I have mixed feelings about this recipe. It’s not that the recipe was actually bad, but something happened while making it that has left me with bad memories of the meal. This is what happened:
In trying to use ingredients for “Grilled Sirloin Steak with Mango Chile Salad” that I had on-hand, I decided to use the little yellow pepper my mom had given us from her friend’s garden in place the jalepeno pepper the recipe called for. I very excitedly diced up the mango, squeezed the lime juice, chopped the peanuts, and thinly sliced the pepper so that the topping would be ready the moment the steak came off the grill. I then did what anyone cooking something is supposed to do—I tasted it to make sure nothing was missing. Unfortunately, within a second of it hitting my tongue, the heat of the pepper exploded in my mouth—I couldn’t spit it out fast enough! It took another ten minutes for my hearing to return and for my tastebuds to return to normal. But this wasn’t the actual trauma.
Fortunately, I still had some mango along with the other ingredients, so I decided to make another batch minus the pepper. I’m not sure if this was supposed to be delicious with the jalapeno, or if the recipe was just really plain, but it was just so-so. I did, however, follow Cooking Light’s suggestion to make Coconut-Ginger Rice on the side—which was amazing, and I would definitely make it again.
Ok, on with the rest of my story.
So, later that night, I started to feel like my hands were swollen, as if I’d eaten to much sodium—even though I hadn’t. I took off my rings, and felt a bit better. Then, later on when I went to bed, I noticed that my left hand felt not only swollen, but a bit hot. I was so tired, however, that I just ignored it and went to sleep. But not for long, the heat coming off my hand actually woke me up in the middle of the night! It suddenly occurred to me—the pepper must have been causing it—so I Googled it. What do you know—apparently you should never cut a hot pepper (especially one as hot as the unknown pepper from my mom’s friend’s garden) without actually wearing gloves. Yes, GLOVES! Are you kidding me? Yes, the chemical compound in peppers, known as Capsaicin is actually used in the making of pepper spray. I then began to frantically look for ways to remove it from my skin, as soap has absolutely no effect on it. I tried rubbing alcohol which may have actually caused more damage by bringing the oil of the skin and then spreading it over my entire hand—it actually turned completely red, and the burning was intolerable. I then squeezed lemon juice all over it. Repeatedly. For the next hour. The pain finally then began to subside.
So, from now on, this recipe will always remind me of the horrible nature of hot peppers, and my new found fear of touching them gloveless. Make at your own risk!