Chiles come in hundreds of varieties and a wide range of heat, and can be used fresh or dried, raw, roasted or cooked. With all the flavor profiles that chiles offer, cooks love to get creative combining them with other ingredients that complement or balance their taste: from sweet spices like cinnamon and vanilla to acidic flavors like vinegar and citrus—and even other spicy ingredients like fresh ginger and peppercorns.
The grassy taste of fresh green chiles like jalapeños and serranos pairs perfectly with the tartness of lime juice and the herbal flavor of cilantro.
Roasted chiles have deeper flavor notes that go well with dried oregano and toasted cumin or woodier herbs like rosemary and thyme.
A sauté of chiles, garlic and ginger is the foundation of many a Chinese stir-fry and it’s a staple of Indian cooking as well. One whiff of this aromatic trio as it cooks and you’ll know why!
Mexican mole sauce is a blend of dried chiles, sweet spices like cinnamon, dried fruits, toasted seeds and nuts, roasted fresh vegetables, and even chocolate. No wonder its heady complexity is so addictive.
Round out your summer barbecue with a trio of flavorful salads. We’ve got one right here for you: the sweet heat of a Mexican-style fruit salad goes with just about anything you care to grill. Give it a try, we promise you’ll love it!
SOME LIKE IT HOT ‘N’ SWEET FRUIT SALAD
4 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved
2 cups mango chunks
2 cups watermelon chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Kikkoman Lime Ponzu
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Kikkoman Sriracha Sauce
In a large bowl, combine fruit. In a large jar with a lid, combine remaining ingredients and shake vigorously to blend. Refrigerate fruit and dressing until cold. Just before serving, shake dressing, pour over fruit and toss to combine.
Makes 8 servings