What do I do with all these cowhorn peppers?
November 13, 2015 11:16 AM   Subscribe

I've harvest about 100 of these peppers, now what do I do with them?

I had a cowhorn pepper plant in a planter on my patio this summer and it did well - really well! I've been putting off picking the peppers because they are too hot for me to eat by themselves, too hot for salsa - far hotter than any jalapenos I grew. Now I have at least 100 of them and no idea what to use them for. I know I can freeze them but then what? Give me your best pepper ideas!
posted by bellastarr to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Dry them and make stuff with the dried versions, like pickles, like this.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:19 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

You could pickle them, too: good stirred into everything you might add hot sauce or chile de arbol to. That's what we did with a huge pile of Hungarian hots and we're already wishing we had done three times as many. Recipe.
posted by felix grundy at 11:24 AM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Slice one or a few and distribute them across a jar or more of vodka. Let them soak a few days or weeks. Strain. Some late Sunday morning, concoct Bloody Marys.
posted by zyxwvut at 11:35 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Do you have a dehydrator, or a friendly local freecycle/neighbourhood FB group/whatever that might fetch up the loan of one? You could dry them and fire them into soups and stews and chilies as needed for years. (Fish it out before eating; the heat will transfer.)
posted by kmennie at 11:51 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I don't have access to a dehydrator but I did string some up across the kitchen one winter...may just do that again.
posted by bellastarr at 11:56 AM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Whenever you want to give a soup or sauce just a little bit of heat, throw in a half inch piece of the fresh or frozen pepper while cooking (fish it out before serving)
posted by canoehead at 11:57 AM on November 13, 2015

People make hot pepper jellies. I don't know if your peppers would work for that, or if these jellies are any good, but if you have 100 it may be worth a shot.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:19 PM on November 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Are you talking about a salt pickle or a vinegar pickle. If you meant a salt pickle to make a hot sauce, I apologize.

I would do a lacto-salt-pickle, let them ferment for a few months, blend them with garlic and vinegar, strain and then bottle.
After that, you could pressure can it and give it away as holiday/screw-you-mine-enemy gifts if it is too hot for you.
The salt really goes a long way towards moderating the heat of chiles.
I have done this with the peppers from my garden and loved the sauce, even though it is hot.

Get a large pickle jar or crock and pack whole peppers or chopped peppers in with 3 to 5 tablespoons of salt for a 2 or 3 quart container. The salt will draw out the liquid and the cover the chiles (moreso if you chop them. Added benefit, you can fit more in a jar.) Leave the lid loose and let the whole mess burp and bubble and then just sit and age on the counter until the peppers are soft and you have time to deal with it.
Then blend to taste with garlic and vinegar. I love a ton of garlic.
I use vinegar to avoid using all of the salty, sour liquid. Too salty for me.
I usually use about a half cup of garlic and a half cup of vinegar to each quart of hot sauce.
posted by Seamus at 12:30 PM on November 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you want to make sauce then you need to roast them and skin them. Seed them blend them. Sautee garlic and onion, cumin and fresh cilantro. Dump that in your last blender of chilis. Cook it, put in salt and vinegar until itt is like what you want. Then can it with conventional process. I did this twice this summer, using glass clear half liter beer bottles with porcelain wire clamp tops. You can take the hardware off the bottles to wash and bake them at 300 degrees for 15 minutes to make sure the bottles are sterile before you fill them. Boil the click top closers on the side. They can't be baked. You have to have a funnel and hold it up off from sealing to the bottle so the sauce flows. These bottles once the hardware comes out of the boiling pan, seal up and boil just fine in a water canner. laying on their sides.

The other thing you can do is buy some raffia and string them. But use a hand drill with a tiny bit to drill your stringing holes, do that all at once. Make a nice ending flourish with the raffia. These make nice gifts.
posted by Oyéah at 2:25 PM on November 13, 2015

Seconding any_portmanteau_in_a_storm's pepper jelly suggestion. You will probably only need 20 to make about 6-7 half pints. You should make a couple of batches.

By the Ball liquid pectin and follow the directions for jalapeno jelly.

The jelly will have some heat, but the sugar will almost overpower it with cowhorn peppers.

Favorite use is as part of a party hors d'oeuvre in which a generous dab is placed onto a buttery cracker along with cream cheese. It is also great on sandwiches, tacos, in stir fry, and a glaze for meat.

I make habanero jelly and threw a couple of Trinidad scorpions in this year's batch. Last year's ghost pepper jelly was too spicy for many of my friends, though some loved it!
posted by cinemafiend at 3:37 PM on November 13, 2015

You can pickle them and give the jars as holiday gifts, too.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:42 AM on November 14, 2015

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