Newsletter Signup | Subscribe to Magazine

Hot peppers

Heat up your culinary repertoire by growing and enjoying these fantastic fruits.

By Daisy Dow


Anaheim 

500-2,500 SHU

How to use them: If you’re eager to fire up your grill, try making bacon-wrapped Anaheim peppers. Start by slicing your peppers in half, making sure to remove all the seeds inside of them. Stuff some feta cheese inside each pepper half. Wrap thin slices of bacon around each pepper using a toothpick to secure each.


Poblano 

1,000-1,500 SHU

How to use them: Start by baking your peppers in the oven for about 15 minutes. Once they have cooled a little, slice each pepper into several strips and set aside. In a pan over medium heat, cook some onion slices until they turn light brown. Toss in your poblano strips or “rajas” then stir in half a cup of sour cream, two cups of Mexican style cheese and some corn. Throw in some oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper and serve in a corn tortilla.


Cowhorn 

2,500-5,000 SHU

How to use them: Start by roasting your peppers on a grill, taking time to slide off their skins once cooked. Remove the peppers’ stems, then mince them in a food processor with some onions and garlic. After transferring your peppers into a frying pan over medium heat, mix in cheese cubes, corn, chopped tomato and cilantro. Top with cheese.


Serrano

10,000-23,000 SHU

How to use them: As the spiciness kicks up, this pepper’s versatility makes it the perfect last-minute add-on to any dish. You also can spare some of your peppers to make a hot salsa. Blend the serrano peppers with tomatoes, garlic and cilantro. Sprinkle in some salt, pepper and cumin before stirring in some diced red onion. It’s a surefire way to make anyone’s mouth tingle.


Cayenne 

30,000-50,000 SHU

How to use them: To make ground cayenne pepper powder, cut your peppers in half, bake them in the oven until dried, and use a food processor to grind them up into a powder. Brew 1/4 teaspoon of ground-up cayenne pepper in hot water, then add some lemon juice, honey, turmeric and ginger to craft an antioxidant-rich drink.


Tabasco

30,000-50,000 SHU

How to use them: Make your own hot sauce by chopping up your peppers and mixing them together with salt and distilled white wine vinegar. Bring them to a boil, then let the peppers sit in the pot for about five minutes. Puree the mixture and pour it into a glass jar. Keep the jar chilling in a refrigerator for two weeks before straining its contents and serving over your favorite dishes.


Habanero

100,000- 350,000 SHU

How to use them: Saute peppers in oil or butter and toss them into a pot of chili. Add them to a mango salsa and put a few spoonfuls over crispy tacos with avocado and fresh lime juice. Whip up some habanero hot sauce or pepper sauce marinade to drizzle atop barbecue pork chops.


Scotch Bonnet 

100,000-350,000 SHU

How to use them: Make a flavorful jerk chicken dish. For the marinade, chop your peppers and blend with olive oil, chopped scallions, thyme, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Rub your chicken with the paste before placing each breast or leg in the fridge for at least an hour. After the chicken has soaked up some flavor, cook it on a grill or in the oven.


Ghost Pepper 

855,000-1,041,427 SHU

How to use them: Make ghost pepper salt to sprinkle over your favorite dishes. Start by removing the peppers from their stems, then use a blender to dice these ghostly fruits. Mix your pepper dust with a few cups of sea salt, using a one-to-one ratio of salt-to-pepper. Leave it in a sealed container for a few days to absorb the spice, leaving you with a spookily spicy condiment.


Carolina Reaper

1,400,000-2,200,000 SHU

How to use them: To make a Carolina reaper pepper aioli to knock your socks off, start with one pepper and two cloves of garlic wrapped together in a bundle of tin foil. Roast them together in the oven, then place the roasted pepper in a food processor. Mix in some lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and one egg yolk to create a homemade aioli. For deviled eggs, remove the yolk from some boiled eggs. Either spoon or pipe your aioli to fill each egg white. Garnish with cilantro, parsley, dill or bacon crumbs for a brunch snack that will surely wake you up.