Garden Lifestyle

Habaneros: The Big Hot One!

Right about now, we chileheads are in chile heaven (think hotter than hell!

Right about now, we chileheads are in chile heaven (think hotter than hell!) since it is the peak of the chile harvest. I have a bumper crop of habaneros–big ones–and here is what I am doing with them.

Before I go any further, I will give this serious warning right now: if you are handling hot chiles like habaneros (or fish peppers, jalapenos, serranos, etc.)–Be Sure to Wear Gloves! I am here to caution you since I have experienced the serious burn. Do not touch your eyes, nose, lips or other mucous membranes when handling chiles.

I am eating chiles, especially habaneros, everyday. Yeehawl! Since habaneros are one of the hottest capsicums, sometimes I do not even use a whole one in a dish. However I do use a whole one in my fresh salsa, which I make every day or so. You can find that recipe using jalapenos at /item/9647/quick-and-easy-homemade-salsa–just substitute 1 or 2 finely diced habaneros for the 6 to 8 jalapenos.

Another salsa which highlights habaneros is my Mango Habanero Salsa, which I make with ripe mangos, red bell pepper, habanero, lime juice, onions, garlic and cilantro. It is sweet and hot and tart and pungent and oh-so-good. I am also canning whole habaneros besides making salsa and processing both in a hot water bath. See these easy instructions: /item/7237/whole-pickled-peppers

Last night, I tested a African-Influenced Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup and added a habanero and it was quite a taste sensation. It will be served at the upcoming Herb Harvest Fall Festival at the Ozark Folk Center State Park the first weekend in October. I also created a Spicy Stewed Okra featuring garden tomatoes, okra, onions, garlic and yes, a habanero. I’ll post these recipes closer to the event.

Last month, I attended the Women’s Herbal Conference in New Hampshire, where 600 women from around the world gathered to learn about and celebrate herbs. One of the classes that I taught was “Hot, Hot, Hot: Why We Love the Capsicums!” There, I demonstrated how to make Habanero Shrub. I will post the recipe so that you can make this yourself. It is in the creative herbal home which I co-authored with Tina Marie Wilcox. I also entered it in the cordial and elixir contest at this year’s International Herb Symposium and came away with a Simply Delicious Herbal Products Award. /item/14282/habanero-shrub

Celebrate the chile harvest season and get your endorphins secreting–it makes you happy!







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