It is scorching hot in Manhattan, Kansas today. It was 97 degrees by noon and 107 in our yard at 5 pm (According to the weather service our official high was 101). So who could ask for a better day to write about hot peppers? In the little container garden on my “back porch”, I grow Chenzo and Burning Bush Habañero peppers. Chenzos have a rating of 45,000 scoville heat units (which is quite hot) while Habañeros are even hotter at 100,000 – 350,000 s.h.u. To put this in perspective, jalapeños rate 2,500 – 8,000 s.h.u.
When I picked my first bunch of Chenzos a few weeks ago, I tied them into a small ristra and hung them off the back porch to dry. It took about two and a half weeks for them to be ready to bring in. Of course, we were having cooler nights then. With our current temperatures, they would probably dry more quickly. I will use the dried peppers in chilis and rubs for grilling.
I decided to do something different with the peppers that I picked today, so I made several bottles of Garlic Chili Lemon Oil. This can be used as a dipping oil with bread or tortillas, can be added to chilis, soups, pasta dishes, and salad dressing. If you decide to make your own flavored oils, be sure to sterilize fresh ingredients such as garlic either by heating them or acidifying them as the oil seals out oxygen and can easily lead to botulism growth. We want everyone to be able to eat safely!
What are your favorite ways to use hot chili peppers? It would be great to hear from you!
Jalapeños is pretty hot for me, can’t imagine eating Habañeros… Beautiful hot pepper photos. Thanks for sharing!
I’m glad that you liked the photos!Thanks for stopping by. Maybe you might like poblano or anaheim peppers. They are much milder : )
Thanks for the information, Laurie! I like to chopped a couple of mild hot peppers when I stir fry chicken or beef with veggies to add spicy flavors.
Stir frys are delicious!
Great post! I use jalapenos in my honey-soy sauce chicken and pepper stir-fry. They add a nice little kick to the sweet and tangy flavour.
Thanks, Aleks. I am glad that you liked it! Your honey-soy-jalapeño sauce sounds great. I’m going to give it a try!
Thanks! Mix equal parts of honey and soy sauce so neither over powers the other and add it jalapeno to taste! 🙂 I usually throw in chicken, whatever peppers I have on hand, some thyme, oregano and basil, and Spanish onion. Enjoy!
I’ll definitely try this!
A friend just made us a wonderful fried chicken meal (from his grandma’s recipe), and he made a jalapeño gravy, where he threw in some slightly sauteed chunks of jalapeños before serving. It was great. I imagine you could do it with any chili pepper.
Sounds good. Thanks for sharing the idea!
I’ve never thought of putting jalapeños in gravy. That’s a great idea for accompanying fried chicken!
I’ve been looking at starting to make our own chili oils — what ratio do you use of chiles to oil to other additions (like garlic, lemon, etc.)?
I used 2 c. extra virgin olive oil, the peel (zest only) from one lemon, 1 small head garlic, and 2 habañeros, 3 chenzos. Remember to heat or acidify your fresh ingredients to kill any bacteria.
Wonderful! Thanks Laurie!