Monday, January 6, 2014

The Flavor of Pain

The first dish I selected from The Epicurious Cookbook was Indo-Chinese Lettuce Wraps (pg 45). Because of its carblessness, it's ground chicken, and its veg component, it seemed like a nice, light recipe that would still have a lot of flavor (2 tsp each of garam masala, cumin, and coriander, plus a bit of cayenne, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, and cilantro).

I added black beans to the mix, had to use a hot red pepper instead of a jalapeno, and added a splash of lime juice at the end, but otherwise stuck to the recipe.
My eyes hurt just looking at them.
Twenty minutes later, my mouth is still throbbing. Are red peppers spicier than jalapeno? I don't know. I don't know if it's because of the hot red pepper or because 1/2 tsp of cayenne is more than my mouth can stand, but this lit my tongue and lips on fire. The lettuce helped cool it off, ever so slightly, but this could definitely have used some sort of yogurt sauce component, or a lot less cayenne. Or both. Or rice. Or something.

Conclusion: Just okay. I'd try it again, cutting back on the heat, but as written, it's more than I can handle.

If this recipe is any indication, I will not be complaining at the end of this book that its recipes were bland. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to guzzle a gallon of milk.

Update: Matt, who has a very high spice tolerance, reacted thusly: "All this tastes like is hot. It's burning my sinuses."

I'm downgrading this to a Dislike.

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