Spicy

Spicy, Smoky, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Spicy, Smoky, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Because I’ve been known to eat a Thanksgiving meal that consists almost entirely of mashed potatoes and gravy, I replace the cream and some of the butter in the recipe with an aromatic garlic and chile infused broth that I cook the potatoes in, resulting in lighter mashed potatoes that are BIG on flavor.

Homemade Chile Powder

Homemade Chile Powder

How to dehydrate and grind chile peppers for chili powder and custom spice blends using fresh homegrown and/or exotic store bought chiles. Preserve expensive and/or hard to find chiles.

Old West Style Vegan Chili

Old West Style Vegan Chili

Old West style spicy vegan chili recipe made with plant-based meat, black beans and mushrooms. Served with vegan shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

One Pot Arroz Con Pollo

One Pot Arroz Con Pollo

When I asked locals which Tucson centric recipes they would most like to see included in my cookbook quite a few people mentioned arroz con pollo and I’ve always found chicken and rice to be a comforting combo  This is a great make ahead recipe for work day lunches. At first glance salsa de chile fresco may look like pureed tomato sauce 
but it’s got a medium spicy kick of heat that will convince you otherwise.

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

So quick and easy; you can make this satisfying Sonoran Style Mexican chicken tortilla soup from my Taste of Tucson cookbook in 30 minutes or less!

Spicy Thai-Mex Slaw

Spicy Thai-Mex Slaw

This crunchy, salty, and spicy no-mayo Thai-Mexican coleslaw is an excellent companion to Sonoran style dishes is inspired by Som Tum (green papaya salad).

Molletes

Molletes

These open-faced breakfast sandwiches are made by slathering refried beans onto toasted bolillo rolls and then heaping avocado slices, a fried egg, hot sauce, and lots of cheese on top.

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin Hot Salsa Recipe From the Taste of Tucson Cookbook

Chiltepin salsa is an all-purpose salsa that can be used for dipping, for seasoning, and as a taco sauce. A little goes a long way, so if you prefer a milder salsa, cut the amount of chiles down by a half or a third. This recipe is from the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers.

Chicken Molé Amarillo

Chicken Molé Amarillo

Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate based cousin, this version of Molé Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson’s Cafe Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favorites which is one reason why I wanted to feature the recipe in my upcoming cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would. 

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Sonoran Style Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

There are Southwestern regional influences that vary from New Mexico to Arizona, Texas, and Southern California. Here in Tucson, our regional cuisine is defined by fresh veggies, grilled meats and all of the delicacies that a mid-sized, sunshine filled desert city/college town, 60 miles from Mexico, has to offer. It’s summertime eating all year round.

Chelada Beer Cocktail

Chelada Beer Cocktail

This super-refreshing citrus beer cocktail is served in a chile and salt rimmed glass over ice. It’s kinda like a beer margarita. I love it because it’s a big drink that lasts a long time and it has considerably less sugar and calories than a margarita. 

Buffalo Chicken “Rumaki” Bites

Buffalo Chicken “Rumaki” Bites

Whatever happened to Rumaki, that vaguely Polynesian appetizer that they used to serve at tiki themed parties in the 70s? Maybe making buffalo-style rumaki will help modernize them a bit and bring them back into the public lexicon? Let’s all try serving this recipe at our next soiree and see what happens.

The Italian Stallion Hot Dog

The Italian Stallion Hot Dog

This no-recipe recipe is my tribute dog to Sweathog, Vinnie Barbarino. This recipe has become very popular since I first created it for my monthly column on the FoodNetwork.com. The people of the Internet have spoken, and they have said that it’s a cross between a pizza and a hot dog, and that is not untrue.

The Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The Cheesiest Cheese Crisp with Chipotle Ranch Drizzle

The cheese crisp is the perfect comfort food. A cross between a Mexican pizza an an open-faced quesadilla, Southern Arizona restaurants started selling the dish more than 50 years ago and it’s become a staple of our local Sonoran style cuisine. 

Sweet Corn Paletas

Sweet Corn Paletas

Why isn’t corn used in more desserts? It’s naturally sweet, and the kernels add a nice pop! There is a popular sweet drink called Atole sold by street vendors that’s made with corn masa and flavored with cinnamon, which served as inspiration for this flavor combination. 

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This super easy salad dressing recipe is especially good on a Greek salad, cucumber salad or Asian Chicken salad and you can make it right in the bottle if you only have a little bit of Sriracha left.

Sonoran Breakfast Taco Cups

Sonoran Breakfast Taco Cups

Tacos for breakfast? Of course! Especially when it’s these pretty breakfast taco cups filled with eggs, bacon, pinto beans, cheese and salsa.

Cincinnachos! Cincinnati Chili-Cheese Nachos

Cincinnachos! Cincinnati Chili-Cheese Nachos

Ohio meets Arizona! Cincinnati style chili cheese nachos, “Cincinnachos” as they will henceforth be known. The best of everything for snacking season. Start with My Recipe for Cincinnati Style Turkey Chili, substituting ground grass-fed beef or vegetarian ground beef crumbles if you prefer.

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs

Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs recipe. All of the ingredients for authentic Thai cuisine are available at most grocery stores. Sambal Oelek and Thai fish sauce can be found in most Asian food sections.

Spicy Sonoran Chicken Salad

Spicy Sonoran Chicken Salad

This spicy and crunchy Sonoran chipotle chicken salad can be served in lettuce taco wraps, tortas and sandwiches or meal sized salads.

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings

These wings are hot! The spiciness will vary greatly though, depending on the heat of the chili flakes you are using, and the barbecue sauce you select. This recipe also works well for boneless skinless breasts or thighs.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Apparently, in the olden days, every casino in Las Vegas offered a $1.79 chicken dinner. If you won a $2.00 bet, you’d have enough money to buy one, so the dealer would shout, “Winner, winner chicken dinner “. Chicken is still pretty cheap, so you, dear reader, can be a winner every time you make one of these recipes.

Chicken Parmesan in Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce

Chicken Parmesan in Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce

I want to eat warm hearty meals in Autumn colors. Casseroles baked in stoneware dishes with rich sauces. Meat, cream, smoked cheeses, tomato sauce, and, I want the recipe to be fast, and easy, so that I can eat right away. Something that I can make from memory because I’ve been doing Atkins and I find I instantly become insanely hungry.

Scrambled Eggs With Gorgonzola & Salsa

Scrambled Eggs With Gorgonzola & Salsa

This recipe is the result of an early morning haze wherein I emptied random things from the refrigerator into a pan in a blurry attempt to make breakfast. It came out better than I expected, and now my husband and I eat scrambled eggs for breakfast this way almost every day. Sometimes just a little twist on a traditional dish really makes it shine.

Sicilian Shrimp with Hot Peppers and Lots of Garlic

Sicilian Shrimp with Hot Peppers and Lots of Garlic

These shrimp go great with a glass of wine and a conversation. It’s a dish to be shared, because if everyone is eating it, you won’t have to worry about reeking of garlic… or you could just eat it all by yourself when no one else is around to the same effect. It’s fun either way.

Cincinnati Turkey Chili

Cincinnati Turkey Chili

Cincinnati chili does not exist in Arizona, except for in a suspicious canned variety, so I went on quest and figured out how to cook it up myself.

Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

Salsa Chicken Lettuce Tacos

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants now offers their famous tacos nestled in a large lettuce leaf instead of a tortilla. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed them served that way; I didn’t miss the tortilla at all. So I’ve started experimenting with the idea at home. I modified this recipe from one in a cookbook that I photographed for Chelsie Kenyon a couple of years ago.

Arizona Cowboy Caviar

Arizona Cowboy Caviar

My Arizona Cowboy Caviar recipe is made with lentils, chile peppers and red onion in a spicy citrus vinaigrette.

Spicy Sonoran Potato Salad

Spicy Sonoran Potato Salad

Here in Southern Arizona, our famous Sonoran style Mexican food is often garnished with pickled red onions and Mexican limes. I’ve incorporated those flavors into this spicy potato salad tossed with a chile-lime vinaigrette.

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole

Sonoran Style Chunky Guacamole

Chunky Guacamole for the win! I swear the recipe from my cookbook Taste of Tucson is the best ever… it’s spicy, salty and creamy yet crisp and bright with lots of citrus and just a tiny bit of crunch from the fresh Serranos.

Some people avoid avocados because they are higher in calories than other fruit, but they are filled with the good fat, the kind that’s been shown to actually help you lose weight and lower cholesterol levels. Here’s some more information on avocado nutrition from Hass. Avocados are really good for you!

Thai Green Papaya-less Salad Recipe

Thai Green Papaya-less Salad Recipe

Here in Tucson it can be hard to get fresh green papaya, so I use packaged coleslaw mix instead in this spicy Thai cabbage salad inspired by Som Tum.

Black and White Nachos

Black and White Nachos

This recipe makes a white nacho cheese sauce instead of the traditional yellow. Black beans add contrast, fiber and a bit more protein. There are more colors here than just black and white. but you get the point.

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

I’ve been having an unyielding urge for deviled eggs. Since I like a salty-spicy combo I’ll use caviar for a garnish when I’m feeling fancy. Otherwise I’ll just use capers. I feel that it’s important to buy organic eggs and I always try to buy eggs that come from chickens that are fed flax seed, giving their eggs a healthy dose of Omega3. They’re a great idea for vegetarians.I learned how to make hard boiled eggs from Martha Stewart (not in person… on her website). Here’s the link if you want to check out her instructions.This recipe serves one as a snack. For a crowd, multiply the recipe by the number of people expected to eat them.

Jackie’s Famous Gazpacho

Jackie’s Famous Gazpacho

My husband woke up, looked at me in from his side of the bed and declared this the “Week of Gazpacho”. And so, it is.

Recipe Index

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Jackie Alpers for the Food Network

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About Jackie Alpers

Portrait of Taste of Tucson Cookbook author in her Mexican tiled kitchen

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