I grew up in the southwest, and chilies are important to me. (Tortillas, too!) That's why I'm so excited that my cayennes and jalapenos are finally growing strong.
In California, my sister is representing by mixing up a batch of her famous Fuego. She won't give out the recipe, so I hope she comes to visit soon! (My theory is that pepitas are her secret ingredient.)I'm still getting by on last years' fermented hot peppers, and while I love them, I'm really looking forward to fresh. Speaking of fermented hot peppers and eating things inspired by the southwest: the next time you pull out your slow cooker to make a batch of pinto beans, try using the leftover brine from pickled peppers as the liquid. It gives the beans an amazing sweet and spicy kick.