Lately, I’ve had a seriously strong craving for spicy food. I finished off the chipotle mayo that was used for the Jamaican sliders from the neighborhood Progressive, eating just a little each day for lunch, and now that it is gone… I want more! So I Googled (Oh, how I love Google) “What does it mean when you crave spicy food?” and found this;
“…people crave it in part because it releases endorphins in the body. When capsaicin, the element of chili peppers that cause the “spicy” sensation, comes into contact with the tongue, the body is tricked into believing that it is in pain and releases the pain-relieving endorphins. This explains why, like anything that releases endorphins, spicy food can become somewhat addictive. People may crave it and build tolerance levels.”
and then there was this;
“When people have trouble cooling down they may crave spicy foods to make them perspire. Some research also suggest that people can become addicted to the rush of spicy food that is associated with spiked blood pressure, accelerated heart rate and rapid breathing says Tammy Shames, R.D. People that crave spicy food are perfectionists. They love order, hate wasting time, and pay attention to all the details.”
OK, now every little bit of that makes sense to me; I naturally have low blood pressure, I do like order and details, etc. And just like Kathleen Turner’s character, Matty Walker, in the 1981 movie Body Heat, “My temperature runs a couple of degrees high.” Plus if I can get my endorphins from food instead of from the so called “runner’s high” and actually having to run… Bring It On!
If you want to tone down the spiciness, just leave out the chipotle pepper.
Poblano and Chipotle-Blue Cheese Salad
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into thin strips, divided
1 chipotle pepper
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 heart of romaine, separated into leaves
Heat a skillet over medium heat; add olive oil. Add the onions and bell peppers, sauté until the vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook another minute, then set aside.
Place 1/2 of the poblano slices in a blender or food processor; add the chipotle, oregano, lime juice , 1/2 of the onion-red pepper mixture, and 1/2 of the blue cheese and puree. With the machine running, add the olive oil through the feed tube and process until smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in remaining blue cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Dip each romaine leaf in dressing to coat, shaking off excess, and arrange on two large salad plates. Sprinkle with the remaining onion-red pepper mixture and the remaining roasted poblano pepper strips. Drizzle with additional dressing and serve.