Okay, I get it. I will never cut a hot pepper without a glove on. I promise.
It’s taken me a while to get to this point. I’ve deep fried chiles and I’ve turned them into salsa. I’ve caressed them, slipped them out of their skins, and carefully removed every seed. I like to get intimate with my hot peppers.
But today we took our relationship to a whole new level. Random, single and lonely hot peppers scattered throughout the refrigerator. Dainty cherry bells, withered jalepenos just past their peak, royal crimson lees, exotic Hungarian hot wax. They all roasted under that broiler together, and the smell of their popping skins was almost, you know, like that place I love this time of year. My eyes stung, my throat constricted around invisible spice, and I kept the girls out of the kitchen.
Then they sweat together in their covered bowl, and after a few minutes they were ready to shed their skins. I wanted to be close to them without the barrier of the glove, and I worked on pepper after pepper with naked hands.
I knew it was a mistake right away, but it was too late to remedy it. You know it’s bad when the burn starts right away. I like a little danger in the kitchen, but I knew I was in over my head.
Hot sauce. Really truly.
Midway through the day, I showed Joey my hands.
“Can you burn the skin off your hands with chili oil?” I asked him.
“Oh, man- you haven’t been at the hot peppers again? When will you learn?”
No sympathy from him.
My hands are on fire. More than I can ever remember. I keep checking to see if they really are on fire. I’m not touching the girls. I’m not touching my face. I’ve tried all the tricks–this fire’s burning until it goes out. I lived dangerously, and I’ll pay for wanting to touch those chilis.
I ate that hot sauce on my dinner and… it was pretty worth it. But next time, I’m wearing gloves.
1 pound mixed hot peppers
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat your broiler, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment. Lay the peppers out on the sheet, and puncture each one with a fork. Place the tray under the broiler until the peppers are black and bubbling. This will take between five and ten minutes, depending on the heat of your broiler. Flip the peppers over, and broil until the other side is black and bubbly as well. Remove from the oven, and put all of the peppers into a heat proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for fifteen minutes, and then the peppers will be ready to come right out of their skins. Put on your gloves now. Slide each pepper out of its skin, remove the stem, and remove as much seed as you can. Put the skinned peppers into a food processor or blender along with the vinegar, salt, lime juice and honey. Blend until smooth, about one minute. Store in the fridge, for (I’m guessing here but stay tuned) up to a month.
- Alison at Food2:
Making Hot Pepper-Infused Tequila
- Michelle at Cooking Channel: A Peck of Perfect Pepper Recipes
- Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Pickled Serrano Peppers
- Kirsten at the FN Dish: Chiles Rellenos and More Stuffed Peppers
- Liz at Healthy Eats: 10 Ways To Eat Sweet Peppers
- Margaret at A Way to Garden: Oven-roasted peppers, and freezing how-to
- Caroline at The Wright Recipes: Homemade Harissa & Sweet and Spicy Peperonata
- The Gilded Fork: Dossier and recipes on peppers spicy and sweet
- Paige at The Sister Project: Grilled Tomatillo Salsa with Jalapenos
- Caron at San Diego Foodstuff: Consuelo’s Hot Chile Sauce
and Hatch Chiles
- Food Network UK: It’s Chili Weather
- Cate at Sweetnicks: Summer Panzanella