"Chilies can be your friend if you are trying to lose weight," says Rick Bayless, chef-owner of Frontera Grill and other landmark Mexican restaurants in Chicago. He points to research that chilies may speed up your metabolism. But he likes them mainly because, he says in Smart Chefs, "chilies help you feel more satisfied. They fire your mouth on all cylinders."
One of his favorite easy ways to cook with chilies at home is to pop open a can of chipotles in adobe (smoked, dried jalepeños in a vinegar-tomato broth), whirr the contents in a blender, and use the resulting puree on "practically anything: soups, beans, or as a marinade for fish or chicken. Superdelicious."
Tomorrow: Another favorite chef tip as we count down to the new year and the paperback release. Meanwhile, what's your favorite way to harness the heat of chilies? Comment here, or Tweet me at @editgirlnyc.