes. Once it’s golden and cooked to perfection, take it out of the pan (carefully) and slice it up into four, six, or eight symmetrical pieces. Then serve it with salsa, jalapenos, and any side dishes you desire.

Classic New Mexican Chiles Rellenos

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This is a recipe I’ve used for years and years and it always works and is always wonderful. Traditionally these are prepared with cheese fillings, but a cooked meat mixture, or a combination of meat, dried fruits and nuts also works well. When I’m processing a large bag of chile, I always set aside the largest, whole chiles for this dish.


  • 4 large or 8 small, New Mexican green chiles, roasted peeled and seeded, with the stems on

  • 1/3 to ½ pound cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, cut into sticks

  • All-purpose flour

  • 3 eggs

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • 1 recipe green chile sauce (see following recipe)


Make a slit in the side of each chile and carefully stuff it with the cheese sticks. If the chiles tear, secure them with a toothpick. Just be sure to remove it before serving the chile.

Place some of the flour on a plate and roll each of the chiles in the flour until it’s fairly evenly covered. Shake off the excess flour.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a large bowl and the yolks in a small one. Whisk the egg yolks with the flour, water, and salt until they’re thick and creamy.

Whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

Pour the oil in a saute pan to a depth of 1 ½ to 2 inches, or until it looks like it would reach a little more than halfway up the side of the chiles. Heat the oil to 350 to 375 degrees or until a little of the batter quickly browns when dropped in the oil, about 20 seconds.

Quickly and gently fold the yolks into the whites so that the mixture is an even color but the whites are not broken down. Dip the chiles in the batter, covering them completely and removing any excess.

Slide the chiles, one or two at a time, into the hot oil. As they are browning on one side, carefully spoon some of the hot oil over the top to assist in setting the batter. When they’re browned, gently turn them over and brown the other side, turning only once. Remove them from the oil and drain on a paper towel.

To serve, place the rellenos on a plate and top with some of the green chile sauce. Serve immediately.

Jalapeño Hushpuppies

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A Recipe From:

America’s Best BBQ:

100 Recipes from America’s Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants


by Ardie A. Davis and Chef Paul Kirk

This recipe and other can be found in the Book Excerpt: America’s Best BBQ


2 cups yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 or 2 jalapeño peppers

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons bacon grease

canola oil or lard, for deep frying


In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, seasoned salt, cayenne, baking powder, and baking soda until combined. Add the scallions and jalapeno peppers and stir to combine.

Add the eggs, buttermilk, and bacon grease. Stir it all up until the flavors are thoroughly blended.

Heat the frying oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F. (or use a deep pot and measure the oil temperature with a deep-frying thermometer). When it’s hot, use a tablespoon to drop your hushpuppies in. Allow them to brown on all sides. They will begin floating when done, after 5 to 7 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them.