AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Ms. Misinformation DATE: 10/23/2009 04:19:00 AM ----- BODY:
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.


----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Anonymous 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

GarlicMan76458 aka Mike
Jack County Gourmet Garlic
Texas ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous 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! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous 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. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:10/25/2009 08:41:00 PM Popcorn and chili! That's wild! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia 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. :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Daniel 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!

Casual Kitchen ----- --------