Chili Peppers 101

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Some like it hot, others like it hotter. Regardless where you fall on the spicy-food-masochist scale, your perfect pepper – from poblano to cachucha to habanero - is out there.

Video Transcript

Hola, I'm Daisy Martinez for eHow.com. Today, we're going to do a short tutorial, chiles 101. We have some here that you may be familiar with. We have our serrano. Serrano is a funny pepper. Serrano is hit or miss when it comes to heat. You can eat serranos once and they'll, it's like mind boggling and the next time you can eat the whole thing like a chile stick and nothing will happen so if you have a plant of your own, you pretty much know what you're going to get. If you're buying them haphazardly it's hit or miss and I would gage your serranos. These, are you going to say these are avonados or scotch bonnets, no these are actually known in Latin America they're called ajitos dulces or also in the Caribbean they're known as cachucha peppers and they have no heat. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine actually described, he took a bite into one and actually said it feels like the kind of warmth you get when you take a shot of whiskey, so there's no heat, but warmth, really delicious. I love to use these in Sofrito, they add another level of flavor and they're delicious. If you just take the tops off and pipe in like a goat cheese mousse, delicious, absolutely wonderful, a great little horderve. These right here, these are the big mac daddy peppers, the habanero peppers. I know, I know there's hotter peppers but these are like the big guns of my choice. What I love to do with an habanero is like cut it in half, mash it into the bottom of my soup bowl like a nice brothy soup like chicken soup and then ladle the soup, the hot soup right over that so that it releases the oils and the heat. I just gave myself a chill absolutely my favorite. These are poblano peppers and these are wonderful for roasting, for stuffing and roasting like chiso ajenos. What I would do, they're a little labor intensive and they've got this gorgeous color that goes from like green to almost like a purple. They're absolutely beautiful and what I love to do with this, I char them on the stove, scrape them clean, slit them and then I fill them in with my favorite stuffing whether it be cheese for vegetarians or like a bread crumb mushroom stuffing, and then we take that whole thing and we dip it in a light batter, an egg batter and we deep fry it and serve it with an enchilada sauce. How to impress your friends and get to high places, okay? These are our jalape?os, our regular jalape?os, they don't score real high on my heat radar but I mean some people, heat is a personal preference. These are smoked and put in a light tomato sauce, a tomato sauce that's been seasoned and then they're known as chipotle peppers, absolutely delicious, whip some up with a cup of sour cream, some chipotles and some of that sauce and you've got the perfect dip for your chips and then back here we have some dry peppers. These are pacia peppers, absolutely, now these are dried peppers. You have to reconstitute these in hot water. What I like to do before I would constitute them is I like to toast them either stove top or in a cast iron skillet just until you get the fragrance because you don't want to burn the chile. Once you toast the chile then you're going to reconstitute it in hot water for about 20 to 30 minutes until they're soft and pliable, snip off both ends, slit them and then remove the seeds and what you do is with the flat of your knife, you scrape the paste off the inside because you don't want the skin which is tough and lends bitterness. Pacias make a beautiful braise for lamp shanks, one of my favorite ways to use pacia chiles and of course, all of these dried chiles, these are mulatos. All of these chiles can be used in moles. These are chiles, havaneses, similar to chile le agro is a little shorter and these are similar to what you see in the pizza parlor when you shake those red pepper flakes on your pizza. But there you have it, that's a real real basic chile 101 and I'm Daisy Martinez for eHow.com and you can ask me any questions you want about chiles.

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