A Note About Hot Peppers–

Once a year I like to send you ALL hot peppers.  Why would I do this?  Well….some folks like them and some folks do not and some folks just haven’t had a chance to experience and explore the variety and diversity of the hot pepper world!  After all, we want you to know all that you can about the value of your food, and how it is directly related to your overall health–  So here is a little, short primer on Capsicum’s.

First, Bell Peppers have no capsaicin, the thing that makes hot peppers hot!  So we are only talking here about all the other peppers except that non-hot, sweet kind.  The highest concentration of the hot (capsaicin) is in the white pithy membrane inside the seed cavity.  The seeds have no capsaicin.  The Scoville scale lists the ‘score’ of the hotness of different hot peppers.  The hottest we grow is a small bushy plant called Aurora, with purple peppers the size of the tip of your finger–as the season progresses they turn yellow and then red-orange.  The next hottest in our garden is the Habanero.  Of course, we all have heard names like Ghost Pepper and Carolina Reaper.  One look at these and it is obvious they are in the same family as the Habanero!

For a good read on the benefits of capsaicin check out draxe.com/nutrition/capsaicin–

Each Share Group’s pepper selections are a little different.  We had an abundance of Poblano’s and Jalapeno’s, so they went into Group E and Group B with one or two Habanero’s.  Group C is completely different with the concentration on the drying and roasting peppers:  Guajillo, Krimzon Lee, and the Pueblo Roasting Pepper (from Colorado–no picture available).  Group D will be a surprise, but we will be there to share information with you Thursday at the Pick Up!

Below are pictures of the peppers you may have and some short notes for their use and enjoyment:

Baron Hot Peppers

POBLANO–these are often used in Chili Rellenos, a stuffed pepper filled with cream cheese, breaded, and deep fat fried.  I have a simple and tasty recipe for a Chili Rellenos Casserole in which you roast the pepper in the broiler to blister the skin, and then peel them after you have plunged them into cold water.  I slice the Poblano along the sides and lay them flat in the pan, then cover them with an egg mixture and cheeses.  Usually Poblanos are not all that hot…however…each one is its own boss! (You can make the casserole with fresh poblano’s or just place the peppers peeled and laid flat, in a freezer bag for a different time.) 

Habanero Hot Peppers

This is the Habanero…the hottie…we don’t eat these but sell them for those with an obsession for HOT.  Some peppers can be so hot that they can be detrimental to a small child or those sensitive to capsaicin–this is one!  But not the WORST!! Not life-threatening, but awful painful, especially in the eyes.   (I have a story posted on our website called “Chinese Lanterns” about our family experience with the Habanero…check it out!)

 

El Eden Hot Peppers

Guajillo peppers are dried and used to make mole.  These are new this year and I haven’t had a chance to give them a test run!  Hope to find more time next year.  We included these with the Krimzon Lee (below) for Group C because both are drying peppers.  The Krimzon is a type of Paprika pepper…one of my favorites as it is not real hot, but full of flavor.  Great in scrambled eggs or with fried potatoes.  Easy to dry by stringing them together and hanging them in a well ventilated, dry place–keep them aired so as not to form mold.

Krimzon Lee Hot Peppers

Krimzon Lee–Paprika type.

Red Flame Hot Peppers

Chili pepper, another candidate for drying.  We use dried chili’s in our Salsa and Dill Pickles–

Jedi Hot Peppers

Jalapenos are the most well known hot pepper and the pepper group with the most variety in color, size, and heat.  We used to raise a variety known as Concho–it had good flavor, held long on the plant, and was generally not real hot.  We can’t find that seed and this year we planted 4 varieties to try to find one like the Concho.  The Farmer liked the Centella, a LARGE Jalapeno…I think I liked El Jefe, a little smaller with deeper color and light checking as it matures.  (Checking is slightly visible in the pepper in the forefront. Severe checking will not store well after harvest.)  We stay away from Early Jalapenos as they are usually hotter than blazes! My favorite use is Jalapeno Poppers, not the fried ones, but those stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon, then roasted in the oven for about 20-30 minutes–YUMMMMM

Today for lunch I cut up the last three zucchini, some kohlrabi, white onion, and added ONE red Jalapeno, followed by a couple of small grated carrots added during the last few minutes for color and sweetness.  We had to open ALL the windows.  Jessica entered the kitchen and immediately became a coughing fool like myself! This pepper was worse in the air than in the dish, which we nearly finished off.  I noticed the ladies left the red skin on the side of their plates, and the guys ate it all! 

Here’s a hint for a good ‘fresh’ salsa in the dead of winter:  take 3 jalapenos and slice them, put them in snack bags, and throw them in the freezer. When you want Salsa in the middle of January, use your canned tomatoes, dried chili peppers, frozen jalapenos, a dried onion, some garlic, and a little salt. Chop and mix them up in the food processor.  I like to include some frozen bell pepper too for color and sweetness…orange is my favorite.  We store our Salsa in the fridge in a quart jar  (actually closer to an Adam’s Peanut Butter jar)–  Recipe is under our Recipe tab.  

 

As always, Enjoy your food!  Experimentation is the spice of life–  The Farmer’s Wife

 

 

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