Spicy, Spicy, Spicy

There was a memorable meal that we created back in November, but that I never got around to posting about.  The "unpleasantly spicy" soup experience last week brought it back to mind so I thought I'd share.  
Here is the necessary back-story:  We had more spicy peppers from our garden than we knew what to do with.  Cayennes, jalapanos, and serranos.   We'd been adding them here or there to stir-fry, curry, chili, etc trying to use them up, but we still had loads of them.  Eventually I dried the remaining cayennes, and we ate up all the jalapanos, but we still had a dozen or more serranos on our hands.

So, Matt found this recipe for vegan take on Ethiopian food.  The recipe called for a sauce where the primary ingredient was serranos.  Perfect. 
At dinnertime I took one bite and looked over at at Matt.  "How are you possibly going to eat this?!"  I asked him.  "I mean, if I think it is spicy then Matt certainly doesn't stand a chance," I thought.  He can have a rather tender-mouth when it comes to spicy food sometimes.

Well, he ate it.  He used the crepes we'd made (What? You don't think crepes are part of authentic Ethiopian cuisine?!) to temper the spice just as he did with the dumplings in the spicy soup.  He was glistening with sweat by the time both meals were over though.  There was much water being drunk.  In the end I'd say we both enjoyed it....just not in a eat-it-every-day sort of way.  It took care of the last dozen serranos though so mission accomplished.

Ethiopian Seitan and Peppers
10 serrano peppers, partially seeded and coarsely chopped (Remove all seeds for less heat.)
1 T fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs seitan, cut into strips
2 bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place all ingredients except seitan and bell pepper into a blender and puree until mostly smooth. 
Place the seitan strips and peppers in a 9x13 inch glass baking dish and smother with the puree.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove foil and flip seitan and peppers.
Bake for another 20 minutes.
Serve with flat bread, crepes, or rice.


  1. Cayennes are all I can handle and then not too much. Next time you are overrun with peppers, try making pepper jelly. That can be eaten with crackers and cream cheese. Or, dump it over meat when you cook it.

    Also, just for an experiement, I ground the dried cayenne and made pepper. I was so excited because it was almost like I had discovered pepper. I was so silly.

    1. I bought a jar of jalapeno pepper jelly at a street fair this year. We were selling tie-dye next to the vendor and after hearing Tim say "try some jalapeno pepper jelly" about a thousand times I just had to buy some. I like it on toast. Matt, predictably, doesn't care for it.

      I have a bunch of dried cayennes--several feet worth on thread. I've been thinking of grinding it....

  2. Wonderful--I DO like spicy and Ethiopian, so a good match.

    Re: GPS -- I bought a very simple, old (probably made c. 1995), entry level Garmin eTrex at a pawn shop for about $20. Brand new, the current equivalent base model is about $120 and, on the up side, the new ones are even easier to use than my old-but-good clunker.

    I've been REALLY happy to have it a few times getting out of the hills/broken prairie after dark and in snow etc. I am very proficient with map and compass, but in a nasty storm after dark etc it's nice to see that weatherproof screen with an arrow pointing the way.

    My friend has the same model along with a computer cable and software so he can upload/download topo map data. I suppose I need to do that, too.

    1. The pawn shop! That is a great place to start. The price tag was part of the reason I was hesitant to jump in. Thanks!

  3. I didn't have much luck with seitan but I bet this recipe would work well with eggplant. thanks, BLD!

    1. I like eggplant way better than seitan, but seitan is fine. Matt likes it more than I do. Consequently, I don't make it, but when he does I will eat it.

  4. Hi Beth! Missing seeing you online...hope you guys are busy searching for your dream house :)

    1. Yup. We found it. Well, actually my "dream house" is out in the country somewhere, but currently we are more in the market to be urban homesteaders instead of real farmers. But, yes we found it! Hooray!

      I missed seeing what you've been up to, but that just means I can look forward to catching up with your blog on of these days!

    2. Hooray!!! How wonderful - big congrats to you both :)

  5. Beth, just checking to see how you are. I miss your comments and cheery blogs!........Denise

    1. Denise, things couldn't be better. Thanks for checking! I've been busy reading and with the business of purchasing my first home. Exciting times for us! I hope you have been well and look forward to catching up on your blog posts that I've missed!


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