TITLE: Ms. Misinformation
DATE: 10/23/2009 04:19:00 AM
I always thought that red peppers were merely ripened green peppers; true for both bell and chilies. All summer, I watched my jalapeno plant grow, and waited and waited for them to turn red. After a while, I stopped checking. The green foliage and peppers began to blend in with the border plantings.
When I was in the garden yesterday, checking in on the kale and salad greens, I spied the drooping plant, weighted down with a dozen green peppers. With evening temperatures already dipping into the 30s and 40s, any chance of a red pepper was lost. I snapped off the peppers to salvage what I could. But I wondered if the recent cool temperatures sucked out the heat from the chilies, as rumor had it? I cut one in half, nibbled gingerly on a seed, and confirmed that, in fact, they were still piquant.
To preserve the chilies for the winter, I sliced them into rings, smoked them on the charcoal grill and then packed them in oil in ice cube trays. They add a nice, smoky undertone to many recipes. Sometimes, if I’m feeling sassy, I pop popcorn in a “cube” of smoked chilies. This makes an extremely addictive and thoroughly satifying snack. So to recap my misinformation: - Not all peppers turn red when ripe. - Chilies don’t lose their heat in cold temperatures.
And here’s some correct information about chilies: most of their heat is in the white membranes and seeds. To lessen the heat of peppers, cut these parts out.
DATE:10/23/2009 01:50:00 PM
One more addition for your recap:
Don't rub your eyes after handling ANY hot peppers!
Yes, I learned this the hard way. LOL
Sincerely, GarlicMan76458 aka Mike Jack County Gourmet Garlic Texas
AUTHOR:Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
DATE:10/24/2009 08:02:00 AM
I store lots of things in ice cube trays, but storing peppers that way is new to me. Great idea!
AUTHOR:Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener
DATE:10/24/2009 10:18:00 AM
oh... jalapenos will turn red when ripe - although are perfectly edible green. Your growing season is just not long enough...
Love the idea of smoking the peppers before freezing them. That would be a nice taste to add to spicy dishes.
AUTHOR:T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types
DATE:10/25/2009 08:41:00 PM
Popcorn and chili! That's wild!
DATE:10/26/2009 08:40:00 AM
Garlic Man -- I had a similar experience the first time I used chilies too. Some people wear gloves to be safe.
Lydia -- What else do you store in the ice cube trays?
Sylvie -- That's actually a relief to know.
T.W. -- Wildly delicious. :)
DATE:10/27/2009 08:48:00 AM
Yep, Anonymous, I think most people learn that lesson about not rubbing your eyes exactly *one* time in their lives. That's the kind of lesson you don't need to learn twice.
Thanks Julia for the extra context and ideas on jalapenos!