Hometown Focus Recipes – Hometown Focus – Tricks and Tips

Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for oyster mushroom tacos

Since August 19 was National Hot and Spicy day, it seemed like a natural to turn into a recipe column.

At first, I typed in a search for hot and spicy recipes and some that turned up would have blown the average person out of the water with the extremely hot peppers being used. Now, I like hot and spicy, but not to the point that you can’t even eat it.

So, a bit more searching brought up these spicy, yet milder, recipes from www.allrecipes.com. However, as with anything, everyone’s taste buds are different so size up the recipe before you make it to decide if you want to go all-out on the spices, or drop it down a notch.

Be careful when handling fresh peppers since the oil can burn both your skin and eyes. It’s recommended to wear gloves when handling peppers. I always thought a swig of cold beer was a good way to put the fire out in your mouth when eating spicy foods, actually, cold milk works much better!

Andy’s Spicy Green Chile Pork

Recipe by: andympls

• 1 white onion, chopped
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 1/2 lb. pork shoulder roast
• 1 (16 oz.) jar green salsa
• 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 serrano chile peppers, or to taste

Layer the chopped onion into the bottom of a slow cooker. Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper; place atop the chopped onion. Pour the green salsa over the pork. Sprinkle the cilantro over the salsa and pork. Drop the serrano chile peppers into the slow cooker.

Cook on low until the meat falls apart easily, about 8 hours. Gently remove the pork to a cutting board. Strain and discard about half the remaining liquid from the slow cooker, reserving the rest. Discard the onions, peppers, and cilantro if desired. Shred the

pork shoulder with a pair of forks. Mix the pork with the reserved liquid from the slow cooker to serve. (Yield: 8 servings)

Hot Corn

Recipe by: IXIPIXIE

• 1 c. butter
• 2 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese
• 1/2 c. milk
• 4 (15 oz. each) cans whole kernel corn,
• 1 (12 oz.) jar jalapeno peppers, drained
and diced
• 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine butter, cream cheese and milk; stir until smooth. In a 9×13-inch baking dish, combine corn and jalapenos. Pour milk mixture over corn and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. (Yield: 12 servings)

*Many of the online reviews suggested halving the sauce mixture (butter, cream cheese, and milk)

Spicy Eggplant

Recipe by: venymae

• 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
• 4 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1-inch
• 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
• 2 onions, thinly sliced
• 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
• 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
• 2 Tbsp. water
• 1 1/2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
• 1 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
• 1 tsp. white sugar
• Ground black pepper to taste
• 1/2 tsp. Asian (toasted) sesame oil

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Cook and stir the eggplant cubes until they begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the eggplant with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, and cook and stir

the onions just until they begin to soften, about 30 seconds. Stir in the garlic, and cook and stir an additional 30 seconds. Mix in the soy sauce, water, oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, sugar, and black pepper, and stir to form a smooth sauce.

Return the eggplant to the skillet, lower the heat, and allow the vegetables and sauce to simmer until the eggplant is tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Drizzle sesame oil over the dish, and give one final brief stir to combine. Can serve over rice. (Yield: 6 servings)

Spicy Burgers

Recipe by: Maryellen

• 2 lb. ground beef
• 2 tsp. minced garlic
• 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and
• 1 small fresh poblano chile pepper,
seeded and minced
• 1 fresh habanero pepper, seeded and
minced (optional)
• 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
• 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 tsp. ground cumin

Preheat grill for high heat. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, garlic, jalapeno peppers, poblano pepper, habanero pepper, red pepper flakes, cilantro, and cumin. Form into burger patties. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place burgers on grill, and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until well done. (Yield: 8 servings)

Spicy Pretzels

Recipe by: Valarie

• 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp. lemon pepper
• 1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
• 1 (1 oz.) package dry Ranch-style
dressing mix
• 3/4 c. vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 (15 oz.) packages mini pretzels

In a small bowl, mix together cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, garlic salt, ranchstyle dressing mix and vegetable oil. Place pretzels in a large, sealable plastic bag. Pour in mixture from bowl. Shake well. Allow

pretzels to marinate in the mixture approximately 2 hours before serving. Shake occasionally to maintain coating. (Yield: 10 servings)

Spicy Chicken Breasts

Recipe by: MARCEA

• 2 1/2 Tbsp. paprika
• 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
• 1 Tbsp. salt
• 1 Tbsp. onion powder
• 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
• 1 Tbsp. ground cayenne pepper
• 1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast

Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Mix together paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Set aside 3 tablespoons spice mixture; store remainder in an airtight container for later use.

Rub reserved 3 tablespoons spice mixture all over chicken breasts. Cook chicken on the preheated grill until juices run clear, 6 to 8 minutes on each side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees. (Yield: 4 servings)

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Recipe by: SUBEAST

• 1 large clove garlic
• 1 tsp. coarse salt
• 1 tsp. paprika
• 1/2 tsp.cayenne pepper
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 2 tsp. lemon juice
• 2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 8 wedges lemon, for garnish

Preheat a grill for medium heat. Crush garlic and salt together in a small bowl with a fork. Mix in paprika and cayenne. Stir in olive oil and lemon juice to form a paste. Combine garlic paste and shrimp in a large bowl and toss until shrimp are evenly coated. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill shrimp until opaque, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve. (Yield: 6 servings)