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Old 08-16-2012, 08:17 PM   #1
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Spicy with depth

I'm trying to get a layer of depth in my spicy foods. I'm typically making tex-mex food when I do spicy. I tend to use chili powder, homemade chicken stock, jalapenos (always seeded, except for one), cayenne, and general Italian seasonings.

I'm looking to go spicier, but not stupid hot. I want flavor. When I made salsa last week I just got a 1-dimensional spicy. I'm looking for something a little more complex than what I've got. Any ideas for giving your spicy foods that intense flavor and heat?

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Old 08-16-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
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Add some cumin.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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Maybe try some different chilies. Habañeros are known for great flavor in addition to heat.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:11 PM   #4
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In addition to to adding something like habaneros, which have a fruity type of profile along with a good deal of heat, cumin, oregano, and lime juice will add some depth of flavor to your dishes.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:05 PM   #5
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Try adding some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Lots of flavor and depth along with heat. Start with a small amount, and add to taste.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:21 PM   #6
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Maybe you are using too much heat. It may be masking the flavor of the food. Don't forget salt. I know some people think its taboo, but it works...
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #7
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Cilantro. Lime juice (freshly squeezed), lime zest, cumin, add a different type of pepper.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:38 AM   #8
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Inchrisin, I really can only relate your excellent question to Indian Food.I was taught that the strength of spicing must relate to the strength of flavor in the main ingredient.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:15 AM   #9
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There are some dried chilis that can pack some punch and flavor. Japones, arbol, morita, cascabel and chipolte. Chipolte also are available canned in adobo. There are milder dried chilis that I like to make pure powders from and then blend with othe spices to make "chili powder".

I have various luck with fresh japs. Some have good heat, some are as mild as a green bell. So, I prefer serranos.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:12 AM   #10
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A longer or slower method of cooking at a lower temperature will generally result in an increase in the depth of the flavor. I would recommend trying to achieve a balance of flavors per Bolas' advice. As Rocklobster points out, too much heat will hide the flavors. Good luck!
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