Tag Archives: cayenne pepper

Paleo Rogan Josh

I don’t really understand or care about the Paleo diet. But I did really like this Rogan Josh recipe, the first time I had it. So I decided to make it myself. The ingredients are:

  • Beef, 2 pounds
  • Onions, 2 medium, diced
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Coconut Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Water, 1 cup

And for the spice blend:

  • Sweet Paprika, 2 tablespoons
  • Cayenne pepper, 1/2 tablespoon
  • Ground coriander, 4 teaspoons
  • Ground cumin, 4 teaspoons
  • Ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons
  • Chili Powder, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 2 teaspoons
  • Ground ginger, 3/4 teaspoon
  • Ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon
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The ingredients.

You may want to start by browning the meat in the oil, because that can take a while, depending on the size of your pot. I browned mine in two batches. Be sure to let the meat sear for a good length of time before disturbing it, to ensure it develops a nice, crispy crust.

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Browning…

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Browned.

While the meat is doing its thing, you can assemble the spice blend:

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Spices!

And dice the onions:

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Onions!

Once all the meat is browned, return it to the pan, along with the onions. Cook until the onions themselves have begun to soften and brown a bit.

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Brown some more.

Then add in the spice mix, stir for about 30 seconds to allow the spices to warm in the oil and grease, and then add in the water and coconut milk.

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Soon-to-be deliciousness.

Cover and simmer for about an hour to allow the meat to tenderize and the sauce to reduce, and you’re done.

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And done.

You may find, as I did, that the sauce has reduced a bit more than what you really wanted. If so, ameliorate by adding in a bit more coconut milk.

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Waterfall Beef

This was…salty. Tasty, but very very salty. The ingredients are:

  • Beef, steak, 2 pounds
  • Scallion, diced, 4 tablespoons
  • Mint, 1/2 cup
  • Cilantro leaves, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 2/3 cup
  • Lime juice, 1/2 cup
  • Sesame seeds, toasted, 2 tablespoons
  • Ground thai chilis, 1 teaspoon
  • Ground roasted sticky rice, 3 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

Let’s start with the meat. The recipe calls for you to marinate it in about two tablespoons of the fish sauce. Make sure it coats both sides, and gets at least 5 minutes of marination time.

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Marination.

Next, the rice. “Ground, roasted sticky rice” – what the heck is that? Well, it’s sticky rice (which you can usually find at the normal supermarket, and if not, an Asian one) roasted in oil, and then ground. As the name suggests. You may want to add a bit of water to the pan every once in a while as you roast the rice. Make sure it ends up with that beautiful, golden-brown color.

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Roasting…

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…and roasted.

Then, you know, grind it – I used a spice grinder.

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Then ground.

Okay, back to the meat again. Place it on your grill, and grill for about 3 minutes on either side. You want it to still be a bit rare in the middle – medium rare.

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Grilling.

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Grillt.

Then bring it back inside, slice it up, and heat it in your wok.

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Wokking.

Add the fish sauce and the lime juice, and then everything else. This secondary cooking process shouldn’t take too long – anywhere from 1-5 minutes, depending on how well you like your meat cooked.

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To be wokked.

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Wokked.

And voila. Again, it was salty – for a less salty version, try using less fish sauce.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe is delish, delish, delish. Absolutely and easily one of our favorites. We can’t recommend it enough! The ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts, 3, cut into skewer-worthy chunks
  • Yogurt, 1 cup
  • Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons
  • Black pepper, 2 teaspoons
  • Ginger, 1 tablespoon, fresh minced
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Butter, 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic, 1 clove, minced
  • Jalapeno pepper, 2, sliced
  • Cumin, 2 more teaspoons
  • Paprika, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon or to taste
  • Cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped
  • Heavy cream, 1 cup
  • Tomato sauce, 2 cans
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The ingredients.

Sadly, this recipe takes a while to make – but the wait is worth it. The first step is to combine the yogurt, lemon juice, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, a teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of cumin in a large bowl. Mix it together, and coat the chunks of chicken in it. Cover and refrigerator for at least an hour.

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The marinade, part 1.

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The marinade, part 2.

Meanwhile, you may want to begin heating your grill (we used charcoal). Make sure to oil the grill grate, as this will help you later on. Once the chicken is finished marinading, thread it onto skewers (if you’re using wood, like we did, make sure to soak it first).

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Chicken, skewed.

Then, you know, place them on the grill! Turn as needed, until done.

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Chicken, grilled.

This is what that looks like, by the way:

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Chicken, grilled, part 2.

The next stage begins with heat: frying the jalapeno slices and garlic in the butter.

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The wok stage.

Then add in the rest of the cumin and salt, as well as the paprika.

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Wokking some spices.

Pour in the tomato sauce and cream, and simmer on low heat for a few minutes, to thicken the sauce.

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The sauce is the best part.

Add in the grilled chicken, and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

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Homemade tikka masala.

And that’s it! Try it over rice, with the cilantro. It’s so, so good!

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I wish I had some now.

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Chicken Vindaloo

Vindaloo is one of my favorite Indian curries, both because of the heat and because of the flavor. But the flavor can vary, depending on the recipe, and you don’t have to make it hot if you don’t want to. I particularly love the flavor of this recipe. The ingredients are:

  • Chicken (2 lbs)
  • Onions (4 medium, chopped)
  • Ginger (2 tablespoons, chopped)
  • Garlic (10 cloves, chopped)
  • Tomato sauce (1.5 cups)
  • Coconut milk (1 cup)
  • White vinegar (1/2 cup)
  • Plain yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • Ground coriander (2 tbsp)
  • Ground cumin (2 tsp)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Tumeric (1/2 tsp)
  • Cayenne pepper (1 tsp+)

This time, I made the recipe using only a single teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and it’s nowhere near as hot as it ought to be. So you may want to use more – and, if you get it wrong, you can always add more in, after the fact.

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The ingredients.

The first step is to add the oil to your pan and cook the onions, garlic, and ginger over medium-high heat for about five minutes, until golden brown.

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Onions in a pan.

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Oh, and garlic and ginger, too.

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Now brown.

Next, add your colorful mix of spices – the coriander, cumin, salt, tumeric, and cayenne pepper – and the tomato sauce, and partially cover and simmer for at least five minutes, or until a thin film of oil begins to form on the surface. Then remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

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Colorful spices in a colorful bowl.

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Adding the spices and the tomato sauce.

Next, place the sauce in a blender, and blend until smooth.

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Put the stuff in the blender.

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Blend.

Then return the sauce to the pan and add the chicken, too. simmer for five minutes or so, until the chicken is partially cooked.

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Adding the chicken.

Next, stir in the vinegar and the coconut milk. Simmer until the chicken is no longer pink in the center – for another 10 minutes, say.

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That beautiful orange glow.

The final step is adding the yogurt. Don’t just plop it in; whisk it first until you have a smooth mixture. Keep cooking for another minute or so, just to warm the yogurt; then you’re done! Enjoy.

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The final step.

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Chicken Moambe

Versions of this dish are prevalent in central Africa; it’s considered the national dish of the Congo. The first time I made it, I more or less followed this recipe; the feedback I got was that I should add more tomatoes. Accordingly, the ingredients were as follows:

  • Chicken breasts (two)
  • Lemon juice (6 tbsp)
  • Paprika (1 tsp)
  • Salt (2 tsp)
  • Cayenne Pepper (2 tsp)
  • Coconut oil (2 tbsp)
  • Onion (2 large, chopped)
  • Garlic (6 cloves, minced)
  • Ginger (1-inch piece, minced)
  • Diced Tomatoes (4 14-oz cans)
  • Peanut butter (1 cup)
  • Collard greens (1/2 bunch, shredded)

The original recipe calls for palm oil instead of coconut, so if you can find it (unlike me) you may want to use that instead.

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The ingredients.

First, combine the salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice, and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.

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The spices.

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The marinade.

It’s not really enough marinade to immerse the chicken, so I just made sure the breasts were coated, and let them set. I also cut the breasts in half, making each one half as thick as it was before. But you do you. You may also want to shred the collard greens, and remove the thick stems.

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Collard green pieces.

Next, melt the oil and start frying the onions – cook until browned, and then add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the chicken and browning it as well (it’s a big browning party!)

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Adding the oil

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Adding the onions

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Browning the onions

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Browning the chicken.

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Browning the chicken.

Once the chicken is browned a bit, add the tomatoes, the peanut butter, and the collard greens. Then cover and simmer for an hour.

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Adding the tomatoes.

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Adding the collard greens.

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Adding the peanut butter.

…And voila! I think the mixture of tomatoes and peanut butter is very tasty. Enjoy!

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Yum.

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Carnitas

This recipe takes a while to cook, but its flavors are well worth it. Here’s the list of ingredients:

  • 3-4 pounds of pork shoulder
  • 2 rounded tablespoons of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 cups of some mixture of lemon and lime juice.
  • Water
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The ingredients.

The first step is cutting up your pork shoulder into chunks. They don’t have to be perfect cubes, but I cut mine with sides of about two inches. Make sure you remove and discard any bone.

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The meat. Don’t remove the fat! It’ll be delicious.

Next, combine the spices in a bowl – the cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Mix them all together.

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Mixing the spices.

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Mixing the spices.

Next, put all the meat and the spices into a ziplock bag. Shake. The purpose here is to coat the meat in the spices.

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Shake, shake, shake.

Next, put the coated pieces of pork in a pot. Enameled cast iron works well. Add in your lemon and lime juice, and just enough water to coat the meat. Then turn the heat on high and bring the pot, uncovered, to a full boil. Once it’s fully boiling, turn trhe heat down a bit – say to medium – but it should still be boiling away steadily, uncovered. Leave it alone for a while. Check on it periodically – maybe after an hour or so. At about the two-hour mark (give or take, depending on the size of your pot) the fluid should be nearly all boiled away.

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Let it boil.

And the meat itself should easily fall apart. The citric acid will tenderize the meat, and it’ll be imbued with tremendous flavor. Be careful not to burn the meat once the fluid is all boiled away, but you do want it to caramelize.

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Once most of the liquid has boiled away.

Shred if you like. I eat mine over rice. Enjoy!

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