As promised yesterday, a brief post this evening to highlight the other current harvesting triumph: shishitos!
Milder and with more flavor than their spicier cousins, these little nomnoms are great with cheese courses, soups, on pizza or as part of a pesto (thank you, Bobby Flay). Future plans include learning how to dry them out and turn them into powder for long-term storage. Which means I probably either need a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. Darn it.
— (Opens a side tab for Amazon) —
The biggest fun I have with these peppers has to do with their “Russian Roulette” quality — you never really know which ones will end up mild yet delicious and which will try to burn off your tongue with the wrath of napalm.
Many a recipe exists online concerning cooking these little pockets of peppery punch. My favorite method (aside from crunching on them raw like candy, ‘cuz I’m a maniac) came from the farmer’s market:
- Slice a small hole in each pepper; cut off caps if desired.
- Pan roast peppers in butter until just blistered; I use medium heat to prevent too much popping oil. Takes maybe 5-10 minutes; keep a close eye on them and use a spatula to shift them about every minute or so.
- Sprinkle mixture with brown sugar and cook 30-60 seconds more with heat, stirring to dissolve and distribute the sugar.
- Remove pan from heat, and use tongs or a fork to transfer peppers onto a plate and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese (fresh is best). Spoon some of the remaining sauce from the pan over the peppers and cheese as a glaze.
- Destroy this tasty treat with your hands and fingers, or dine daintily with a fork if you prefer. Don’t eat the caps if you left them on!
Might as well call this the “Now You See Them, Now You Don’t” recipe, because those peppers magically disappear faster than Wanda expelling you from the Hex.
Unfortunately, I don’t currently have measurements for this recipe, as it was relayed to me by word-of-mouth. Feel free to try it and report back your results — I tend to just do this one by eye and personal taste preference, specifically with less brown sugar (maybe a tablespoon per half a dozen peppers) and more cheese, because cheese is life.
Some images of the shishitos I have coming in at the moment:
After pruning the eggplant yesterday, I noticed quite a few buds coming in on the plants; unfortunately, likely too many. But, since it seemed as though buds grew quickly from the joints between shoots, I didn’t feel too bad about pinching off some of the newer ones.
More importantly, I didn’t want to weigh down the plant too much, as the peppers need to be at least three inches long before they’re ready to pick. I may wait until a couple of them start to turn red and compare the flavors, since some sources mention a difference in taste with the added maturity.
A caution for anyone growing peppers in their garden (especially considering that Aerogarden now offers Ghost Pepper varieties, whoa):
USE GLOVES WHEN PREPARING THEM.
This is for a different reason than for the eggplant, in that the peppers don’t have thorns, but the fruits themselves contain capsaicin in their oil, which is responsible for that lovely burning sensation you feel as you bite into them.
Sooooooooo… maybe not a good plan to chop bare-handed and then rub your eyes, yeah? At the very least, if you do choose to forego the gloves, wash your hands and all surfaces touched by the peppers thoroughly with soap and warm water to prevent accidental transfer and contact with skin, eyes, nose, mouth…
Well, back to studying, with a glass of last week’s featured wine in hand! Enjoy the remainder of the evening, everyone.