After salt, the most common ingredient that we often take for granted is pepper, even after being valued equally to gold in ancient times.
Pepper, nowadays is underrated as it is now easily available in almost all countries. This spice native to India and South Asia has many uses other than being sprinkled on top of dishes.
Peppercorns come in a lot of variety, the most common being black then, white, green and the rarest being the red peppercorns.
Here are nine dishes in which peppercorns can be utilized in different ways.
1.Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe – As the name suggests this Italian dish literally translates to pepper and cheese. A simple spaghetti cooked with white peppercorns and cheese such as the pecorino romano or parmesan make for a delicious meal with the simplest ingredients. If you are going to get make it at your home, invest in a good quality pasta maker like Marcato Atlas Wellness 150.
2.Peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin – This recipe combines three types of peppercorns black, white as well as green which is coarsely ground. This is done for the outer coating of the beef, which adds a blast of immense flavor to the beef along with a lovely hot and spicy texture.
3.Peppercorn crusted turkey tenderloin – Turkey is another ingredient which works well with pepper. In this recipe, the turkey is first brined for a few hours to add flavor to it and then coated with a thick layer of ground black peppercorns and fried in oil to enhance the flavor.
4.Spicy Sichuan Green Beans – As the name suggest this dish brings up the famous spicy flavor of Sichuan cuisine. A personal favorite, in this Sichuan peppercorns, are grounded and added directly to the beans add a very hot a mouth burning texture to this dish, adding some meat or pork balances the dish making it a savory dish to be served as a main or a side dish. Ensure that you have something sweet for dessert. I pair it up with a brownie which I make in my heavy duty Kitchenaid professional 600 stand mixer.
5.Salt and pepper shrimp – This traditional Chinese dish depends entirely on black peppercorns for its flavor which are a part of the Chinese’s five spice powder used to dust the shrimp. This dish can be served with a cold salad such as the cabbage slaw to balance the heat of black pepper and can be had for lunch or dinner.
6.Grilled flank steak with Sichuan peppercorns – For this dish, Sichuan peppercorns are first toasted and then ground to a fine powder to add a punch of spice to the steak. The pepper powder is combined with black bean chili sauce along with a dash of white wine, which is used as the marinade for the steak giving it a lovely glossy texture. You should use the best stand mixer for better incorporation and mixing of ingredients.
7.Pan roasted double cut pork chops with peppercorn crust– Utilizing two types of peppercorns black and green; this dish will simply blow your mind. With the strong flavor of ground black pepper as the upper coat of the pork chops along with the green pepper with its fresh, tangy flavor added in the brandy cream sauce. A must try for the pork lovers, out there.
8.Sichuan peppercorn burgers with chili – These burgers are flavored with Sichuan peppercorns along with cumin star anise chili flakes and brown sugar giving a unique flavor served with a tangy chili mayo full of cucumber pickles and fresh ginger.
9.Crispy Kung pao tofu – This dish is a complete package of spice and heat which hits your head and slowly burns with chunks of tofu, peanuts and celery fired up with an immense amount of Sichuan pepper.
These are the tried and tested recipes with peppercorn; you can easily find many offbeat recipes in Asian restaurants that heavily rely on the pepper. Overall, peppercorn is a highly versatile spice, and if you are in the mood to experiment, this is the best you can get.