Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How hot is a hot pepper?

In 1912, Wilbur Scoville, a chemist, developed a unit to measure the head in chile peppers that is still used today, the Scoville Heat Unit. His original test was a taste test where ground chile peppers are diluted in sugar water and tasted. More sugar is added until the heat can't be tasted. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Red Savina Habanero is the hottest pepper on Earth with a rating of 570,000 SHU.

Lon's at the Hermosa Inn uses ancho chile flakes for it's fabulous Salmon. You get that great chile flavor without all the heat.

Salmon with Ancho Chile Glaze page 98 Tastes & Treasures cookbook

Tarragon Tomato Sauce
2 Roma tomatoes, cored
Olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ancho chile flakes
1/2 cup honey
4 (6-ounce) wild salmon fillets
Vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes (pg 100)
Grilled Fennel (page 100)
For the sauce, preheat the oven or grill to 325 degrees. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and place in a baking pan or on a grill rack. Bake or grill for 30 - 45 minutes or until roasted. Remove from the oven or grill to cool. Peel the tomatoes. Cut into halves and squeeze out the seeds. Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan. Blend the tomatoes, stock and tarragon in a blender. Add 1/4 cup olive oil in a fine stream, blending constantly. Season with salt and pepper.
For the salmon, preheat the grill. Combine the lemon juice, ancho chile flakes and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Brush the salmon lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a grill rack and grill until the salmon nearly tests done. Brush with the honey glaze. Continue to grill until the glaze carmelizes and the salmon flakes easily. The glaze will darken quickly, so be careful not to overcook.
To serve, ladle the sauce in the center of four large dinner plates and top each with a salmon fillet. Place the potatoes in the position of twelve o'clock and six o'clock on each plate. Place the fennel in the position of three o'clock and nine o'clock on each plate.
Serves 4.