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19 Spicy Foods That Hurt So Good

Because they make you feel ALIVE.

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1. Chilaquiles Verdes


Serves 6


3 pounds tomatillos in the husk

1 large red onion cut in 1/2-inch slices

2 jalapeños

8 cloves of garlic, unpeeled

1 handful of cilantro leaves

1 lime

1 heaping spoonful of crema or sour cream

1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

12 corn tortillas

1 cup (or more if you like) queso fresco in large crumbles (1/2- to 1-inch pieces), or shredded monterrey jack

1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Salt and olive oil, as needed

1. Lay tomatillos, onions, jalapeños, and garlic on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

2. Place the baking sheet under the broiler, until the veggies are wilted and blistered, about 10 minutes (time will vary based on the heat of your broiler). Remove the veggies and let them cool until you are able to handle them.

3. Remove the husks from the tomatillos, squeeze the garlic from the cloves, and remove the stem from the jalapeños. Throw the roasted veggies into a blender, along with any juices that accumulated on the baking tray. Add the cilantro leaves, the juice of the lime, and the crema. Purée until the mixture is very smooth. Taste and make any needed adjustments (more salt, acid, etc).

4. While the veggies are still in the oven, bring the chicken broth to a gentle simmer in a dutch oven. Add the chicken breasts and allow them to simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Move the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Return the chicken and any juices to the pot.

5. Add the tomatillo purée to the chicken broth, taste for seasoning (note the sauce should be tangy, almost sour, so add another squeeze of lime if necessary), and bring to a simmer. Cover and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.

6. Cut the tortillas into quarters. If your tortillas are fresh, dry them out in the oven or toaster oven. If they're stale and dried out, add them right to the pot. Stir the mixture and let simmer for another 10 minutes. The tortillas will cause the sauce to thicken.

7. Uncover and stir in the queso fresco or sprinkle with the monterrey jack. Cover the pot again, allowing the cheese to melt. Uncover, sprinkle with cotija and cilantro, and serve.

Get the recipe on Food52


17. Spicy Beef and Persimmon Korma


Your palate gets a double whammy with a first bite of sweet tang from persimmons, and the second with a big hit of spice from a full tablespoon of black pepper and a handful of fiery fresh chiles.Get the recipe on Food52

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