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Food & Wine Ground >> The Hot Pepper Thread


8/9/06 4:35 PM
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New2MMA
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Edited: 09-Aug-06
Member Since: 04/13/2003
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I wanted to start this thread for a few reasons, and mainly because of a hot sauce thread started on the OG. I grow hot peppers (lots of different types, most very rare and exotic!) and make my own hot sauces and different types of chile pastes (ex. harissa, berbere, etc) and am happy to share what I know. I'd also like to exchange ideas for recipes, find out what you do with the peppers, etc. A lot of interest was generated there and I figured I would make a thread on the food & wine ground (where better?) First off: here is a link to the thread on the OG to get the ball rolling: http://www.mma.tv/TUF/index.cfm?TID=865675&FID=2 So how many of you on here grow your own peppers? I know at least one or two have mentioned it. What do you do with them once you get the harvest?
8/9/06 4:41 PM
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MikeZev
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Edited: 09-Aug-06
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i grow habaneros and tabasco peppers. the tabascos i've just been eating right off the plant. they are fuckiing nuts. i'll prolly make hot sauce with them as well as the habeneros. maybe add some to pico de gallo or make a sauce for chicken wings
8/9/06 5:04 PM
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Mullet @ Heart
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Edited: 09-Aug-06
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Thread link.
8/9/06 5:05 PM
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New2MMA
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Edited: 09-Aug-06
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Tabascos are extremely prolific producers. I had a tabasco plant a few years back and at first I was wondering if I would get enough peppers off of them. Whew! I was picking peppers until I was sick of it. I agree Tabascos are great. A little trivia for ya-did you ever hear the rumor that the city of Baton Rouge got its name from the red sticks they used to use to determine the ripeness of the Tabasco peppers? Which habs you grow? The orange ones? What kind of sauce you make for the chicken wings?
8/9/06 5:08 PM
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Mullet @ Heart
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Edited: 09-Aug-06
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Aren't they officially called "chilies", and not really "peppers"? I've heard this is true, even of bell peppers (bell chilies, I guess).
8/9/06 6:44 PM
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New2MMA
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Mullet, yes most people do refer to hot peppers as 'chiles'. I have never heard of a pepper that wasn't hot referred to as a chile though. When talking about sweet peppers I have only heard them called peppers. You are also correct in identifying that the term 'pepper' is a misnomer. Chiles/sweet peppers have no relation to the black pepper plant (Piper Nigrum). Christopher Columbus was actually the person to misname the peppers as such. In S. America peppers are collectively known as Aji (A-hee). Here's a good article on the subject: http://www.cosmicchile.com/xdpy/kb/chile-pepper-history.html
8/9/06 11:05 PM
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goodandevil
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Edited: 09-Aug-06
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Living in New Mexico we have red or green chile with everthing, it is great.
8/9/06 11:09 PM
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Mullet @ Heart
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Nothing beats New Mexico green chile. Ever had Sadie's?
8/9/06 11:33 PM
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MikeZev
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yeah the tabascos are growing like mad. i usually add some pappers/ pepper puree to BBQ sauce and marinate wings in them
8/10/06 12:08 AM
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goodandevil
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Edited: 10-Aug-06
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I live down the street from Sadie's, and yes it is the shit.
8/10/06 1:54 PM
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Mullet @ Heart
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*jealous* Actually, I've never been, but I hear good things about their green chili. I do, however, use their salsa all the time. It's the only store-bought salsa I'll eat these days. Have any good green chili recipes?
8/10/06 4:06 PM
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MikeZev
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chop shrimp, add salsa and stuff into jalapenos or other small-medium green chili and cap with shredded cheese (cheddar, monty kack, etc) throw into hot oven/ grill/ broiler for a few mins and allow to cool a bit. top with sour cream.
8/10/06 5:45 PM
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alpo
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Edited: 10-Aug-06
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How hard are jalepenos and serranos to grow?
8/11/06 10:54 AM
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New2MMA
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Edited: 11-Aug-06
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They're so damn easy it's rediculous. Peppers thrive with almost benign neglect.
8/11/06 12:23 PM
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MikeZev
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yes, except bell peppers.
8/12/06 10:39 PM
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robs42
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Edited: 12-Aug-06
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how about hot cherry peppers stuffed w procuitto and provolone, in olive oil? out!
8/14/06 10:26 AM
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shibbytastic
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Edited: 14-Aug-06
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Most peppers thrive with lots of heat and water. Although some chilis don't need as much water.
8/14/06 1:19 PM
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New2MMA
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Chiles do somewhat poorly if it's TOO wet, plus it accentuates problems with fungal diseases etc. Yeah they do love heat though.
8/14/06 3:22 PM
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alpo
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I live in central Texas, so it will be 100+ for the next month, then will slowly taper off to the 80s for a couple months, until about Late October, then it gets pretty mild. It usually doesn't get cold until January. Even then, I think it only froze one night last year. Average winter temp is 30-60, it's pretty random. We are in a huge drought right now, but I can water them, no problem. Knowing that, do you think it's too late to start this season? Should I just want until next spring? Do you think indoors or outdoors would be better here? If I do it indoors, do seasons even matter at all? What about direct versus ambient sunlight? Indoor soil versus outdoor soil?
8/14/06 5:40 PM
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New2MMA
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Edited: 05/04/12 4:30 PM
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Alpo, I'm going to answer your questions in reverse order.

You're going to want to use potting soil for container plants, and if you have a garden you will want to amend the garden with compost, etc.

You want at least 6 to 7 hours of direct sunlight, more is better.

Seasons don't really matter but if the temp goes below freezing you're going to want to bring them in.

The general rule of thumb is that if it gets below 50 degrees at night the plant will stunt a bit, and sometimes won't come out of it.

If you have container plants you will want to bring them in at night if the night temps get to 50 or below.

You want 12 to 14-inch plastic containers, not clay, with good drainage.

You don't want to grow a pepper indoors, you want them outdoors as much as possible. They just don't do as well indoors, they need to be outside.

Bringing them in overnight isn't a problem but I would think that any more than 48 hours indoors (even in a sunny location) will begin to affect the plant.

Honestly, it's up to you whether you start them now, btut I don't see a problem. If you start seeds now, the seedlings won't be ready to transplant until at least october or maybe november at this point (wait until seedlings have their 3 set of true leaves). So honestly, I think you'd be fine. Just do it in containers, and don't leave them outside if the temp gets below 50 degrees and you'll be fine.

How far are you from Houston? I've got a guy on the OG who went wild about the idea of growing these things and is quite interested in pursuing it. The woman who owns Bayou Trader's (www.peppermania.com) is near Houston, and she's a very good and reputable seed supplier.

8/14/06 11:33 PM
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alphafemale
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Edited: 14-Aug-06
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New2MMA, How do you make your harissa?
8/15/06 11:11 AM
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New2MMA
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Edited: 15-Aug-06
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I have two different ways of making it. One way is traditional and one isn't. The traditional way is to take two good-sized sweet frying peppers, roast and skin them, stem and deseed them and put them in a blender. Take between 2 and 12 cayenne peppers (depending on how hot you want it), stem and deseed, and add them to the blender as well. I use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, because fresh garlic is just too strong for my taste. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon ground coriander, and 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Of course you can (and should) adjust the seasoning to your taste. Put all ingredients in a blender with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Turn blender on and add olive oil, slowly, until it's a nice thick puree. Put harissa in container and put a thin layer of olive oil over it.
8/15/06 11:18 AM
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New2MMA
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Edited: 15-Aug-06 11:19 AM
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Here's my own personal version. Mind you it's a lot of work, but it's worth it, IMO. Harissa: Curry: 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon 1/6 teaspoon coriander seed, ground with a mortar and pestle, or 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 1/6 tsp ground cumin 1/6 tsp freshly ground black pepper To marry flavors of the curry: 1/32 teaspoon allspice 1/32 teaspoon curry powder For body: 1/6 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp onion powder 1/4 tsp or more sea salt 2 tbsp olive oil + oil to texture About 27 habaneros, any variation of mild and hot (mild habaneros should be available at farmer's markets, usually labeled as 'Aji Dulce' or Aji Cito'), I usually do mild-1 hot to 26 mild but if you want very hot I have found that as little as 1 hot to 12 mild will do. You can also use cayenne or other types (again a combination of sweet and hot, in different proportions) but I find the habaneros have a superior flavor. Combine the ingredients for the curry (including curry powder and allspice) in a container, take a dry frying pan and warm the pan over low heat (maybe heat level 3) and add the curry. Use your sense of smell-when the curry changes to an incense-like scent immediately remove it. It will happen very fast. Do NOT let it blacken b/c it will become bitter. Wipe the pan out and repeat the process with the garlic and onion powder combined, you will smell the roasted garlic and onion flavor. Again do not let it burn. Set aside the seasonings. Roast the peppers properly, until they are golden but do not blacken, as again it will lead to bitterness. Remove seeds and stems. Place the roasted peppers, curry, salt and 2 tbsp of olive oil in a blender, and add oil a little at a time to texture. It should be a very thick paste, the consistency of mustard or ketchup. Pour it into a container and smooth it, and pour a layer of olive oil over it to prevent air from getting to it. Let it sit for a few days in the fridge.
8/16/06 8:26 AM
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New2MMA
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Edited: 16-Aug-06
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Eric, Them Chocolate Scotch Bonnets gonna cook your brain baby!
2/16/07 5:37 PM
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New2MMA
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Edited: 16-Feb-07
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Any of you decide to grow anything this year?

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