For many years as I learned to cook seasoning and spice held no real power in what I prepared. Most specifically, this spice only made home in black beans as I heated them or spice rubs for tender meats. That spice is dry ground Cayenne pepper.
My relationship with this red friend has been flirtatiously innocent for most of my life. December we found love. In a fine attempt to surprise my friends and kin on Christmas I brewed up a batch of Cashew brittle.
It was quirky and interesting with a simple switch of a nut, but it was missing something. At the behest of the all-mighty wizard Alton Brown I thought to add in a whisper of Cayenne pepper. At the first experimental bite my pupils dilated in a hot happy surprise. The buttery chewy concoction left a massaging tingle on the tongue and I was hungry for more curiosity. My family howled and gasped at the lusty punches that caught them off guard from inside the cute candy boxes.
My torrid escapades with Cayenne pepper raced. I thought back to old social studies class about the alien idea of chili pepper in hot chocolate. So of course darling Cayenne made an appearance in several hot ganaches that winter. I also received many questions from friends concerning my curiously delicious whipped cream. Cayenne even danced with that!
My secret chocolate-chip-cookie recipe contains an eighth of a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper. Shh. Don’t tell. I bake regularly and enjoy sprinkling the hotness into my angel food cake batter before grating in fine Callebaut chocolate.
Guacamole loves it. Grilled steaks crave it. I am going to have to start buying it in bulk on ebay before you know it. Cayenne pepper perpetuates the proverbial Pagan alter that is my spice cupboard. It gives me a sultry wink whenever I think of something new to concoct. Somehow, someway it will find a path into all of our waiting mouths.
I love you, Cayenne pepper. Never leave me for a younger prettier cook.