Well, my brother (hey Greg) dropped me off a bundle of goodness, an absolutely mind (and tongue) numbing array of hot peppers, a veritable smorgasbord of chile pepper goodness all grown local…
Pic 1 is the bundle… oh man, I love hot peppers, totally my jam, pic 2? datil peppers or maybe some chinese habaneros (either way balls hot on the scoville scale), pic 3? looks like jamaican habaneros… not 100% sure on that, pic 4? woah boy… I know those, I used to have a coworker from Trinidad and he would bring me these back (illegally) and ‘saus’ (which was a very vinegary mixture of these peppers and onions in questionable jars… almost clear-ish with the bodies of the peppers evident within like skeletons), those are the mighty Trinidad Scorpion pepper (so named because they have a stinger like tail thing at their base… and man alive they are hot, they once were considered the hottest pepper on the planet, I have tried these raw and I do not recommend it, they are friggin brutal (all heat not much flavor), they can be tamed (somewhat) by cooking them into sauce but be careful! pic 5? easy, thai chiles, not to downplay them at all, they pack a wallop for their size, tons of seeds which means tons of capsaicin, these are wonderful dried and used later, pic 6 ? ahhh… personally my favorite of all the hot chiles, orange habaneros… they have a fruity tone (once you get past the intense heat) , I love these, they are to me the best hot pepper there is, I think they have fantastic flavor from nose to tongue while delivering incinerating chile heat, pic 7 ? I think these are Rocoto peppers… not sure, but they were way larger than the other ones and resembled bell peppers which is why I think they are Rocotos (and they are relatively mild).
So… what to do with all this fiery goodness? Make hot sauce silly! There is all sorts of sauce recipes on this internet thing… so, being the self indulgent chef I am I winged it based on some basic research…. you need a base, some tomato paste (or carrot puree if you want to go that way or maybe mango or pineapple), add some apple cider vinegar to thin it out (about half of the tomato paste volume), bring it to a roil (not a boil) and then add your chopped chiles (with seeds if you are like me), add water as you simmer it down (over about 30 min), the thickness will talk you into what you need to do, taste it as you go, add some garlic, personally I added some alder wood smoked salt for boss taste, I also added some fresh herbs (oregano bunch), I cooked it all down, let it cool… and then pureed it… and man oh man… I have a delicious XXX sauce on my hand to add to whatever for the next few months, and all it takes is a spoonful of it.
One of the best sites I have found about hot peppers is THIS ONE…. sorry to yell, but man, I love the peppers, and that site covers most of them, it is impossible to keep up these days, but I have had most of those peppers, a local awesome vendor (one of my accounts actually) carries a great array of fresh peppers (even ghost on occasion !). Thoughts and recipes or links or whatever are appreciated ! thanks! (and does anyone get the Donna Summers reference in my title line.. sheesh…)