Rachel's Table

Peppermeister Roulette: The Clear Winner and a Spicy Recipe

Remember Peppermeister Roulette 3: Duel to the Death?

(If you haven’t watched this fierce, fiery battle, click here and enjoy: PEPPERMEISTER ROULETTE 3.)

Before getting down to business with those peppers, Peppermeister and I enjoyed a cocktail while checking out his pepper plants. He grows a wide variety in containers on his patio and deck among the bucolic setting of his backyard.

Picking our poison

Picking our poison

It was all polite exchanges and clever banter outside, but when we took those peppers inside, things got real. Real scary. We spun the wheel of doom, sampled Peppermeister’s fine peppers, wept, laughed nervously, and one of us. . .hiccuped.

Here’s what Peppermeister has to say in defense of his hiccuping:

“The hiccups happen to me pretty regularly when I bite into something too hot. I think it’s my body trying to convince me to stop but as you can see, I persevere (or at least perspire).”

Nice try, but the votes are in. And the clear winner of Peppermeister Roulette 3 is. . .ME!

By a landslide.

In honor of the pepper that caused Peppermeister’s hiccups and my victory, I made a tasty salsa with a home-grown Ho Chi Minh pepper. (I have to say a huge thank you to Peppermeister for giving me some of his beautiful pepper plants he cultivated from seeds.)

I make this salsa, filled with fresh corn, black beans, and lime, often and in large quantities. Mostly because it’s my most requested dish at family gatherings and parties. You should make it too! Let me know if you get the hiccups.

Peppermeister Roulette Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 red onion, diced smallish
2-4 cloves garlic, minced or run through a garlic press
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh, local corn, blanched and taken off the cob (you may substitute one 16-ounce package of frozen corn here or two 14.5 ounce cans of corn)
2 14.5-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes – do not drain (substituting fresh, local tomatoes is an option here, too!)
Juice of 2 limes (about ¼ cup)
¼ cup olive oil
1 Ho Chi Minh pepper (or substitute ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1 jalapeno or 1 serrano – make it as spicy as you wish or not spicy at all)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups cilantro, roughly chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Allow to sit in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours. The longer this sits, the better it is. This is great over grilled chicken and fish too!

Worth the hiccups

Worth the hiccups


  1. Oh this salsa sounds fantastic! I really enjoy reading about your hot pepper experiences, it’s a pity we don’t have as many varieties of peppers in France, I would really enjoy trying out as many as possible.

      • Oh Rachel, that is adorable. Unfortunately, I live in a small(ish), city apartment and cannot really plant anything just now! But it is so nice of you to offer! Thank you

      • I understand that completely! The funny thing is, Peppermeister grows all of his peppers in containers right on his deck, even though his back yard is enormous. If you ever move, let me know! 🙂

    • Thanks!

      Your own beans will make this even better! It’s a perfect summer salsa and can even be made in the winter with some fresh-frozen summer corn and canned tomatoes. I love it.

  2. I made something very similar for a party last week, called cowboy caviar. It was a huge hit. But I didn’t have any peppers, so it was pepperless, sadly. I know this is probably a huge crime, but then again, not everyone has a Peppermeister in their backyard! 😉

    • Don just called this Hoosier Caviar. Must be a thing.

      The great thing about this recipe is that the pepper/heat is not needed. It’s JUST as good without it – I think the lime juice is the secret ingredient here.

    • Thanks, JM!

      My nieces LOVE this, but they have always liked salads and weird not-kid-friendly foods. My niece used to request “feta” as soon as she learned to talk. Weird kid.

      I hope you make it – it’s so addictive.

  3. I’m reminded of a quote by Stalin (post sexy-era): “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.”

    Not that I’m accusing you of anything. Congratulations, though! (HA! auto-correct, changed that to “Congratulations, thug!”)

      • Yep! Corn=Grain and Beans=… Umm… Beans. So they’re both out.

        Yeah, fruit salsa is definitely the bomb! I honestly didn’t discover the joys of fruit salsa until after I went Paleo; despite that they’re abundantly available. How in the world did I miss them!?

  4. I’m glad there was a follow-up to this because it gives me the opportunity to point out that either way, Peppermeister is an exceedingly lucky man. Jules, you, peppers. The man’s surrounded by hotness. Congratulations, thug. (Auto-correct was not involved. I just liked B-Man’s comment!)

  5. RECOUNT!!!!!!
    I encourage all interested parties to refer to the original Video. At 8:35, Rachel clearly says “I don’t think I can do this anymore…..”. Had it not been for the director informing Rachel’s Table (of lies) that the contest was over, she was CLEARLY going to quit.
    Now, since I happen to be sleeping with the aforementioned director/editor, I have access to the raw footage.

    What did Rachel really say??? I give you the unedited version in text format:
    Rachel: I don’t think I can do this anymore.
    Jules: Why not?
    Rachel: He’s just too intimidating with his burly manliness and pure pepper power, I bow down to thee, Peppermeister. You are the true winner.
    Jules: I’ll edit that out.
    Rachel: Thanks, I’m hoping to get at least two posts out of this thing.


      It went more like this…

      Rachel: I don’t want to do this any more but I will because I’m awesome.
      Peppermeister: hiccup, hiccup
      Jules: I know you are. You’ve got this.
      Peppermeister: hiccup, hiccup
      Rachel: Thanks for your never ending support, Jules.
      Peppermeister: hiccup, hiccup.
      Rachel: I am the clear winner.

      • I wanted to let you know that just because I made this salsa (sans tomatoes), added several scorching peppers, and may or may not have declared it the best salsa I’ve ever had, does not (in any way) mean that you won this competition. Check the tape again. I chomped on 6 peppers where as you only nibbled on 5. My hulking hiccups were merely a battle cry towards my inevitable victory. If you’re wondering, that big “L” that just appeared on your forehead does not stand for local.

      • The face that you may or may not have declared this the best salsa you’ve ever had may or may not have made me smile and feel honored.

        I will neither confirm or deny the pepper eating ratio on the tape.

        Are you hinting at a rematch?

    • “Burly manliness and pure pepper power” huh? That sounds a little scripted to me. I’m not going to believe it until I see it!
      But obviously I find it perfectly normal that someone would say “I bow down to thee”…

  6. Adventures in Kevin's World

    I’m still waiting for our chocolate challenge! We can even do chile chocolate if you prefer (currently I’m experimenting with Askinosie’s sea salt flakes, pistachio, and chile dark chocolate).

  7. Pingback: I’ve Been Published in German! That is so KNALLHART. | Go Jules Go

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