There are few things worth writing about at 11:30 on a week night, and this is one of them.
My wonderful friend Caroline is one of the most passionate foodies I know. I hope you two can meet one day. Caroline loves to cook, adores trying new foods and flavors, and she keeps meticulously detailed lists of her favorite restaurants around the globe. She can always tell you where to eat and what to order, and her recommendations have never led me astray. (Case in point: even though she and her husband moved from NYC to San Francisco several years ago, Caroline is still my go-to for advice on where to eat in the Big Apple.)
While I continue to lament Caroline's move to the West coast, I'm so glad that we've remained in close touch. One of the many gifts of friendship she has given me - in addition to being a steadfast supporter, a thoughtful listener, and an inspiring fellow mom - is an introduction to Chile Crunch.
Chile Crunch is a crunchy (!), spreadable condiment made from a blend of fresh roasted chiles, garlic, onion and spices that have been sauteed in canola oil. The chiles have a fabulous crispiness and there's just the right amount of heat to excite anything you pair it with - fish, chicken, pasta, hummus, roasted veggies, etc. I personally have enjoyed it in the last week on grilled chicken, roasted salmon, a Costco bean burger, and a silver spoon (turns out Nutella isn't the only thing good enough to eat straight from the jar!). Susie Hojel, the genius behind Chile Crunch, devised this particular spice blend from the flavors she ate as a child growing up in Mexico City. According to the website, her favorite trick is to mix it with "a little olive oil, grated Parmesan, a splash of balsamic vinegar and some chopped parsley...and serve it with a fresh baguette." Now THAT sounds hot.
It looks like you can find Chile Crunch in higher-end food stories in major cities, or you can order it directly from the website. Oh - and Caroline taught me that the first jar is best to receive as a gift, so naturally, yours is on its way.