Saturday, December 17, 2011

Burning hands for dinner

Tonight I took a break from editing to make Sweet Potato Shrimp Curry for dinner. 

I also learned a little about chiles. Our recipe called for two to six red chiles, and because I'm a complete wimp, I was only going to buy two. When the grocery store didn't have red chiles, I stood there, blocking all the peppers for ages, trying to determine the closest atlernative.

I thought jalapeños might taste strange in a coconut curry, and the nearly-opaque white ones seemed menacing--ghost chiles. Then I saw these cute little orange peppers.

I took three and headed home. After Joe asked how hot they were, I decided I'd taste one before using them in the curry. Twenty minutes later, my lips were numb and my nose was still running. Turns out my adorable little chile was a habañero, something like sixty times hotter than a jalapeño.

But orange seems like an inappropriate color for something so hot! I was thinking of chile colors in terms of a stoplight. Green pepper = go ahead, eat it; it's fine. Red = stop and think about it. And yellow would be somewhere in between. Nope. I guess it wouldn't make much sense for the laws of nature to correspond so perfectly to the laws of driving.

Needless to say, we didn't use all three in our curry, and by the time we ate, my taste buds were still recovering. Joe had to tell me whether or not it tasted alright. The good news is that I made some tasty curry. The bad news is that my hands burned for an hour after I washed our cutting board. I guess I'm a little sensitive.  


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