CHILE or CHILI PEPPERS
When to Buy/In Season:
varies by type, usually late summer to fall
How to Select:
Look for glossy, frim chilies with no soft spots, pitting, or oozing. Check the stem end, which should appear fresh cut. Dried chilies should look free of mold and smell clean and fresh.
There are over 200 types of chiles to choose from, varying in color and flavor. A few to consider:
- Anaheim – long, narrow, mild, good for stuffing
- Ancho – a dried poblano, reddish brown, medium to very hot
- Bird – a Thai chile
- Caribe – a yellow, pungent chile, carribean
- Cascabel: small, round, dark red chili, medium heat, with a rich flavor
- Cayenne: slender, bright red chile, very hot
- Charleston hot – common at farmers market, varying heat
- Cherry Pepper – small, round, bright red, with mild to medium heat
- Chilaca – fresh pasilla, brown when ripe with medium heat
- Chipotle – dried smoked halapeno with a smeet smoky flavor and medium heat
- Fresno – a stubby greed or red chili, with medium to hot heat
- Habenero – small, blocky yellow or orange pepper, very hot
- Hungarian Wax – greenish-yellow, with medium heat
- Jalapeno – short, stubby green to red chili with medium heat
- Jamaican hot – very hot, bright red chili with irregular narrow shope
- Mulatto – dark brown, fruit chile used to make mole
- Peperoncini – sweet, pungent chili pepper typically picked and sold green
- Poblano – blackish green chili with medium heat, often used for chiles relleno
- Scotch Bonnet – similar to habanero
- Serrano – very hot, small cylindrical green, red, or yellow chili
- Thai chili – very small narrow chili, very very hot
- Tagarshi – small red Japanese chile of medium heat
Insects avoid the capsicum in chiles, so most are not sprayed.
Pesticide Issues: not reported
How to Store:
Refrigerate and use within 3 – 5 days
To Freeze from fresh:
To prevent burning hands when handling hot peppers, wear rubber gloves. Do not touch eyes. Wash peppers and peel by either:
1. Place in a 400 degree F to 450 degree F oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand in a wet towel to steam for 15 minutes. Remove skin, stem and seeds.
2. Alternatively, blister the skin of the peppers thoroughly on a hot range or with a flame, turning frequently to prevent scorching. Steam peppers as directed above. Slash skin and insert knife at tapered end, pulling the skin off toward stem. Remove stem and seeds.
Flatten whole peppers to remove air. Pack into containers. For ease in separating when thawing, place freezer wrap between peppers. Seal and freeze.
Canned chilis can be stored up to 1 year, or longer, depending upon variety.
Peppers can be easily oven dried and stored room temperature up to 2 years, or freeze indefinitely.
Photo Source: dmourati