Making Pepper Spray or Cooking Ghost Peppers

I took a bunch of our ripe ghost peppers and decided to pickle them.  I combined them with a variety of other peppers we had lying around.  Habenero, chili, bell, and banana.

I carefully chopped the ghost peppers while wearing latex gloves but even that couldn’t protect me.  I could feel my eyes starting to water as I chopped them but them the recipe had me cook them in brine and that was when it got really bad.  I was sneezing and coughing.  I could actually taste the spiciness from just the steam from cooking them.  It was good that the minion was in another room while I was doing this. When I was done, I still had some hot pepper oils on my hand even though I had been wearing gloves the whole time.  Intense.  At least I got some pretty jars from it!

Moral of the story: be really careful with ghost peppers.

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Chili Chocolate Chip Cookies and Freezing Dough

I just made four giant batches of chocolate chip cookie dough.  I’m not having a party or eating 50 cookies tonight.  I promise.  I only baked up about 20 cookies.  The rest of the dough, I froze so that I can make up some yummy homemade cookies at a moment’s notice.  I used the recipe on the back of the package of chocolate chips but you should be able to freeze any cookie recipe like this.

I laid down a square of aluminum foil and then a square of wax paper to put the dough in.

I know, that’s not the most reusable and eco-friendly option, but I used 100% recycled aluminum foil and plan on recycling it again (aluminum can be recycled an infinite number of times).

I then put about as much dough as commercial frozen cookie dough has and rolled it up.  I taped a piece of paper with baking instructions on each roll and stuck them in the freezer.  The last batch, I baked up for us to eat now!

In a moment of inspiration, I added chopped up cayenne pepper to a little bit of the chocolate chip cookie dough and baked them as normal.  They are really good.  Just spicy enough to compliment the chocolate and sugar but not too spicy so you can’t taste anything else. I used one small dried cayenne pepper for about 8 of the cookies that I made.  I just chopped it up into small pieces and added it when you add the chocolate chips.  I will definitely keep this in mind for when I thaw out some of our frozen dough.

What other unique mix-ins do you like to put in chocolate chip cookies?

Healthy Hot Pepper Poppers

Jalapeno poppers are ubiquitous on appetizer menus.  And you should always stay away from appetizer menus.  They are full of overly processed and fried food.  But they taste do good!  I love jalapeño poppers but wanted a healthier version.  So I decided to make one.  The hero doesn’t like jalapeños but he does like other hot peppers so I made some with a variety of peppers.  They weren’t well labeled at the grocery store so I don’t know what they all are.  I know the first photo is jalapeños but other than that I don’t recognize the peppers.  If anyone knows what they are called, please comment!

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Healthier Hot Pepper Poppers

ricotta cheese

refrigerated bread dough (I tried both biscuit and crescent and they were good but ideally, I would make it from scratch)

hot peppers

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Tear off the stems from the hot peppers like so;

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Then cut the peppers in half lengthways.  The one really big one I cut in half both ways and made four out of it.  Then you stuff the cavity with ricotta cheese, you may have to break the membrane a little but don’t remove the seeds unless you want to remove the heat.  Then wrap the bread dough around the entire pepper and bake according to the bread dough instructions.  I ended up having to bake it a little longer, so just keep checking until the dough is thoroughly cooked and golden brown.

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They were really good.  The ricotta cheese could’ve used a bit more flavor, we thought basil might be good.  We also tried a few with cream cheese mixed with the ricotta, but it didn’t taste any better and it was much harder to work with.

Keep in mind it they get too hot for you, milk makes it less spicy, water makes it more spicy.  And be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after working with hot peppers.  Definitely before changing any diapers!

Salsa Verde: Completely Homegrown

I like the idea about dishes made completely from items from my garden.  I have dreams of a variety of things, but the main thing is salsa.  The hero and I love salsa and spicy food in general.  Thus the ghost pepper plant.  In fact, the main reason I wanted to start gardening was to grow my own salsa.  I wanted tomatoes, green onions, hot peppers, and cilantro.  And that’s where my garden started.  It has since grown (pun intended) to include many more types of plants.

Anyways, I made my first completely homegrown salsa today.  I couldn’t quite wait for the red tomatoes that I normally use, so I decided to try it with green tomatoes.  I’ve never done anything with green tomatoes, I don’t even think I’ve ever even eaten fried green tomatoes  So I wasn’t totally sure how it would turn out, but they are surprisingly tasty.

So I picked three green tomatoes, two sprigs of cilantro, one big onion green, and one still green cayenne pepper (I also added one I had picked a few days ago).

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To make the salsa I basically chopped everything up and mixed it together.  Easy, delicious, and healthy.

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We ate it on Melba toast and it tasted very fresh.  The minion even had some with the hot peppers removed.  She seemed to like it, but it was a little hard for her to pick up.  The green tomatoes didn’t have as much liquid as the red tomatoes that I’m used to, so the salsa was lacking that a bit.  My dad suggested pureeing a bit of the green tomato to add the liquid.  Give it a try, and let us know how your green tomato salsa turns out.

 

Eeek a Ghost! Pepper…

The hero has been wanting to grow ghost pepper, also known as naga bhut jolokia peppers, for a long time.  We both love spicy food and ghost peppers are supposed to be the spiciest peppers in the world according to the scoville scale which measures spiciness.  We looked for them online and only found kind of sketchy websites that sold them.  We had made a contact with a local farmer for next year, but we wanted some asap.

So today we went to Randy’s Nursery in Lawrenceville.  They specialize in exotic plants and water gardens.  We had mainly just wanted to look around and see what we could see, but we also decided to ask about ghost pepper plants.  They not only had them, they had a whole shelf of them.  They also had a great selection of other hot peppers.  We now have a go to place for hot pepper plants.

Anyways, we bought a ghost pepper plant and planted it in the yard.  We’ll see how it grows.

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