Habaneros and other ripe hot peppers

Habaneros and other ripe hot peppers.

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As I’ve lamented in other posts, only 1 habanero plant survived indoor planting and transplanting out. And it was a scraggly little plant. Last year, not a single habanero plant produced a single pepper fruit. So I’m totally delighted that the 1 habanero plant this year has not only produced multiple peppers, but its peppers are turning from green to a beautiful orange. 3 orange habanero peppers, little Scotch bonnets, can be seen at center in the photo above. We’ll have good spicy hot chili this winter for sure.

The orange Havasu pepper at lower left in the photo above is also a first for the vegetable garden. Pale yellow Havasus, as seen upper left, are lovely and delicious, but what a treat to get an orange-ripe one. Johnny’s Selected Seeds catalog promises that Havasus will turn red in 80 days. I’ll settle for orange although a red-ripe Havasu, should it occur, will be cause for another celebratory post from me.

At right above is a red jalapeño. I’m treating it like it’s no big deal, but it is a big deal. I’ve never grown jalapeños to the red-ripe stage before this year. Not shown in the photo above but pictured in the post Red ripe peppers and colorful salsa are red-ripe cayenne chiles that are also a first for my vegetable garden. This is the year for peppers for sure. A fluke, or can this success be repeated next year. That’s the question.

Back to the habaneros. They are Helios (F1) habaneros from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. They were new for Johnny’s and for me this year. Johnny’s catalog promises that they are extra-early, and so they are. Habaneros are VERY HOT. As I have cautioned before, never handle them without gloves. In previous years when I’ve managed to grow habaneros, I’ve frozen them in olive oil, which works fairly well. This year, I’m planning to dehydrate some as well. My favorite use for habaneros is to mince them into very small pieces and add them to a pot of chili. They provide lots of spicy hotness but in a way that sort of fills the mouth with warmth. Of course, they are good for any dish you would like to be spicy hot.

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Sausages with peppers and onions are a family favorite. A photo of this dish can be seen above. This photo is from September 12, when most of the peppers were still green. But tasty nonetheless.

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When the peppers started turning orange and red, I decided to sauté some peppers and onions in olive oil without the sausages and freeze them as an experiment. They won’t be as good as they are when fresh from the garden, but will they be better than dehydrated peppers. That’s the experiment. Above is a photo of the sautéd onions and peppers. I used every variety except habaneros. Sweet Intruder bells. Warm Tiburon poblanos, which have yet to turn to red anchos. Red-ripe jalapeños. Yellow and orange Havasus. Colorful, are they not.

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They were put into a Mason jar for freezing. Remember to place the lid on loosely so the jar won’t break in the freezer. On a really cold day next winter, they will be served up with some hot sausages on Italian rolls, and we will decide if this was a good idea, or not.

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