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Apr 7, 2010 09:51 AM

Favorite Basque Recipe that uses Piment d'Espelette

Bought a some Pd'E and I'd like to use it in something. I borrowed a cookbook from the Public Library, Pinxtados or something like that, but returned it because all the recipes that intrigued me called for this spice that I couldn't find.

Found some of the spice, but the book is on hold for months. Anyway, what has anyone had success with.


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  1. Sorry to reply to myself, but I'm hoping if it someone will see this and send me an idea. Saw somethin in AdHoc, but it didn't seem like a good use of this over priced spice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hankstramm

      I always feel bad when posters don't get replies.

      Here's a nice chicken recipe I found, which I've made a version of a few times, just not with Piment d'Espelette. I used hot paprika. Lucky you, you get to use the real deal:

      This also sounds like a pretty tasty snack if you're into semi-serious heat and crunch:

      Checked the price at Amazon, yes, it's $$$.

    2. I've never used P d'E - is it similar to pimenton de la Vera?

      2 Replies
      1. re: GilaB

        Supposedly, no. I haven't used the P d'e yet, but they say there is no substitute.

        1. re: hankstramm

          pimenton is smoked. Apparently P d'e is not.

      2. Cut lamb and veal into 1/4 inch thick pieces, the into 1 inch squares. Alternate pieces of veal and lamb on skewers, brush with a light coat of honey, then dredge lightly in a mix of Pd'E and crushed garlic and either saute or grill (your choice).

        1. Looks like this is a particular variety of chile, with APO designation (from an area on the French side of Basque country). I hadn't heard of it before, even though I have lots of Spanish cook books, and one specifically about the Pyrenees. Actually it is discussed in that book, but I just didn't pay attention. Based on your library reading, you may know more about this chile than most Chow readers.

          Is it really that distinctive in flavor and/or use? The Wiki article gives it a 4000 Scoville rating.

          1. In Tastes of the Pyrenees, Marina Chang, this chile is used in about a dozen recipes, usually in a pinch or 1/4tsp. Cayenne is suggested as an alternative.

            It is described as a 'sweet yet hot' red pepper, 'a cultural and culinary icon'

            The heaviest use is in Piperade, eggs scrambled with onions, bell peppers and tomatoes, and Espelette pepper. It is also used in a regional version of sopa de ajo (garlic soup).

            1 Reply
            1. re: paulj

              Here's a piperade recipe

              Judging from the Scoville rating, I'd guess that ground Guajillo would be best Mexican subsitute. Some heat, but nothing overwhelming.

              Another suggested substitute is paprika with a pinch of cayenne.

              A longer blog entry on the subject

              According to chile expert, Dave DeWitt
              "About the same heat scale as hot paprika, the Espelette pepper is regarded by the French as a four on the scale of one to ten. In fact, hot paprika powder can be substituted, as can New Mexico red chile powder."