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Charred peppers with chipotle mayonnaise

By Paul Suplee, 

What is a chipotle pepper?

Why am I studying Ockham’s Razor, and why did he foretell Wal-Mart in the 14th century? Was he a soothsayer as was Bradbury when he was penning “Fahrenheit 451?”

Why did the Romans then bastardize the former’s name to ‘Occam? Was English not good enough for them?

What made Wal-Mart so much more successful than K-Mart?

Why is my girlfriend such a better gardener than me?

What is it all about?

Ugh, I guess this really is the start of the school year for me. My mind is going in a million different directions, and it is quite hard to focus. It is the most painful moment for many a fine educator. 

I appreciate and respect my summer break, and truth be told, if I had to teach all year long, I would probably go mad. The only notion that would make me feel more unsettled would be imagining what it would be like getting hit by a bus on the day before summer break. That would be the most ironic end to even the kindest of educators. 

Cleanse the mind, Paul. Cleanse the mind.

And yet, here I am, listening to music 30 years too young for me while I write this drivel, preparing for day-one on this glorious adventure. At least I have a good deal of sick time stacked up for the year, just hoping that I won’t need it to come in handy.

But, I digress. 

Labor Day has come and gone, and now we are in what we locals call ‘Second Season’ or ‘Local’s Summer’ and it is truly a glorious time. Well, I mean it certainly was until the onslaught of Northerners to our area in the past five years, but there certainly is nothing that can be done about that.

The sand is still warm, the water will be comfortable to tolerable for another month at least, the waves will be hopefully sizeable, and the beaches will be emptier. There is nothing like a beautiful day on the beach with only a smattering of folks around you.

But back to the task at hand, I have some serious questions to answer, and I apologize for leaving you hanging in suspense. 

1. A chipotle pepper is a smoked jalapeno.

2. William of Ockham was a typically insane 14th century philosopher who said ‘don’t create box stores’, but it was tweaked to mean ‘keep it simple, stupid’. It has become a standard in the business community 

3. The Romans did what the Romans did. I can’t answer for them.

4. As for the success of one box store over the other, the champions nailed one-stop-shopping at a breakneck pace. They won.

5. My girlfriend is a better gardener because she cares, and I do not. That woman can grow some serious vegetation, and I can shoot things, so I guess we don’t have much to worry about when things go awry again

6. How would I know what it’s all about? I can’t even get rid of the cats that I have. I am not equipped to answer the penultimate question, which brings me to my favorite quote from a previous editor: “I love reading your articles. They ramble, mean something – to a degree – and are entertaining. And then, out of the blue, you say ‘now cook this, and it has nothing to do with what you were writing! I love it.’” 

So go cook this. It’s ridiculously delicious and it actually does relate somewhat to the day’s ramblings, as my girlfriend is an amazing gardener, and these peppers were harvested as a result of her efforts. 

There you go. Segue. Drop mic.

Charred Garden Peppers

serves 6

Hungarian hot peppers

Purple Bell Peppers

Shishito Peppers

Anaheim Peppers

Trimix (reference older articles)

Olive oil

1 c. Chipotle Mayonnaise (recipe follows)

1. Toss all of the ingredients together.

2. Heat a grill until very hot, ensuring that the grill will leave a nice char on at least one side of the peppers.

3. Place the peppers on the grill and cook for about 2 minutes.

4. Toss them around to continue the cooking process, making sure not to overcook them. Remember, they will continue to cook according to the cool cook’s term of “carryover cooking.”

5. So, basically, pull them off a little early, and then let thermal mass do its magic.

6. Serve with a drizzle of the chipotle mayo and some balsamic reduction, if you have it.

7. Rejoice in the love and joy that is this amazingly simple dish.

Chipotle Mayonnaise

Makes 1 1/4 cups

 1 c. Duke’s Mayonnaise

2 Chipotle peppers, with adobo sauce

Juice of 1/2 a fresh lime

1 sprig cilantro

Dash of Trimix

1. Blend everything in a strong blender until smooth and homogenized.

2. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

– Paul Suplee is a Professor 
of Culinary Arts at Wor-Wic
Community College and
owner of boxcar40. 
Visit him at