[CSA]: Week 12

Around the Farm

The summer crops (mainly the Solanaceae) are finally rolling in! Peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant are all making a strong appearance at CSA so, we thought now might be a good time for a little pepper review:

Sweet Peppers At CSA, this could include:

Bell Peppers The classic lobe-y pepper, thick walled and great for raw eating or cooking.  These primarily start green and ripen to red, yellow and orange. Exception: purple and white peppers, which start those colors and ripen to red and pink. In their "green" stage of purple or white, they taste just like a green bell.

Carmen and Escamillo Peppers These long, tapering, thinner walled peppers look much like a hot anaheim but, are incredibly sweet and flavorful. Carmen is a classic red corno di toro (bull's horn pepper) and Escamillo is its yellow counterpart.

Shishito Peppers A new and wonderful addition to the farm! A Japanese frying pepper with incredibly thin walls and complex flavor. They are small, green or red and very wrinkly.

Hot Peppers With a love of hot peppers since childhood, you can find our carefully curated varieties at CSA, including:

Chilaca (Pasilla): commonly dried but, mild and smoky. Anaheim: a light green, tapered pepper, much like a Hatch chile. Poblano: a larger dark green pepper, great for stuffing. Garden Salsa: red and narrow, beautiful flavor and perfect heat level (not ready yet tho) 'Capperino' Cherry Bomb: a sweeter version of a cherry bomb, meant for stuffing. Jalapeño: classic, medium heat and nice flavor. Hungarian Hot Wax: bright yellow with a wonderful flavor and appearance. Serrano: a little hotter than a jalapeño and similar in shape. Cayenne: great for drying, red. Thai: small and hot, yellow, orange or red in color Habanero: ouch. They are small, wrinkly and come in yellow, orange, red and chocolate. Necessary for proper jerk though. Ghost: double ouch. Be prepared... but they apparently have a good flavor.

These peppers are listed in order of heat but, keep in mind that all peppers have a range of Scoville units (Scoville units are used to measure heat in peppers). Thus, sometimes the mildest serrano is more like a jalapeño and a really hot anaheim is hotter than a jalapeño. These heats vary from pepper to pepper even within varieties.

When in doubt: consult the sign at CSA.

The Menu

Please Choose 7

  • Cherry Tomatoes!

  • Regular Red or Heirloom Tomatoes!

  • Garlic

  • Basil

  • Red Onions

  • Daikon Radishes

    • Slightly hotter than a regular radish, these purple and white beauties are great raw or cooked.

    • These will be WITH the greens so, prepare for some awesome spicy-ish greens. Try them just like kale... for some advice, look here.

  • Hot Peppers

  • Spicy Stuffing Peppers

    • Anaheim or Poblano

      • Anaheim is lighter green, long and, close to a Hatch Chile. 

      • Poblanos are spicier and darker green.

  • Fennel

  • Sweet Bell Peppers and Carmen/Escamillo

  • Eggplant

    • Long-skinny or some smaller Italian

  • Kale!

    • It's back! It just needed a little break.

  • Fresh Herbs

    • Parsley, sage, thyme, oregano, mint and more!

Maybe List

  • Tomatillos

Recipe Ideas: Hot Peppers

I don't think our family would do well without a little spice in our lives! There's always a hot sauce or chopped chili someplace within reach.

When peppers just come rolling in and, we're short on time, we rinse them, dry them and simply throw them into a plastic freezer bag to be handled later.

Here are some of the things we like to do with fresh (or frozen) chiles.

You'll find hot stuff-able peppers at CSA this week so, this is a perfect opportunity to try your hand at Chiles Rellenos!

Typically, this involves stuffing a poblano with cheese then, dredging and lightly frying it. Try this "traditional" of Chiles Rellenos from Food Network here.

Often though, we don't go to all the fuss of frying, and instead opt for a lighter version using our grill. This Crisper Whisperer recipe, involves much less prep and oil. The addition of beans really amps up the value of these too!

Pepper Jelly
When you have a TON of peppers (and love spreadable things on crackers), try this little treat.
For whatever reason, the first pepper jelly my mother ever tried to make, had cherry juice in it and now, that's our favorite. We love a version close to this one from Ball but, there are lots of variations on this classic.

Except, we throw whatever peppers we have in it! Each jar is then a little surprise, as it varies in heat and flavor.

Or, if you're feeling adventurous, try making your own hot sauce. This version of Fermented Hot Sauce is now a family fav. Do see out the achiote though... the flavor profile is so much different without them.

One last little quick mention: if you happen to have a mountain of Habaneros or, love Jamaican food, Jerk Chicken (or Jerk Anything) is the way to go!

We do this version of (probably Americanized?) Jerk Chicken at least once a month and, freeze habaneros specifically for it. 

Vegetarian? No problem... we love the marinade spread on grilled veggies or, slathered on eggplant and grilled. I've never tried it with tofu or TVP but, it's worth a try!