Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

10 Ways to Use Chili Peppers

posted in Main Dishes by Kathy Maister

It’s a “Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingy”, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Who could resist this appetizer?

My video on Chili Peppers and our How to: Chili Peppers will serve as a great introduction to peppers for the beginner cook.

If you like a hint of “heat” in your food, experiment by adding chili peppers to everyday dishes. Chop up some chili pepper and toss it on scrambled eggs, sandwiches or burgers, stir-fries, soups or stews. Add or subtract chili depending on the level of spice that you like. Be sure to remove the stem and seeds, since that’s where a lot of the really hot heat is stored!

Jalapenos are one of the more recognizable peppers here in the USA, as they are very popular in Tex-Mex cooking. Recipes call for a variety of different forms of jalapenos including fresh, canned, and as a sweet hot pepper jelly.

1. Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies (shown at the top of the post) have three great ingredients going for them: spicy peppers, cream cheese and bacon. Everyone will just love this flavor combination!

2. Jalapenos Stuffed with Sausage (shown below) pack a real kick, particularly if you use hot sausage! Using sweet sausage may be a safer bet for your next party.


3. If you find jalapeno peppers are too hot to handle, here’s a recipe that cheats, using jalapeno pepper jelly in a glaze for fish, chicken or beef. Crabby Cook modified this glaze (seen on America’s Test Kitchen) and promises that it “won’t burn your mouth up.” This recipe does include cilantro, which sort of looks like flat-leaf parsley, but for many it is an acquired taste.


Curly Parsley Cilantro and Mint

4. Surprise your company with this easy treat: put an 8 ounce block of cream cheese on a serving plate. Pour a 10 ounce jar of hot pepper jelly over the cheese. Serve with your favorite crackers!

5. Ina Garten’s recipe for Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbreadtakes five minutes to mix the ingredients, which then sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking. For this recipe, don’t forget to pick up a box of cornmeal at the grocery store!

6. My video on Tex-Mex Cheeseburgers uses canned jalapenos in the sauce. Try this just once and it will become a family favorite in your house too!

7. Instead of using Tabasco sauce in my Tex-Mex Bean Salad recipe (shown below), try chopping up some fresh jalapenos. This recipe is great to serve on a buffet!


8. Stuffed Poblano Peppers is an easy, improvised recipe that involves five ingredients. The poblano peppers are stuffed with browned ground beef and cooked rice, mixed with ready-made enchilada sauce and canned diced tomatoes.

Poblano Pepper

9. This Food & Wine recipe for Poblano and Portobello Stuffed Mushrooms is one of those “company’s coming” kind of dishes. Or it could make a classy, light vegetarian meal for you and your sweetheart. Poblanos add a lot of flavor but not too much heat!

10. Skinny Chef uses pickled cherry peppers for this great recipe: Cherry Peppers Stuffed with Mozzarella and Basil. Jen will also answer the question on whether or not Chilies Can Help to Control Your Weight!


Or for no heat but lots of flavor, check out my photo-tutorial on Stuffed Peppers (shown below)!

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Guy Kawasaki’s Famous Teriyaki Sauce with Grilled Chicken

print recipe card posted in Main Dishes by Kathy Maister


A huge welcome to Guy Kawasaki who has shared with me his world famous recipe for teriyaki sauce, which I have turned into a video.

This blogpost contains not only the script-recipe of his video but also a description of how to use his sauce to make Teriyaki Grilled Chicken.



Script of Guy’s video:

Welcome to startcooking.com…I’m Guy Kawasaki here to make my famous teriyaki sauce!

All it takes is six ingredients – pureed in a blender:

Start with half a hand of ginger. You can peel it if you want to, but you don’t have to. Just be sure to give it a rough chop.

Cut two jalapenos in half remove the seeds and chop them up.

Trim the root ends off half a bunch of green onions and chop them up as well.

Peel an orange. But just half is needed for this recipe.

Measure out 1 cup of soy sauce and 1 cup of sugar

Now add everything to the blender. Cover it and let her RIP. Keep blending on high speed until everything is liquefied.

This is a great barbeque marinade for about 2 and 1/2 pounds of beef or chicken.

Oh and it’s got be charcoal. Gas is for wimps!



Thanks Guy, this is a fantastic recipe! Now for the Grilled Chicken!

Guy told me that from this point on, he “boils the chicken in the sauce on top of the stove, for 15 minutes – then finishes cooking it on a charcoal BBQ just to get the BBQ look”.

As many of you know, I live in a condo in the middle of Boston and have never fired up an outdoor barbeque in my life. Consequently, I’m going to show you how to do this indoors! (At the bottom of this post I have listed several links to some really great barbeque sites and recipes!)

Everyone should first take a look at my video on Grilled Chicken Indoors.

I’m going to be following that cooking procedure, but instead of a dry spice rub on the chicken, I’m using Guy Kawasaki’s Famous Teriyaki Sauce to marinate the chicken first.

For the “indoor” version of this Teriyaki Grilled Chicken, I’m using boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

You can marinate your chicken for up to 24 hours in this marinade. Be sure to use a glass or plastic dish or a plastic bag, and not a metal dish for marinating.

Remove the chicken from the marinade…

…and place on a plate. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.

Put the remaining marinade in a medium size pan.

Bring the marinade to a boil.

Oops! This pan is way too small! As the marinade comes to a boil it will spill right out of this pan. I’m pouring this into a deeper sauce pan!

That’s much better. The marinade needs to get boiled for 15 minutes to kill off any of the raw chicken bacteria. If it gets too thick, add 2-3 Tablespoons of water and continue cooking.

Strain the marinade through a fine sieve. For those that want a bit more teriyaki sauce on their chicken, this is going to be delicious drizzled on top of the chicken.

Cooking the Chicken:

Non-stick pans are great in that it is not necessary to add any oil to the pan when cooking the chicken.

Be sure to follow my instructions in the Grilled Chicken video on preheating the pan. When grilling or frying you do not want to over-crowd the pan. You may have to cook the chicken in two batches.

The sugar in the marinade is making this chicken develop really lovely grill marks on both sides.

Depending on how thick your chicken breasts are you will need to cook them about 3-5 minutes on each side.


Here are the links on Barbecue-ing that I promised you:

Emily Chapelle has done a great post here at startcooking.com called A Beginners Guide to Barbeque!

Jennifer Iserloh over at Skinny Chef has a great selection of Skinny Marinades!

Steven Raichlen, is a barbecue guru, with a show, cookbooks, etc. He has a site called Barbecue Bible: http://www.barbecuebible.com/featured/

Ted Reader is a Canadian barbecue guru (also with a show, cookbooks etc). He’s got a nice site with lots of recipe videos at:

Kalyn’s Kitchen has a big recipe section on Grilling:

Here’s a single guy’s blog on “all things barbecue, food and drink”

Here’s a women-focused site called Girls at the Grill:

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Start the Party with a Bang: Independence Day Menu

posted in Main Dishes, Recipes by Emily Chapelle

Whether your Fourth of July celebration is a family affair, a neighborhood gathering or a party with friends, you’ll want to enjoy great food as well. This mix-and-match menu will help you get everything planned for a great party!

Pick one or two options from each section and you’re all set.


Main Courses

Side Dishes

Very Berry Summer Pie, photo courtesy of Kelly Wright, Sass & Veracity blog



  • Make sure your friends and family stay hydrated with lots of water!
  • Lemonade – the old-fashioned way
  • Iced Tea

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