Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What to Do With Your Share---Week 13

Hot Peppers
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This week we say, when life is stifling hot, give the members hot peppers.

Our crop of these spicy solanaceous plants is doing better this year than any other. We have more than we need right now for salsa packs, pickling and the swap box, and so we are making them a choice for the shares.

We only grow a limited amount, as they are something that we know not everyone cares for. But we hope that you are daring enough add them to your favorite dish, or otherwise enjoy their spiciness. There are 4 types to choose from this week.

Left to right:
NuMex Joe E. Parker (Anaheim type)--This variety is the mildest of the four. We like it raw in salads as an alternative to green sweet peppers. It is best though, when roasted and peeled. Cut off the top/stem, slice in half, remove the seeds, and place skin side up on a baking sheet. Roast at 450 deg F or broil for about 10 minutes, until charred. Place in a glass bowl and cover with a plate. This helps to steam off the skins. Then, when cool to touch (10 to 20 minutes), simply peel the skin off and you have a flavorful, tangy pepper.

Volcano (Hungarian wax pepper)--These plants are from some free seeds we got last year. The plants produce well and the peppers are nice and hot, but with a fire that doesn't last in your mouth too long. They turn orange and then red when mature. These are good raw added to your favorite salad, or grilled with your favorite veggies.

El Jefe (Jalapeno)--Quite hot. Just one in your salsa pack can provide just the right amount of spiciness. Two will make it firey hot. There are hundreds of ways to enjoy jalapenos; fresh, pickled, roasted, smoked, deep fried, jellied...the list goes on. Use the power of the web to explore the possibilities.

Use caution when handling these peppers, as they can make your fingers burn. And be sure not to rub your eyes or other extremities after handlings them.

Italian and Greek pepperoncini--You may be familiar with these as some pizza parlors garnish their dishes with them. Moderatley hot, they are traditionally pickled, but we also like to eat them raw. A simple recipe is to chop up one medium tomato, one medium cucumber, half a sweet onion, and about 3 to 4 pepperoncinis and dress this salad with balsamic vinegarette or some other Italian dressing.

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