31 October 2010
Home Baked Tortilla Chips with Ghost Pepper Relish
Stopping by Whole Foods a few weeks ago I noticed an interesting product from the Pacific Northwest being introduced on the front aisle. As it was close to lunch time the samples were tempting so I stopped by for a taste test.
When I saw the brand name, Plum Crazy Orchard, I was intrigued. I had been working with fresh sweet plums, trying to develop some recipes with them this summer. Ghost peppers, on the other hand, were new to me, and they were on the ingredient list along with apples and bell peppers.
The product representative raised my curiosity when he claimed that ghost peppers are the hottest of all pepper varieties. Not only are they hot but they offer a slow burn, initially blending into and mellowing the sweetness of the plums and apples but gradually warming in back-of-the-mouth heat intensity after they are swallowed.
Tasting them I had to admit the taste and feel were unique and interesting. This relish is spicy but in an unusual way. In fact I found it difficult to rate its heat intensity since it develops slowly. I like spicy food and I didn’t think it was particularly hot but the level of heat it imparts does linger.
I found the flavor particularly appealing as an early fall appetizer. Each bite begins with the flavors of late summer plum and apple and then warms into fall overtones. Served with tortilla chips it offers an interesting conversation starter.
For Halloween it is even more fun served with ghost and bat shaped Home Baked Tortilla Chips lightly spiced with Northwest Alder Smoked Sea Salt from Navidi’s Olive Oils and Vinegars.
Home Baked Tortilla Chips
Non-stick cooking spray or misted olive oil
Seasoned sea salt
On a cutting board, cut corn tortillas into wedges using a pizza cutter or into seasonal shapes using cookie cutters. (I cut out two inch ghosts and vampire bats using small plastic Wilton cookie cutters but any shape could be used.)
Place cut pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray or misted olive oil.
Sprinkle lightly with seasoned sea salt.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from oven and serve with Plum Crazy Orchard Chili Relish or other salsa.