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8 February 2018

Welcome to Chili Pepper Madness, the food blog run by me, Mike Hultquist, and my wife, Patty. We are both spicy food lovers and I am a dedicated chilihead with gourmet tastes.

The purpose of Chili Pepper Madness is to inspire creative cooking and fun, often with chili peppers. While we obviously focus on chili peppers, we also love spicy food of all sorts and can be found in the kitchen exploring our love of flavors, or even traveling to learn more about the cuisine of other areas when we can. For us, everything starts with spicy food and chili peppers and it all spirals from there.

Chili Pepper Madness is a special tribute to all things chili peppers, including chili pepper recipes, hot sauces, chili pepper gardening and harvesting, chili pepper types, preserving chili peppers, exploring chili pepper health benefits, as well as cooking with chili peppers.

We love chili peppers and good food of all kinds! And we want your feedback. Contact us if there is anything specific you’d like to see on our site related to chili peppers, good food, recipes and more.

Subscribe to the Newsletter and receive new chili pepper recipes, news and more, and you’ll also receive the free download – Top 10 Chili Pepper Recipes. Come on in! Here is a bit about us personally.

MikeHultquist - Author, Creator of Chili Pepper MadnessMike Hultquist

My name is Mike, and I am the author of “The Spicy Food Lovers’ Cookbook“, “The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook“, and others. By my books alone, you can tell that I am a spicy food aficionado.

It all started for me when I began to explore online my passion for cooking and chili peppers. I started a website for fun called Jalapeno Madness where I placed my recipes and talked all about jalapenos and spicy food. The desire for spicy food quickly grew beyond jalapenos and I began to embrace chili peppers of all types, from the mildest bell to the hottest of the superhots.

My focus is cooking with all levels of heat and sharing those recipes and tips with you. That love of cooking grew and now I cook foods of all types, though mostly with a spicy point of view. I consider myself a gourmet chilihead. I have been learning, cooking spicy food and running this web site now for over 20 years.

Outside of the chili pepper world, I am a screenwriter and author.

Screenwriter

Yes, I am a produced screenwriter. Here is the IMDB link if you’d care to take a look: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2478416/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1. My produced credits include the movies VICTIM, ARENA (starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kellan Lutz) and 12 FEET DEEP.  I’ve been hired to write studio scripts and have optioned others as well.

I have a number of other scripts out there in the world, so please wish me luck in landing development deals for them! 

Fiction Author and Novelist

I love to write fiction, mostly darker stuff, horror, thrillers. I’ve published fiction novels and numerous short stories, and have even edited an anthology. Lots more info about my fiction works at my personal web site at http://www.michaelhultquist.com. I’m also an active member of the Horror Writers Association and get to vote for the Stoker awards. I hope you’ll read my stuff one day!

Personal Interests

When I’m not cooking with chili peppers or experimenting with chili peppers, or writing (screenplays, short stories, novels, recipes, cookbooks, chili pepper info), I’m happily drinking beer or watching movies or reading a good book. Yes, I love beer! We also love to travel and hike and have many friends on whom I practice my cooking.

About Patty Hultquist

Hi, everyone! My name is Patty and I am more on the technical side of Chili Pepper Madness, though I am also on the eating and tasting side, which is super fun. And, I do most of the photography. I am a very analytical person and that helps us keep our website humming along.

Mike and I met in college and got married right after we graduated. We’ve been working as a team and building up our Madness websites together for a long time. It is fun and the longer we do it, the more we love it. Working on our own food blog has turned me into a foodie, and Mike’s cooking has converted me to a chilihead. Growing up I never liked spicy food, but over time it really grew on me and now I can’t get enough. I get disappointed when I get something bland. Blech!

I’ve been studying photography more and more, and our skills are growing in that area. It is not only important for your food to look good on the plate, but in your photos! We hope you want to dive into your screen and take a bite. We are both committed to learning more and more as we go along. There is no limit to better.

Working on our Madness websites has been very rewarding for me. I’m a total converted chilihead now and crave the spice that Mike cooks all the time. There is rarely a dish served in our house without a chili pepper in it, or some sort of spicy flavor blast, and I love it. And why not celebrate and share wonderful food experiences? Living with boring bland food all the time just wouldn’t be living if you ask me.

Personal Interests

I love gardening so we plant a good sized garden in our backyard each year with plenty of chili peppers, along with tomatoes, fresh herbs and more. There is something wonderful about being able to walk into your backyard and choose the ingredients for that night’s meal. I greatly adore traveling and especially travel planning. I typically start planning our next trip during the current one because it’s always great to have a trip to look forward to. While traveling I enjoy seeking out exciting and renowned restaurants, pretty much any point of local foodie interest. Farm to Table experiences rank at the top of my list. Sitting around a community table with other food lovers is an experience like no other as we collectively enjoy and talk about the meal together.

I also love to plan parties. We throw several a year, including a large New Year’s Eve bash where we do a progressive dinner cooking up fancy dishes throughout the night. We throw a Fiesta Party as well, usually once a year, and that is always popular. I enjoy feeding all of our friends with spicy food! Mike always sets up a super-hot zone for the more daring.

62 comments

  1. Hi, fab site! I discovered you early last spring and via you discovered Aji pineapple chillies. We grew them and unfortunately for us (a not sunny summer) only got 3, but they are beautiful and have made the most delicious hot sauce. We’re growing more next spring and are researching growing lights. Thanks for all the information and recipes

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks so much, Deborah. I appreciate it! Sorry to hear about the small harvest, but good luck next year!

  2. William F Lieske

    Thanks for your Thai Yellow Curry Paste recipe…. but I’m going to argue about one of the ingredients. Thai use ginger a bit but I think the ginger in this recipe should be replaced with galangal. Galangal is one of the most important thing in Thai food that gives it that “Thai taste.”

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, William. Galangal would be great here! Agreed! Galangal is knows as Thai Ginger.

  3. CAROL BROWN

    I am trying to make hot pepper jam using mango, peaches, and Carolina reapers, but I’ve no experience in preserving with peppers. I have yet to find a good recipe for any hot jam using reapers. I want to use the full amount of sugar, not low sugar. Jams and jellies are not eaten by the bowl full so I see no point in cutting down on the sugar. I am also using the dry pectin. I find some recipes are using cider vinegar when using peppers. Is there a reason for that? I would appreciate any of your expertise. Thank you for the dehydrating tips. I am going to try that. You have a very helpful site.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Carol, I have a lot of Pepper Jelly and Jam Recipes here that you can review: https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/chili-pepper-recipes/jellies/. You can adapt any of them to fit for Carolina Reapers, no problem. Most of mine use full sugar. If using DRY PECTIN, be sure to check the product label for full amounts. It is typical to use two tablespoons of powdered regular pectin for every 3 ounce packet of liquid pectin. Vinegar is used as more of a preservative and will help the jelly last longer. However, sugar is also a preservative, so feel free to use the same amount of water instead. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  4. Thank you so much for your work on this site, Mike. Apart from all the recipes, your hotsauce guide will help me create a chipotle sauce that I’ve been pondering.

    Also, as a fellow screenwriter (who should be working right now), your site has been the perfect excuse to procrastinate for the last half hour!

    Best, Eric

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Eric. Happy to provide the diversion! Let me know how your sauce turns out. Enjoy.

  5. Hi Mike and Patty!
    I am so glad I came across your website. I will be subscribing to your weekly email newsletter. I cannot wait to get it! I hope you are still doing it 🙂
    I am new to “cooking” with different types of peppers (I use the common peppers such as: Anaheim, Habenaro, Jalepeno, Serono,, etc.) and just wanted to drop in and say that I appreciate you listing all the chili peppers by name and their description. That makes it a lot easier for me to know exactly what I am needing for a recipe.
    My husband and I live in Texas and we are wanting to start growing a few of our own peppers. Can you give us some advise? How do you suggest we start? Should we start with seeds or starter plants?
    Again, I am looking forward to your emails.
    Thanks,
    Madi

  6. Hi Mike,

    I am so happy to have found your site and am excited to try some of your recipes. I have quite a few peppers on the way, ghost, cowhorn, jalapeño, serrano, and cayenne. However, I may be moving soon overseas, so I’ve been doing research on canning hot sauces and salsas (never thought it was going to be so dangerous.) I did a lot of reading you posted on dehydrating peppers and now have a nice dehydrator. Have you made some hot sauces from from dehydrated peppers? I was thinking of doing that with the majority and then cooking up the sauces and salsas once I get settled in my new location.

    Also, thanks for the resources on buying seeds. That will be important for next year.

    Take care,
    Mark

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Mark. Yes, I make hot sauce from dried pods all the time. They easily rehydrate in the liquids you’re using, or you can rehydrate them in water, drain them, then proceed with your recipe. Works great! Good luck with your move!

  7. Hi Michael! Thanks for your website, it’s awesome! I have a question regarding hot sauce. I’m making a dried chile sauce with 3 types of chiles. It’s coming out fantastic and people are loving it! My problem is that I’m getting a lot of separation and I’m hoping to fix that. I’m using a combination of vinegar, water and oil. I also boil my dried chiles briefly to rehydrate them. The liquid is mostly the vinegar but perhaps I should further reduce the amount of water, and more so the oil? I know Xanthum Gum would solve my problem, but I’m hoping not to use it, or at least add a minimal amount. Thanks!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Lawrence. Thanks, man. There are a few things you can do. First, process the sauce more if possible to help it mix better and reduce pulp. You can definitely reduce the amount of liquid you’re adding. Oil will naturally separate from a mix like this, so also possibly limit the oil if possible. You can always resort to a thickener as you’ve mentioned as well. Let me know how it turns out for you.

      1. I do blend it pretty good, but I can definitely go longer. Also, I strain it, so perhaps I should blend it very well again after straining it. I will make another batch tomorrow and let you know how it turns out. Thanks Mike!

  8. I’m enjoying your site and am glad to have stumbled across it! So nice to “meet” you guys. What a fun collaboration the two of you have!!

    Mollie

  9. Hi Mike
    Love your site!
    I’m looking for locally sourced Super Hots and medium hots. I’m a chili head looking to start up a hot sauce/specialty food business…. spicy pickles, salsas, bbq sauces, wing sauces and dry rubs. Does your company grow hot chilies as well. If not can you give me a few names of a few local farmers that provide bulk wholesale peppers. I also grow my own superhots, but only have about 100 plants in raised beds so far. But I need chilies all year round.
    Thanks in advance for any info
    All the best
    Chef JR

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hey, Chef JR. I don’t sell pods, but check out my Chili Pepper Resources page to find plants, seeds and pods. I hope this helps! Good luck with your business!

  10. Richard Nee

    Hi Mike. Inexperienced in the kitchen so no it is my problem but don’t know what I have done wrong. Honey beer mustard dip. I followed instructions to the gram but still when processing end up with just a liquid soup in the processor. I just cannot see how to solidify with only just 4tbsp of brown sugar? Using new mustard seeds and good beer? I had this type of dip in Latvia last week and was wonderful so know it will be good! Any help appreciated and I will persevere. T
    Tx Richard London

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Richard. Sometimes the mustard can be quite liquidy. Did you process it with a stick blender or food processor? That will definitely help thicken things up. You can also try adding in more mustard seeds to absorb the excess liquid. Let me know if this helps.

  11. Debby Geffre

    Hey Mike…..I m back again!! I just today stumbled upon your site while checking out the peri peri sauce recipe. Well…….seems you and wife Patty have an amazing site , lives , lots interesting stuff going on. I love a gr8 suspense novel.
    I checked out your published stuff. Can I find you on Amazon?? I want to read your stuff!! I’ll just go look for myself…..Im am from Maine (though currently I live with my husband and storm chasing daughter near Nashville) near where King takes summer residence. Just wanted you to know i stopped took a few minutes and read bout you and Patti….just lovely!! Im off now….going to look up your stuff and buy it so I can read it and Ill let you know what I think!! Im excited!!

  12. My Baked Potatoes
    Ingredients
    1 med- Large potato per person
    1/2 tsp butter + bit extra
    1/2 tsp crushed garlic
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp ground pepper

    Method
    Preheat oven to 180 C
    Using an apple corer core the potato 3/4 way through, length ways, remove the plug. cut off 1cm from end of plug
    fill the hole with the above ingredients, push plug back in to the hole, prick the skin a few times with a fork then wrap in foil with butter,
    Place in preheated oven until cooked, can also be cooked on an open braai.
    Can do similar with onions or Mielies (sweet corn)
    Add any hotstuff you want to it also

  13. Hi Mike,
    I currently came across your blog here and have thoroughly enjoyed to the tune of reading every page and entry. I have a question, I live in Alaska and was wondering if you have any reputable sources that will ship peppers like ones from other countries, super hots etc?
    thank you for your time and work.
    Scott

  14. Margo Haynes

    I’ve been subscribed to your blog just long enough to know your recipes are “right up our alley” taste wise & are absolutely delicious! My thanks to you & your lovely wife Patty for all of the love & hard work that you pour into your blog!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Margo! We both appreciate it! Thanks for coming!

  15. Hi Mike

    I live in Johannesburg South Africa. I have a five year old cayenne chili tree. For some reason the chillies have lost their heat over the past two years and they all taste like bell peppers. Do you know what could have caused the chillies to lose their flavour?

    Thank you.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Anabela, it could be the growing conditions of the tree in the last year. Chili plants and trees are affected by weather and soil conditions, so if it was a very rainy year, or if the tree has been overnourished, it could potentially affect the pods produced.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, John! I do LOVE that recipe. Extra spicy for me, please!

  16. Hi Mike,

    I have a decent size harvest of Ghost peppers. I am going to try your pineapple recipe out, but just multiply the recipe by my harvest size. I have about 50-60 peppers all from one plant. Will this method of multiplying the recipe work or will it be way to hot? Thanks

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      You can multiply the recipe, Carl. It’s really just making an extra large batch. The heat will be the same as long as you keep the original ratios. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  17. Marshall Reagan

    mike where do you call home? I live in north Georgia & love growing & using hot peppers. I love growing habanero ,jalapeno & cayenne peppers. I want to try some of the hotter ones but don,t know where I can get just 1-2 plants of them because not many stores carry the real hot ones , or you can,t be sure you will even get what you think you are getting.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hey, Marshall. I’m in the the Northern Illinois region, though looking to move more south in the near future. Looking forward to warmer weather and better pepper growing climate!

  18. hi michael – when i was 4 years old, i was taken to a foster farm by my biological parents. i remember running after their car as they drove away. “wait…wait…you forgot me.” i never saw them again. while i was there, even though the other children got bologna sandwiches, i was given pickled pigs feet. this hellish foster lady indeed ran a hellish farm. even though i was only 4, i knew she hated me. she put lots of pepper in my soup, pepper on my one small potato, and loaded it on my cold vegetables.

    when i was 5, i was adopted by the most wonderful parents in the world!!! gradually, i was introduced to foods using just the right amount of pepper. it was here i learned to appreciate that wonderful word called HOT. after making your habanero jelly, i can hardly wait to make these sausage stuffed peppers.

    thank you, michael, and your loving wife, for sharing your many God given talents with so many people. i am 76 now with many years as a concert pianist behind me…that thing called arthritis has taken over. gratefully, jeanette

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks so much, Jeanette, for your wonderful email and for sharing your story. I’m glad you are finding enjoyment in my recipes. Best to you.

  19. Hi Really enjoy your site have made a few hot sauces, but here in England we do have a limited supply of chillies, although some garden centres are branching out for different types. Also some of the U.K. palates struggle with the heat although i do enjoy them really hot, Can you advise me on how to cool some of them down as its difficult to gauge how hot some of our chillies are.
    Thanks for any help Paul

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Paul. There are several ways you can temper the heat with peppers. Try coring them out, as most of the heat resides in the pepper innards, though superhots still have very hot flesh. You can dilute them, as in using only some of the hot pepper with other milder peppers, for a sauce, for example. Include a dairy, which counteracts the heat. I have a page you can check out for further ideas – How to Stop the Chili Pepper Burn.

  20. Hi Mike,
    I came your across your blog while researching different hot peppers.
    I was enjoying the information and photos, however several sentences were cut off mid-sentence, under the Peppers descriptions. This is disappointing, I would really have like to have read all the information you were attempting to share.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Jody, did you click the links to go to the actual pepper page? That is where the full information is listed. Best…

  21. Hi Mike:

    Last year I made hot sauce using Inca Red Drops that was awesome. I had one plant that produced a phenomenal number of peppers. This year I planted 2 plants in the pepper patch and they are about the same size now as when I planted them in June. I was hoping that you could recommend a substitute from the pepper that would be similar in both heat and flavor notes. I really liked the fruity components. I will be going to a pick your own chile pepper farm and was hoping to get an equivalent substitute so that I can make my sauce for this season. Thanks so much for any suggestions.

    Mark in NJ

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Mark. The Inca Red Drop pepper is a Peruvian ornamental type with pods that are sweet and a bit hot, from 10K-30K Scoville Heat Units. I believe they are similar to Chupetinha peppers, which are Brazilian. They seem to be quite related. I would sample some ornamentals to see if you can find a sweet/hot variety, though many don’t have that great sweet flavor. For something more common that might work, look for ajis (there are MANY varieties), or Hawaiian hots, which I think have similar characteristics. Peppadews could work. Also look for a variety called Sugar Rush. Those are great!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      I originally purchased mine for peppers, but now I use them (I own 2) for making all sorts of different things, from jerky, leathers, snacks, seasoning blends, so much more. Check out my Dehydrator Recipes and Info on the site. I’m also the author of The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook, with lots of recipes, with and without chili peppers. I hope you’ll check it out.

  22. Hi Mike,
    Nic here, from sunny South Africa…

    I have recently purchased my first batch of Superhot Chili Seeds, and I’m really excited to begin my journey down that path.
    I have already learned a lot from your site, and can’t wait to make the Hot Sauces.

    I am an avid “Smoker”, and hot and cold smoke various bits and pieces – including my own Chipotles. I currently make 14 of my own BBQ Sauces.

    I am desperately looking for a decent recipe for Chipotles in Adobo, as we don’t have much variety here, and I would love to make my own.

    I have tried a few of the recipes on Google, but they aren’t great..

    Any chance you could recommend a good recipe?

    Many thanks,
    Nic

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Nic, thanks for your email. I appreciate it. I’ve never made chipotles in adobo as of yet, but will work to discern a good recipe. Hopefully soon! Welecome, and thanks again.

  23. Michael to Michael, (my friends call me Moose)
    I have been experimenting with Hot Sauce for several months writing down the formula (recipe) for each one. I found your cooking process interesting and now question if I’m doing mine correctly. I have been mixing my wet ingredients in my blender, tasting as I go along to get the flavor I am looking for. Then I add each dry item…salt, fresh ground black pepper, sweeteners and a variety of other seasonings to taste. Once I have that, I add my chili’s. I first started with the Reaper, but now I have moved up to Big Black Mama’s, Brain Strains, Scorpions, to name a few. ( I have some wonderful Death Spirals on the plant right now) Once I have pureed the mix, I simmer the batch for amount 20 minutes. My pH averages around 3.2, although the batch with the Mama’s hit 2.9. I make my own Pique vinegar.
    Questions;
    1) I remove the stems and the ribs of the chili. I usually remove most of the seeds. Should I leave them for more heat?
    2) I often use organic apple juice and/or fresh fruit for some recipes, does this lessen the heat?
    3) Once cooked, even with the low pH, should I “cure” the batch in the fridge?
    4) Have you found any seasonings that did not work with hot sauce?
    5) Do you have or know of a source with information on how to get a sauce to market?
    6) What determines how the heat will either be immediate or is a back taste?
    7) Am I being a pest? 😉

    Thanks for your time.
    Moose

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hey, Moose – I think your procedure sounds great. Whatever works! To answer your questions:

      1. Definitely remove the stems. Seeds/innards are optional. Some people like to remove the seeds because of bitterness. See this page – Should I Remove Pepper Seeds for a discussion on that. Most of the pepper heat is in the innards, so your hot sauce won’t be as hot if you remove them. However, with superhots, the heat really permeates the pepper flesh, so you’ll still get LOADS of heat.

      2. Yes, you can dilute some of the resulting heat with fruit and fruit juice. It’s a nice flavor combination, though.

      3. You can enjoy the hot sauce right away, but I find that the flavors develop, mingle and mellow when they sit for a few days.

      4. Seasonings are really to your own personal preference. Some people enjoy combinations that I don’t particularly enjoy.

      5. I’m working on writing some information on this, but in general, you can either find a co-packer who makes your recipe and packages it for you, or find a commercial kitchen and make it yourself, then bottle it and sell it. Most people go to shows to sell their stuff and grow enough to make deals with distributors.

      6. It depends on the peppers chosen. Scorpions, for example, have a very forward initial STING, whereas 7-Pots have more of a blooming heat.

      7. Not at all. Thanks for stopping by! Good luck with your hot sauces.

  24. Graham Eade

    Good morning Mike;

    Aussie Graham here, I wanted to let you know that I made your Chipotle Honey Mustard over the weekend.
    AMAZING !!!!!
    A big hit with my group of friends and now I have to make another double batch.

    Thanks mate

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      That’s GREAT, Graham! Glad everyone liked it!

  25. Bob Giron

    I saw that you have a substantial garden where you grow a few peppers.
    I was wondering how you avoided cross pollination of your different pepper species.
    Looking forward to your feedback.
    God Bless

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Bob, I don’t worry about it because I don’t save as many seeds as I used to, and when I do, it’s fun for me to see if I get a cross of some sort. When I want something pure for a season, I’ll just purchase new seeds or seedlings. One resource recommended growing sweet/mild peppers at distance of 150 with a barrier crop between them to avoid cross pollination, and 600 feet distance with a barrier crop for hot peppers. You can also use netting as well.

  26. I think you guy’s are great, keep up the good work. Thanks D.

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