Fire Smish 24.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Apr 30, 2014

This zesty spread is tremendously versatile. It's great on bagels and sandwiches or as a dip for crudités. A dollop of it emboldens scrambled eggs.

None of the uncooked peppers here are seeded, but you're welcome to seed them.

Make Ahead: The smish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 24 servings; makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 medium poblano chili pepper
  • 1 medium serrano chili pepper, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 habanero chili pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 canned chipotle in adobo, such as La Morena brand
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces regular or low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature (do not use nonfat)

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Char the poblano pepper over an open flame on the stove (or under the broiler), turning it frequently, until the skin is blackened on every side, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pepper to a zip-top bag. Seal the bag and let the pepper steam for 10 minutes. Peel off/discard the skin, along with the seeds and stem.

Transfer the poblano to a mini food processor, along with the serrano, jalapeño and habanero peppers, the chipotle in adobo, tomato paste, smoked paprika and salt. Puree until smooth.

Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Use a flexible spatula to fold in the puree until well incorporated. Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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Recipe Source

From food writer and cookbook author David Hagedorn.

Tested by David Hagedorn.

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