Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Habaneros at Home

Would you believe me if I told you I harvested these habaneros off of an indoor plant in late November? How about if I told you that I managed to escape this dangerously bare-handed photo op unscathed? Seriously, I'm not sure how I managed it. Capsacin seems to really have a thing for my mucous membranes, but this time I managed to avoid sticking my finger in my eye.

This summer I grew 6 different varieties of hot pepper in the garden. Come fall, some of the peppers still hadn't ripened, though frost was imminent. I dug up several plants and transplanted them into pots, which I placed under a grow light and hoped for the best. They all survived the shock and the peppers ripened--habaneros, cayenne, and thai hots. What's more, the thai hots and habanero continued to flower and even set fruit!

I think I can expect to have fresh thai hots throughout the winter, and the habanero may continue to flower.

As for these? They went into a peach habanero hot sauce, made with a jar of our canned peaches. Yum!


Undersharing said...

How was the strength? I haven't grown any myself in the Northeast, but the times I tried local ones they were positively bland. The farmers' market even was selling them in the little strawberry baskets- when I got them I was thinking "How will I ever use this many before they go bad?" and then I realized that even using the entire bucket in a blender full of salsa (where I would typically use 2 store habaneros for decent hotness) it didn't have the same flavor.

Do you use a different or more alkaline sand mixture in the plant pots? A closet full of grow lights to make the good stuff?

Oldfool said...

Those are beautiful. We grew some a couple of years ago and they were really hot. Habanero is one of my favorite flavors in chilies but these were too hot to taste the flavor.
I still have jalapeǹo and Serrano's in a sheltered spot outside. One Serrano plant took care of the green salsa this summer and it's loaded now. Some of my jalapeǹo are in their second year. We had one go for seven years before it passed to the great compost heap in the sky.
When making salsa with Habanero I cut it with finely chopped onions and carrots. It helps moderate the heat and brings out the distinctive flavor.
I'll try making some with canned peaches and if it is anything like the salsa I make with fresh mango I know I'll like it. I have kumquat salsa made with Serrano and jalapǹo in the refrigerator now.