If you’re a chili pepper lover who can take the heat, then take it to the next level with super spicy habaneros.
Habaneros aren’t for the faint of heart. They rank among some of the world’s hottest chilies on the Scoville scale, which is used to measure the heat of all types of peppers. Habaneros have a round, almost pumpkin-like shape and come in a variety of colors, including orange and red. They also have a slight fruity aroma.
Since they may be too spicy for some, a great way to serve them is with a chili chutney. Chutney is a thick, sweet condiment that can be served “on the side.” It’s a great way to turn adventurous people into chili fans.
Before you get started, make sure your kitchen is well ventilated, since capsaicin, the active compound that gives habaneros their heat, can become airborne. You may want to wear disposable gloves to keep it off your skin and prevent irritation if you were to touch your eyes or nose with your fingers.
If you want to tone down the habaneros’ heat somewhat, discard the seeds when you prep the peppers. An easy way to do this is to slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a small spoon, then cut the peppers as directed. If “the hotter, the better” is your motto, keep the seeds in.
- 1 pint habanero chilies
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
Thinly slice the peppers. Place the olive oil in a large skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the habaneros and onions and cook, stirring often, until they soften and start to brown, seven to eight minutes. Cool to room temperature and enjoy right away or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge. Serve with grilled meat or vegetables, or as a spread on your favorite sandwich.
Yield: 2 cups
The Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture has a helpful guide to peppers, from sweet to hot.