Tuesday, July 24, 2007

300,000 Scoville Units

Last spring at the garden center I noticed a particularly healthy little pepper plant. It was a habanero chili pepper. I bought it. Peppers don't do particularly well in New England, since they need a long growing season. Since I also offer safe harbor to a family of woodchucks under the garage, I figured that peppers planted in the garden would probably be eaten as salad long before they produced anything. So, I put my little habanero pepper plant in a window box on the deck railing.

It is thriving. Of all the plants I planted, this little pepper plant is going great guns. I read that the habanero chili pepper is 1000 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper. Michael told me a story of a friend of his who put three of them in a pot of chili and was disqualified from the "hot" chili contest because of ... well... because he probably injured the judges! The heat rating of peppers is called the Scoville rating. Habaneros have a Scoville rating of 9 out of a possible 10. The only thing hotter than them is pepper spray, which is used as a weapon.

So, I am not sure what I am going to do with my pretty not so little habanero peppers. I really just love looking at them as they go great guns in the window box. They are so deceptively charming!

I looked around and found this recipe:
Habanero Pepper Sauce

* 12 habanero peppers, stems removed, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup chopped carrots
* 1/2 cup distilled vinegar
* 1/4 cup lime juice

Saute the onion and garlic in oil until soft; add the carrots with a small amount of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft. Place the mixture and raw chiles into a blender and puree until smooth. Don't cook the peppers, since cooking reduces flavor of the Habaneros. Combine the puree with vinegar and lime juice, then simmer for 5 minutes and seal in sterilized bottles.
Heat index : 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Yields 2 cups

All yours!

Have a great day.