KickAss Knowledge : Peppers!

So we thought we’d start another new segment ( I know, right?) that intends to drop some culinary knowledge on your head. Now we’re not saying we know everything or whatnot, but our intent with this is to help share some basic knowledge about certain areas or foods. And also help you out by hopefully answering a few questions that you may or may not have.

So with that said, the first entry into our knowledge dropping kung fu quest is PEPPERS!  If you can’t tell by now, we love all things spicy! As long as it’s not a Guatemalan insanity pepper we will at least try it! But there are so many different kinds of peppers ……..where do you start?? My friends, your in luck!

Basic pepper folklore has them divided into 2 categories : hot and sweet. Your sweet peppers are ones like bell peppers, banana peppers ( the sweet ones), marconi’s, etc. While your hot ones start waaaay down at the jalapeno and top out at sun blistering, ass scorching devil spawn such as the Trinidad butch T. And since there are ten gagillion types of peppers out there, we are going to share some of our favorites that we like to cook with……walk with us grasshopper…..

Serrano

Serrano

The scoville scale :

First things first, the scoville scale. All you need to know about this is that this is the system for rating pepper heat. And the higher the number, the hotter that little turd is!

Sweet Peppers: 

  • Bell – Bell peppers are found in almost every grocery store. The are fat, and about 3-4 inches tall(see picture at top), and come usually in red, green, or orange. Bell peppers have no heat, and have great taste so they would be a great start for a beginner pepper head. Uses for bell peppers are endless! You can stuff them, chop them up for fresh salsa, add them to stir fry’s….just whatever you want!
  • Banana peppers – Banana peppers can be hot, but we’re talking about the sweet variety here. The kind you’ll get when you order at subway or any other sandwich place. They usually are a yellowish color, and about 2-4 inches long. Again, hardly any scoville rating, but these little pups are great when pickled, or just sliced up for a pizza.
  • Marconi – Marconi’s come in a a few varieties,  but we’ve only had the giant versions. These are like bell peppers except they are long and slender. You can’t usually find these unless it’s at a farmers market or by growing your own. These sweet peppers are great for grilling! You can cut them open stuff them with cheese/meat, throw them on the grill and let awesomeness ensue.
    Poblano

    Poblano

     

Jamaican Hot Chocolate

Jamaican Hot Chocolate

Hot Peppers:

  • Jalapeno – Let’s start where everyone’s familiar. The jalapeno is about the most well known pepper there is. It’s a staple of Mexican cooking and is low on heat so everyone can usually handle them. These little green guys come in at around 2500 on the scoville scale which isn’t that high ( Trinidad butch t is like 2 million!!). Jalapeno’s are great for salsa’s, pizza, sauces, burgers, or just about anything you want to add a little heat to. Our favorite is to stuff them with a cream cheese mix and wrap them with bacon then bake them! DAMN!
  • Poblano ( ancho ) – Poblanos are bigger than jalapenos but have about the same heat level. These big green guys can be found in the grocery store, and are great stuffed and grilled! Ever had a chile relleno? It probably contained one of these guys!
  • Serrano – Serrano’s again are usually found in the grocery store. These skinny red or green dudes are higher up on the scoville scale ( 5000-10,000) and can really pack a punch if you get a potent one. They taste great though, so throwing them into a salsa or chili verde will be worth a little extra heat your have to deal with!
  • Habanero – Habanero’s come in about 15 billion varieties that all have different tastes, colors, etc, but here we’re just talking about the regular old orange ones you get at the grocery store. With a scoville scale of about 100,000-300,000 these things are for serious pepper heads, but aren’t too bad when cooked with things as the heat tends to dissipate a little. They have a fruity taste and you can use these like a jalapeno and put them in just about anything. Chop them up and throw them on a pizza, pickle them, mix  them in with your hamburger meat, make our KICKASS HOT PEPPER RELISH with them, etc. Just be careful and wash your hands after cutting them! You might be in for a surprise…….HA!
  • Jamaican Hot Chocolate – Our personal favorite, and the one that makes our SWEET NASTY hot sauce the best around! This smokey, fruity flavored cousin of the habanero is great in just about anything we’ve tried. They are brown, and are about 1 inch long and wrinkly. It has a scoville rating of around 150,000-250,000 so they are really hot, but to us, pain never tasted so good! Use like you would habaneros!

    Habanero

    Habanero

  • Scotch Bonnets – Scotch Bonnets are about the same heat level as habaneros ( 100K-350K) but have a very unique flavor to them. They also have a stinging, lingering burn so watch out! Used in Jamaican jerk sauces and other dishes, they give a very awesome and unique flavor to anything. They can usually be found in the grocery store in red, green or yellow varieties.

 

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