I simply saute small whole chili peppers in a teaspoon of oil and finish with a sprinkle of chili powder or paprika. This gives the peppers an extra smoky kick. They soften and slightly sweeten but still have a spicy heat.
It all depends what kind of chili pepper you use and how much heat you can take. This recipe came about after a trip to East LA for 99 cent fish tacos at Tacos Baja. This is a great cheap$kate deal sold on Wednesdays only (other days their fish taco is $1.69, still a bargain.) After I got my fish taco I headed to the salsa bar and noticed a tray of yellow small Chili Peppers dusted with dark red powder.
The first bite had a spicy kick that was a great contrast to crunch fried fish topped with cool cabbage, pico de gallo and sweet creme. I was hooked. And be sure to check back, I have a Cheap$kate Dining video on the Wednesday Special 99 cent Fish Taco from Tacos Baja coming up.
I ate a couple more Chili Peppers, trying to analyze how they did it. The lady who took my order said they didn't roast them, all they have is a fryer and a grill. Then I noticed a fry basket loaded with the peppers being dunked in the fryer - probably cooked for a minute or so to soften them up. As for the powder on the chili peppers, I figured it was either chili powder or paprika. Both are similar in flavor, so you can use whichever one you have on hand.
If you are looking for a spicy accompaniment to one of my Latin recipes (especially my homemade Fish Tacos - recipe coming soon) be sure to add some Sauteed Chili Peppers.
- Small package of Chili Peppers - about 6-12 small peppers. Okay to use any favorite sweet, mild or spicy peppers, including mini-bell peppers.
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
Heat frying pan over medium heat. Add oil, coat pan and add Chili Peppers. Saute Chili Peppers, for a couple of minutes.
Cover pan and reduce heat to low/medium. Cook about 5-7 minutes. Rotate chili peppers every couple of minutes to heat through on all sides. Saute chili peppers all at once or in batches.
You don't need to char the chili peppers, just lightly brown them, enough to slightly soften.
Remove Chili Peppers and place in a bowl. Sprinkle on teaspoon of chili powder on all sides. Serve with your favorite Latin dish, backyard BBQ or spice up a party with these appetizers.