Sunday, September 12, 2021

Peppers Galore, it's Mexico time!

 One thing is to know your peppers, and another thing is to know your eaters. Different people appreciate heat from peppers differently, and you want to be appropriate. I give the heat in SHU, Scoville Heat Units, and of course you have some control for you can always make any pepper milder by seeding them.

My repertoire of Peppers is based on what is prominently available in my neighborhood. And I will bring in some information from a site called Pepperscale.

  1. Bell Peppers - Capsicum Annuum. I just include them for good order. They do not pack any heat necessarily, but they come loaded with vitamins and flavor. Get all the colors, they all represent a different nutrient profile and variation is the name of the game.
  2. Jamaican Peppers - Capsicum Annuum (also). 
  3. Poblano Peppers - slightly hot and aromatic, ca. 1,250 SHU.
  4. Chilaca Peppers - 1000 - 2,500 SHU - slightly hotter than Poblano. VEry flavorful.
  5. Jalapeño Peppers - 2,500 - 8,000 SHU median 5,250 SHU. Clearly hot, but aromatic. One of my favorites.
  6. Serrano Peppers - Median 16,500 SHU, ranging from 10,000 - 23,000 SHU. Like Jalapeño, but clearly hotter (3x). 

I will keep on editing this list.

Today, I am making Black Bean Salsa, but with a poblano, a chilaca, a jalapeño and a serrano pepper, as well as thee stalks of celery,  so I am clearly trying to create some depth of flavor but with some zing to it. I make sure to slice the serrano and the jalapeño extremely thin.

The recipe then becomes something like this:

Black Bean Salsa

  • 1 lb of black beans, soaked and cooked, or 2 15 Oz canss (or 1 25 Oz can) of black beans.
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, cut up fine.
  • 3 stalks of celery, sliced thin
  • 1 16 Oz jar of Green Salsa
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • The simple version is with 3 jalapeños, or 2 jalapeños and a serrano pepper, sliced thin,
    but today, I made it with four peppers:
  • 1 serrano pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 poblano pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 chilaca pepper, sliced thin.
It is always best the next day, after it marinates in the fridge.

En Español:

Salsa de Frijoles Negros

  • 1 libra de frijoles negros, remojados y cocidos, o 2 latas de 15 oz (o 1 lata de 25 oz) de frijoles negros.
  • 1 lata de 15 Oz de maíz
  • 1 manojo de cilantro fresco, cortado fino.
  • 3 tallos de apio, en rodajas finas
  • 1 frasco de 16 oz de salsa verde
  • Jugo de 3 limones
  • La versión simple es con 3 jalapeños, o 2 jalapeños y un chile serrano, en rodajas finas,
  • pero hoy lo hice con cuatro pimientos:
  • 1 chile serrano, en rodajas finas
  • 1 chile jalapeño, en rodajas finas
  • 1 chile poblano, en rodajas finas
  • 1 chile chilaca, en rodajas finas.
Siempre es mejor al día siguiente, después de que se marina en la nevera.

And, I am serving it on oil-free tostadas, this brand: Tostadas Buena Vista, has three varieties, Corn, Sesame, and Multigrain. They are all delicious.
I get them at Frutas Y Vegetales La Reyna at 1300-1302 Beach Avenue (corner Westchester Avenue), Bronx, NY 10472. (Across the street from South of France).

Recently, I also made cactus salad and served them on these same tostadas. Winner!


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