The Spicy Food Lover’s Cookbook: Review and Recipe

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Mike Hultquist’s new cookbook is my favorite recent hot and spicy recipe book. It will be released October 16 in trade paper. I received an early copy because of the blurb I gave it on the back cover: “This is the cutting edge of hot and spicy culinary artistry, with innovative recipes set among excellent food styling and photography. It is a visual and electable delight.” Here are some of Mikes tempting recipes: Shrimp in Fiery Chipotle-Tequila Sauce; Habanero-Pecan-Parsley Pesto Gnocchi; Chorizo con Huevos with Potato and Black Beans; Beer Brat Soup; Chicken Wings with Homemade Buffalo Sauce; and Spicy Asian Garlic Pasta.

Mike writes: “It wasn’t until I went off to college that I began to discover foods with real flavor. One of my roommates was Mexican, and when we made chili together, he would season the heck out of it. It was then that I discovered the burgeoning world of hot sauces and chili peppers. I quickly realized I was a total chilihead.”

This a feast for the eyes and palate and I recommend it highly. Below is a good sample of what the book is all about. Mike is the publisher of the blog Chili Pepper Madness.

Easy Risotto with Hot Italian Sausage


I’ve made risotto dozens of times in my life. It is one of my favorite dishes and the pressure cooker makes it super easy. This is the fastest way to make risotto; it takes little effort an it’s just as tasty. I enjoy adding a mixture of different peppers and meats for a heartier dish.

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 sweet Italian pepper, chopped (or red bell pepper)
1 serrano pepper, chopped
1 pound (454 g) hot Italian sausage, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup (211 g) Arborio rice
1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine
2 1/2 cups (595 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp (30 ml) of your favorite hot sauce
Garnishes: Cracked black pepper, fresh chopped basil, grated Parmesan cheese and spicy chili flakes, for serving

Set your pressure cooker to the “sauté” setting. Add the olive oil, shallot, sweet pepper, serrano pepper and Italian sausage. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic; cook until fragrant.

Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, then ad the wine. Stir and let cook until the wine incorporates, about 2 minutes or so Add the stock, salt and hot sauce. Set the pressure cooker to “low pressure” and cook for 8 minutes. When the time is up, release the pressure and open. Stir until creamy. If there is too much liquid, you can pressure cook it again for 2 or 3 minutes.

Serve in bowls topped with the garnishes.

Serves: 4
Heat Level: Medium-hot
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes