What to do with a bumper crop of habanero peppers?
September 22, 2012 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Please help me with your favorite habanero pepper recipes.

My habanero plant is showering me with peppers. I am already planning on some habanero-peach jam ala Flakypastry, but I have more peppers than I need--an additional two-dozen peppers, with more on the way. I'm looking for usable recipes with good flavor, rather than life-altering pepper experiences. Recipes that need immediate consumption are fine, but I'm also looking for something with a decent shelf life, too.

Assume that I have nearly every kitchen tool I could want at my disposal. I can dry, freeze, puree, beat, vac-seal, slice paper-thin, can, incinerate and carbonate. If I'm missing a tool, I've got a $50 Sur La Table gift card.
posted by Hylas to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I am a big fan of Mango Habanero Ice Cream.
posted by saeculorum at 11:27 AM on September 22, 2012

I made some simple fermented pepper sauce.

Basically you chop up the peppers, and follow directions for making sauerkraut. I didn't have many peppers at the time, so I used a pint mason jar. After the brine stops bubbling (takes a week or two), give it a whirl in the blender and adjust consistency with water or vinegar. if you want to get fancy, you can put garlic and other spices in there, but it's fine without.

I've been making "Habanero Gold" jelly for a couple years, and it is super popular for Christmas (I've had specific requests) and house parties.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:37 AM on September 22, 2012


Split, destem, and seed about 5 habeneros. Microplane a medium hand of ginger (no need to peel, you're tossing this out later) so that you have about a half cup of ginger pulp. If you happen to have a few chunks of lemon grass or some kaffir lime leaves stored in your fridge/freezer, I'd contribute those as well.

Add everything to two cups of water and simmer for about a half hour. Strain well; colander won't do it but a cheap mesh strainer will, suppose cheesecloth could work as well. I would probably not stick your face, and your capsaicin-vulnerable eyeballs, into the steam.

Bring back to a boil and add two cups of sugar; boil until sugar is dissolved.

You not have concentrated ginger-habenero syrup; depending on how strong the peppers are, how long you boiled, etc, it's going to need to get diluted to different strengths. It's ok to add water to cocktails, this syrup already contains water, you're just adjusting the strength.

Use in cocktails that contain such things as: gin, rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, peach nectar, soda water, orange juice, mango juice, other sweet tropical things. Like maybe:

-Muddle mint or basil with lime quarters in the bottom of a shaker, add gin, ginger syrup, ice, shake, strain, mix in soda water/regular water

-Mango nectar, super dark rum, ginger syrup, ice cubes, brown sugar rimmed glass

-Add to limeade or lemonade with bitters for a complex-tasting mostly-virgin refresher, or you know, throw some gin in there too

You have about two weeks to experiment if you refrigerate the syrup. I just made all this up off the top of my head (though I have made many ginger syrups before) so go crazy, this is just a loose guideline, I'm assuming if you're making jams you have the skills to be creative in the kitchen, even while drunk.
posted by Juliet Banana at 12:36 PM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I really like this 'Trinidadian Pepper Sauce' recipe from a Chowhound thread, although I usually cut down on the amount of mustard I use.
posted by DingoMutt at 12:59 PM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Add to limeade or lemonade with bitters for a complex-tasting mostly-virgin refresher, or you know, throw some gin in there too.

That sounds really great! Actually, everything here does. With luck, I'll have enough to pull off a little bit of everything.
posted by Hylas at 4:27 PM on September 22, 2012

When I had a bumper crop of habaneros several years ago, I dehydrated a bunch and crushed them with coarse salt, and just bottled it. I gave a few bottles away and kept one, which was delicious on eggs and vegetables and all kinds of other stuff.
posted by padraigin at 7:28 PM on September 22, 2012

Habanero Infused Bloody Marys. Bacon optional.
posted by benzenedream at 8:25 PM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Habanero Gold jelly. A friend of mine makes it and it's amazing how much it brings out the fruity flavor. Try making baked jalapeno poppers and put a dab of it on the cream cheese filling, it's incredible.
posted by TungstenChef at 11:37 PM on September 22, 2012

I like to keep a bunch of Habanero tincture around, either for use in cocktails (mmmmm, habanero Margarita!) or for throwing in to salsa, carnitas, or anything else that needs some zip.

Place some peppers (I slice them in quarters and keep all the seeds/pith, but you could throw them in whole or de-seed them first, if you wanted) into alcohol, the higher proof the better. Let the mixture sit for a day or two (or three or four or more, I guess), sampling it after the first 24 hours. Strain out the peppers and bottle the liquid when it's to your taste, and you're done. Should last for months (if not years), although I've found that the initial pepper-sweetness will gradually fade away if it's not refrigerated. If you're just looking for the heat, though, that shouldn't be a problem.
posted by experiencing a significant gravitas shortfall at 5:15 PM on September 23, 2012

« Older Jealous? Of Denmark? Why, yes!   |   Tired of eating plates of beans as a salad course Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.