Friday, July 15, 2011

Chiles!

These chiles are examples of what's hot in the garden. The ones on the left are chile de arbol. They're rated at 25,000 scoville units, or simply, really, really hot. I wouldn't advise eating one out of hand unless you're very familiar with the idea of being a glutton for self inflicted punishment. They aren't used as a flavoring chile. Their addition to a salsa or dish is heat, lots of it, like wetting the tip of your index finger and sticking it very deep into an electrical outlet.

Those aren't the garden variety of jalapenos on the right. It's the Goliath Jalapeno strain and they run about 6500-7500 scoville units. They have a bright green flavor that immediately penetrates to the sinus cavities. Excellent stuff for folks who have stuffy noses from allergies.

Both of the chiles freeze well in a zip lock bag. The chile de arbol are out producing the jalapenos by a long stretch. Once I have about 150-200 of them in the freezer, I'll probably uproot the plant because most people don't care for that kind of heat. There's room enough for around 100, maybe 150, jalapenos in the freezer.

Here's my recipe for the pico de gallo that I made Wednesday with both chiles and some garlic that i just harvested. It fixes my sinuses in rapid order.

2 chile de arbol
2 jalapeno
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4-1/3 C chopped onions
1 14.5 can fire roasted and diced tomatoes
About 1 lb. of fresh diced tomatoes, San Marzano are particularly good for this, or other canned, diced tomatoes will also work.

Destem and rough chop two chile de arbol and one jalapeno, place in blender or food processor. Place the garlic in the blender.

Destem and fine chop the second jalapeno and place it in a bowl. Add onions, kosher salt, and Mexican oregano in the bowl.

Open the can of diced tomatoes and drain as much of the juice as possible into the blender. Add about two Tbs of of the tomatoes to the blender, cover well, and pulse briefly. When you remove the blender cover, you will smell a potent chile aroma that is almost painful. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Add about half the remaining diced tomatoes to the blender and pulse again. Repeat with the remaining diced tomatoes. Overuse of the blender will result in a mushy, almost liquid mess. Pulse just enough to break the tomatoes down but not to pulverize them. Pour into bowl with onions. Stir well and refrigerate for at least one hour. This is great with chips, tacos, burritos, and in a slow cooker with a roast for pulled beef.


When I'm fortunate enough to have fresh tomatoes, in a couple days or so, I dice them and fine chop all my chiles. Everything goes into the bowl and gets stirred up, covered up, and chilled for at least one hour.

Have some understanding for people who don't like seasoned foods by bringing along a jar of mild Pace picante sauce to the party.

Tape a piece of paper to the bowl that says hot or shows some chile peppers or flames.

BTW, a box of tissues would be appropriate as well.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
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