Chili Pepper Madness

September 20, 2013

Pasilla Chili Peppers

250 - 3,999 Scovilles: Pasilla or “little raisin” properly refers to the dried chilaca pepper. The chilaca, when fresh, is also known as pasilla bajio, or as the chile negro or “Mexican negro” because, while it starts off dark green, it ends up dark brown. It typically grows from 8 to 10 inches long. The pasilla pepper should not be confused with the ancho. The ancho is the dried version of the poblano pepper that growers and grocers frequently mislabel as the pasilla in the United States. The darker anchos ARE also sometimes known as chile negro - thus generating much confusion - but they are not the same as the pasilla peppers. Featuring a rich smoky taste, the pasilla often turns up in dried whole form or as a powder in Mexican salsas as well as in mole and adobo sauces. The pasilla can even create an interesting twist…
September 23, 2013

Serrano Peppers

5,000 - 23,000 Scovilles. The serrano chili pepper is a smaller version of the jalapeno pepper, similar in color, but smaller, about 1 to 4 inches long on average and 1/2 inch wide. They generally grow between 1 - 4 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide though they have been known to grow longer. They are meaty peppers and are not the best choice for drying. The serrano pepper originated in the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. They are commonly red, brown, orange, or yellow, though you are likely to find them in their more common green color, much like a jalapeno pepper. Serrano peppers are perfect for salsas, sauces, relishes, garnishes, and more. They are usually best when roasted. I personally love serrano peppers for their delicious spicy kick. Where a jalapeno has a nice bite to it, the serrano steps it up a nice level, and…
September 22, 2013

Fresno Chili Peppers

2,500-10,000 Scovilles. Capsicum Annuum. The Fresno pepper looks and tastes almost like a jalapeno, but they can be much hotter. Fresno peppers change from green to red as they grow, and increase in hotness, but they are often harvested and sold as green. The green peppers are mild to medium hot, while the mature red version is much hotter, surpassing the jalapeno. They grow to about 2-3 inches in length and have a diameter of about one inch. Fresno chiles are commonly grown in the U.S. and are popular for making ceviche and salsa. The green peppers can be used in many types of dishes to add great flavor, but the hotter red version may be better for dips or salsas. Fresno peppers do not dry well, so they are not ground down to powder, like many other types of chiles.
Published in Medium Chili Peppers
10,000-30,000 Scovilles. Grown for centuries in Bolivia (Central South America), the Bolivian Rainbow chile is a stunningly beautiful plant. The peppers start out a brilliant purple and turn yellow to orange to red, with all stages of the pepper present on the plant at once, making it a bright and colorful addition to your garden or your home. They can be grown indoors and will produce fruits continuously, year-round. When grown outside, they need a warm climate. The peppers are small, about 1 inch, and cone-shaped, growing upright on the plant. They somewhat resemble Christmas lights because of their shape and their bright and differing colors. In addition, the foliage and blossoms are purple, making the plant even more unique. The chiles are very hot, so use them cautiously, but they are delicious in salads or salsas, and can be dried or pickled.
October 03, 2013

Thai Chili Peppers

50,000 - 100,000 Scovilles. Despite the common belief, there is no single "Thai chili pepper" though most candidates for the title are small in size and high in heat or pungency. There are at least 79 separate varieties of chili that have appeared from three species in Thailand. While the names of chili peppers are often "hotly" debated and therefore in a volatile state of flux the world over, some would say that there is particular confusion when the subject comes around to Thai peppers. Prik num or "banana peppers," for instance, also resemble a New Mexican pepper, and they are also grown in Kashmir, India, and thus are also known as Kashmir peppers. Further confusion arises because the Kashmir is ALSO known as the Sriracha, a name associated with the famous sauce originally made from these peppers in the Thai seaside town of the same name. Oddly, the peppers…
September 22, 2013

Aji Chili Peppers

1,177 - 75,000 Scovilles. Also known generally as the Peruvian hot pepper, aji is the common name primarily in South America and areas of the Caribbean for chili peppers. A few popular aji are: The aji amarillo, or “aji yellow” or “yellow chile,” also known as the aji escabeche, the most common pepper cultivated and consumed in Peru. It often grows from 3 to 5 inches long easily, though it sometimes reaches 6 to 7 inches, and its color changes to a deep orange when mature. It is usually hot, from 40,000 to 50,000 on the Scoville scale, with a pungent flavor. It often appears in dried and powdered forms, and finds its way into many traditional Peruvian dishes as well as some Bolivian dishes. The Lemon Drop, or Hot Lemon, also known in Peru as Kellu Uchu. It comes from a vine-like bush that grows about 3 feet, and…
September 20, 2013

Poblano Chili Peppers

1,000 - 2,000 Scovilles. The poblano is an extremely popular chili pepper. 4 inches long, very dark green in color, ripening to dark red or brown. How do you pronounce poblano? puh-BLAH-noe. Poblano peppers are mild peppers, quite large and are somewhat heart-shaped. Their skins/walls are very thick, making them perfect for stuffing as they'll hold up in the oven quite nicely. They are typically roasted and peeled when cooking with them, or dried. When dried, they are called ancho chilis. Poblanos originated in Puebla, Mexico, and one of the most popular peppers grown there. The poblano plant is multi-stemmed and can reach up to 25 inches high. The pods are 3-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Immature poblano peppers are deep purple-green in color, and eventually turn dark red and black as they age. They are closely related to the mulato chili. Common Uses of Poblano Peppers In…
September 22, 2013

Morita Chili Peppers

2,500 - 8,000 Scovilles (or up to 10,000). Morita chilies are smoked, red-ripe jalapeno peppers, much like the chipotle pepper. The main difference is that Moritas are smoked for less time, which leaves them softer and retains their slightly fruity flavor. They are very richly flavored.
Published in Medium Chili Peppers
September 27, 2013

Cayenne Chili Peppers

30,000 - 50,000 Scovilles. A thin chile pepper, green to red in color, about 2 to 3 inches long. The "cayenne pepper" spice you use is the dried, ground version of this pepper. Cayenne Pepper Information The cayenne chili pepper is a bright red chili ranging from 2-5 inches long and about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cayenne chilis are usually sold as a powder, as cayenne pepper. The word cayenne comes from the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. Cayenne pepper is great in soups and sauces, on pizzas, as well as over meats and seafoods. Keep it on the table in a shaker as an alternative to salt or pepper. History of the Cayenne Chili Pepper The cayenne pepper is one of the most popular peppers used in the Western hemisphere. The name of the pepper is taken from the city of Cayenne in French Guinea, from where the…
September 23, 2013

Aji Amarillo Chili Peppers

30,000-50,000 Scovilles. Since “Amarillo” is the Spanish word for yellow, and “Ají” is the term for chile in South America, this pepper is also appropriately known as the “yellow chile.” The Ají Amarillo is grown in all areas of Peru. Used by the Incas, it is still the most common and popular chile in that country. It may be said that is it possibly the most important ingredient in Peruvian cooking. It grows to about 4-5 inches in length, and despite its name, it actually matures to a deep orange. Like other chiles from this area, the Amarillo has a fruity, berry-like flavor. It is medium in heat level, but it does not leave your mouth burning. It is also great as a condiment. The Ají Amarillo may be sold in Latin food stores and on the internet in its dried or paste form.
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