goulashAlthough my friends consider me a person who enjoys spicy and hot foods, I haven’t really tried a lot of the real hot peppers. I love jalapenos in just about everything, seriously. But to a real pepperhead, that’s just candy. I must admit, they are no longer “hot” to me and I can eat them like pickles, or raw, or in all sorts of dishes. Lately, though, I’ve had a craving for peppers on the hotter side of life. I’ve purchased habaneros quite a lot and have started using them sparingly in dishes I make regularly. I decided to try something really hot in my simple goulash recipe.

Recently, I have been introduced to pepper mashes and I’ve found out there’s a whole world of peppers out there waiting for me to explore them! So last night, I took the dive. I must say, it was super interesting.

The Making of Hot Goulash

I love pasta so I decided to use Carolina Reaper Pepper Mash Puree to spice up a favorite. It’s something I make often and I wanted to be sure I could distinguish the difference in the flavor. My personal recipe for goulash includes these ingredients:

  • Whole wheat noodles
  • Ground deer meat (you can use any you prefer)
  • Onions
  • Fresh garlic clove
  • Italian spices (I like basil and a touch of fennel)
  • 1 can of no-salt-added tomatoes
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon of Carolina Reaper Pepper Mash Puree

While the noodles cook, I browned the meat along with the fresh onion and garlic. Then, when it is just about done add the Italian spices and the can of tomatoes. Last night, I also added a little bit of pepper mash. I chose to try Carolina Reaper as I had never had anything made from that particular chili pepper.  In all, I used less than ½ teaspoon, but probably a bit more than ¼ teaspoon.

I let the meat sauce simmer while the noodles finished cooking and then drained them. Then it’s all mixed together into a single bowl.

How Did It Turn Out?

I have two things to say about how it turned out. One, it tasted so good!!! And two, it was hot!!! I expected hot – but it was REALLY hot. And I like hot things. I still ate two bowlfuls because it tasted so good. I always thought people were crazy when they said the flavor is nice if you can get past the heat – but it’s true. The Carolina Reaper Pepper Mash is delicious!

The goulash was a bit hotter than I was expecting, even though I was expecting hot. But the leftovers today have been wonderful. I think I’ve already adjusted to the heat and can’t wait to try this and other pepper mashes in some of my other favorite dishes over the coming weeks.