Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Red One

Under the tutelage of Chilebrown, I am learning about the magic of chiles. Before moving to California, my knowledge of chiles was limited to occasional dinners at so-called "Mexican" restaurants (I don't think a single authentic Mexican had anything to do with those dinners), so I'm pretty much a novice. He has introduced me so far to beginner chiles - jalapeƱos - saving the truly hot ones for a braver day.

Last week, we met for coffee to trade applesauce and jam for garden tomatoes and chiles. When I got them home, I noted that he had included a red chile, something I was not familiar with. I emailed him to inquire and he replied that the red ones are "hotter and sweeter than the green ones, silly!" Sometimes, he is downright avuncular in his amusement at my lack of knowledge; it tickles me, as I am much older than he, while he is far more experienced in the ways of peppers.

So, I'm going to make beef chili. I've got three or four containers of stock in my freezer taking up valuable space, so I want to move them out into a big pot of chili. The weather is already ceding summer to fall around here so I'm starting to think of cool-weather foods. I keep eyeing that red chile, wondering if I should try using it, or stick with the safety of the milder green.

Oh, what the heck! I'm going for the gold - or in this case, the red one.

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8 Comments:

Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Yes, do it! But first, cut the tiny bottom tip off and rub the small patch of exposed flesh on your tongue, to get an idea how hot it is.
(The red ones are green ones gone ripe. They'll all turn red if you let them. Chilebrown is a jokester.)

Saturday, September 18, 2010  
Blogger Chilebrown said...

Okay, I had to look up avuncular. I hope you know the Chili powder you use is only dried ground up peppers. Be Brave!

Sunday, September 19, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, now I'm wondering if you're suggesting a practical joke by tingling my tongue.

Chilebrown, my chili powder has other ingredients besides chiles in it. I'm trying to be brave and sensible at the same time - a difficult balance.

Sunday, September 19, 2010  
Blogger namastenancy said...

Bad bad Cookie! No cookie for you for suggesting !that she rub the pepper on her skin - ouch, painful and you are a bad bad girl.
The only pepper that I still avoid is the Scotch Bonnet. I tried using just the merest sliver of one and it was so hot, I was gulping down milk and yogurt for the rest of the day. BTW, water is not the best thing to take for hot stuff. Try milk or yogurt. They coat the mouth and stomach and there's something in the milk enzyme that neutralizes the heat. I know that the hottest curry that I ever ate was an innocuous creamy green curry in Madras. I think that I screamed with the pain and the restaurant owners were pouring yogurt down my throat which helped a lot. I learned to be more cautious after that.

Sunday, September 19, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, thanks for the dairy tip, just in case Cookiecrumb is truly making a practical joke on me. :-)

Sunday, September 19, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I'm not pulling a fast one. How else you gonna know how hot the pepper is? Put the whole thing in the pot and regret it later? All I suggested was a little lick. You won't need gulps of yogurt for one little lick.
You are new to peppers; just sayin' they vary in heat.

Sunday, September 19, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, okay, next time I will risk your method - it does make sense.

Sunday, September 19, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

"Next time"? Woot! Sounds like you already made your batch of chili.
:)

Sunday, September 19, 2010  

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