Chile pepper enthusiasts have a new resource to explore with the launch of a new cookbook that features recipes developed by the Chile Pepper Institute (CPI) at New Mexico State University.
Horticulture Regents Professor Paul Bosland, also known as the “Chileman,” teamed up with Wendy Hamilton, Extension program specialist in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, to create “The Official Cookbook of the Chile Pepper Institute.”
The cookbook was recently published by University of New Mexico Press and features chile peppers grown at the CPI Teaching Garden at NMSU, the world’s only garden dedicated to chile peppers, which has been a part of CPI’s teaching and outreach programs since 1991.
“Many of our visitors asked for it,” Bosland said. “They wanted a cookbook, and we give tours in the garden, and people ask how to use certain chile peppers from Hungary, Turkey and other places like that. So, it was always something we wanted to do, and we’re really pleased to get it done.”
Bosland wrote about each chile pepper in the teaching garden, Hamilton provided two recipes for each chile pepper and Carolyn Graham, photographer with New Mexico Magazine, took photos of each plate. The CPI mission is to educate the world about chiles, and the cookbook highlights a variety of rich culinary traditions embraced around the globe.
“Former NMSU President James Halligan used to say chile peppers are New Mexico’s identity, and so we like to say NMSU is the identity for chile pepper research,” Bosland said.
The cookbook is a celebration of the institute’s teaching garden and is a helpful guide to cooking and enjoying peppers with unique recipes.
“There are so many recipes, and it was a very difficult thing to pick the right varieties to go into the cookbook,” Hamilton said. “We have suave fish tacos, pepper pizza, Mexican street corn, Jamaican curry chicken, quinoa tuna, chile rellenos, baked eggs, stuffed peppers and, of course, bhut jolokia brownies, which Paul made famous from the ghost pepper."
Hamilton said recipes were created and selected based on each chile pepper’s location, traditional uses, country of origin, exploration of species and varieties and different ways it can be prepared.
The cookbook is available for purchase online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Autographed copies and chile pepper seeds featured in the cookbook are available at CPI, Room 265, Gerald Thomas Hall, on NMSU’s Las Cruces campus.
For more information, visit https://cpi.nmsu.edu.