Pan Roasted Spiced Corn

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 dried de arbol chiles
1 pound frozen corn, thawed
2 Tbsp. corn oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
salt, to taste
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
mixed baby greens


In a small non-stick skillet, dry-roast the cumin seeds, fennel and chiles de arbol over medium heat, stirring and shaking the skillet until the spices are fragrant and a few shades darker, for about 2 minutes. Transfer the spices to a bowl and let them cool, then grind the spices finely with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.

Place the corn in a non-stick skillet and stir over medium-high heat until the water evaporates, then transfer the corn to a bowl.

In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the onion, stirring until golden, for 3-5 minutes, then add the corn, roasted spices and salt. Cook until the corn is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes, then add the pepper and cilantro. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes, then cool and serve the corn mixture over the mixed baby greens.

This is excellent when served warm as a side dish with grilled chicken, pork or fish.

Yields 4 servings.

Recipe from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 18, 2007.