Thursday, September 05, 2013

My Continuing Chile Education

Padrone Chile PeppersIf you ask the vendors at the Farmer's market about the relative hot-ness of the chiles they sell, they will inevitably tell you that they're either "mild" or "medium hot" ... or they'll say something along the lines of, "you can never tell, they might be mild but sometimes you get a hot one."

I figured the only way to decide which ones were for me was to taste my way through the farmer's market during the season.

padrones and shishitos

These are Padrones.  They originated in Spain and are quite mild.  I like them prepared simply,  blistered in a hot pan with a little olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt–Bon Appetit's recipe is here.

The Japanese Shishito chiles are also quite mild and lovely.

There are a lot of varieties being roasted at the farmer's market and in parking lots all over Santa Fe.

Lots of Different Chiles

Guide to ChilesMost of the chiles at the farmer's market are identified in some way.  Sometimes a grower will confess, "I don't remember what kind of seeds we planted." Most come with some sort of signage.

Some of the names are regional, some have an appended, "improved."  The Alcalde Improved that have become a favorite of mine are derived from Espinola Improved. The name is, in part, regional and also reflects the growers selection process.

Peppers (not Chile)


These red beauties came home for their taste test this week. They're sweet peppers and not chiles at all ... but I couldn't resist them.

I plan to use them in a version of a recipe I found on Kate's blog, Black Pepper Tofu.


The peppers below aren't chiles either, but aren't the colors glorious?

Peppers at the Farmer's Market

6 comments:

Brenda said...

wow, you have a lovely abundance and variety available to you. Up here in Canada, not quite as much.

patchouli moon studio said...

Even so-called mild or medium chile can taste hot!!!! I can't take the hot stuff anymore and even some medium tastes hot to me. I can rarely find the mild anymore at the local roasters. Seems like I saw fewer chile roasting around here this year too. Did they have a smaller crop?

That tofu recipe looks really good. Tel me how it turned out of your make it. Sophie are you vegan or vegetarian? I am vegan.

desertskyquilts said...

Such gorgeous chili pictures! Makes me homesick for the SW, as if I weren't already. =)

Kathryn said...

There is a chili pepper festival in Bowers, PA, this weekend. The local Mennonite nursery there sells an amazing variety of pepper plants in the spring!!

Bridget said...

I was in SF yesterday but too late for the Farmers' Market. So Sad!

Your peppers pics are pretty and pop with color.

Kate North said...

I have chili envy - you can get so many kinds where you are... Oh well, we can at least get a few more than we used to be able to...

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