Featured Chilli - The Peter Pepper

Posted by : Mouthburners | Monday, August 30, 2010 | Published in

A picture paints a thousand words! this is capsicum annuum commonly known as the 'peter pepper' or more popularly dubbed the 'penis pepper' or 'penis chilli' for somewhat obvious reasons.



Despite the word "pepper" it is actually a species of chilli, the plant is a native of the southern states of the USA.

Traditionally grown as an ornamental chilli for fun due to its phallic resemblance this variety is considered rare, however you can still find stocks available from online stores such as The Chilli Seed Store and  The Chilli Seed Bank

This chilli grows in 3 varieties: red, orange and yellow and makes a great gift, especially for its value as a conversation piece!  It is considered medium-hot on the scoville scale.

This species produces good yields of fruit if grown correctly ( for tips on growing chillies check our article on the subject here ). Peter Pepper pods will turn red when mature at around 90 days. The plants prefer some shade and shelter from the wind.

You can buy Peter Pepper seeds online :

Hot Chilli Sauce

Posted by : Mouthburners | Sunday, August 29, 2010 | Published in


This hot chilli sauce variation sauce has a distinct bite and a wonderfully tangy aftertaste it will be a welcome addition to any barbeque.  If wild heat is not for you then substitute the habanero chilli for a milder variety.





Ingredients
  • 8 habanero chilli's (de-seeded)
  • 1 red capsicum (de-seeded and sliced) 
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 10 large ripe tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic ( unpeeled )
  • olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Method
  1. Place tomatoes, garlic and capsicum in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and throw in a sprinkling of rock salt. Oven roast in a pre-heated 180°C oven for 30 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and slightly charred.  Puree in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, saute onions in oil till soft then add the pureed tomato mix, sugar, vinegar and lime juice. Simmer until thick, stirring occasionally.  
  3. Puree again until smooth then allow to cool before straining through a sieve to remove excess pulp.
Refrigerate

   

Mouthburners Product Spotlight

Posted by : Mouthburners | Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | Published in

Byron Bay Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce with Curry & Ginger - 6 Pack

Here's one worthy of a mouthburners mention, from the Byron Bay Chilli Company in Australia we were impressed by this sweet BBQ style condiment with a great coconut flavour.  The Byron Bay Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce.



Click here to buy from our Amazon store: Byron Bay Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce with Curry & Ginger - 6 Pack

How Hot is That Chili?

Posted by : Mouthburners | Friday, August 20, 2010 | Published in

This is a obviously a common question but the answer is subject to a lot of variation, the actual 'hotness' of a chilli will depend on many factors such as the variety of chilli, how it is grown and how long it is left on the plant before it is harvested.



In general though the 'heat' of a chilli or chilli product can be rated by measuring the concentration of the compound capsaicin that causes this sensation.

The most widley accepted standard of measurement today is the Scoville scale, although somewhat imprecise as it relies very much on the sensory subjectiveness of human testers.

how to grow chili

General list of Chillies and their Scoville ratings
Scoville rating Type of pepper
15,000,000–16,000,000 Pure capsaicin
8,600,000–9,100,000 Various capsaicinoids (e.g., homocapsaicin, homodihydrocapsaicin, nordihydrocapsaicin)
5,000,000–5,300,000 Law Enforcement Grade pepper spray, FN 303 irritant ammunition
855,000–1,075,000 Bhut Jolokia (Naga Jolokia)
876,000–970,000
Dorset Naga
350,000–580,000 Red Savina habanero
100,000–350,000 Guntur Chilli, Habanero chili, Scotch Bonnet Pepper, Datil pepper, Rocoto, African Birdseye, Madame Jeanette, Jamaican Hot Pepper
50,000–100,000 Bird's eye chili/Thai Pepper/Indian Pepper, Malagueta Pepper, Chiltepin Pepper, Pequin Pepper
30,000–50,000 Cayenne Pepper, Ají pepper, Tabasco pepper, Cumari pepper
10,000–23,000 Serrano Pepper, Chichen Itza
2,500–8,000 Jalapeño Pepper, Guajillo pepper, New Mexican varieties of Anaheim pepper, Paprika
500–2,500 Anaheim pepper, Poblano Pepper, Rocotillo Pepper, Peppadew
100–500 Pimento, Peperoncini
0 No significant heat, Bell pepper, Aji dulce

How to Grow Chillies

Posted by : Mouthburners | Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | Published in

Chillies come in so many different varieties, each with their own little specialised growing tips, but they all seem to follow a very basic set of growing rules that can be used to successfully cultivate healthy plants with a great yield of fruit!



Chilli plants will usually grow as small to medium sized bushes, their dimensions depend on the particular variety.  There are many different species of chillies, the fruits of which vary greatly in size and shape as well as their most prized trait, hotness.

Growing Chillies
Chillies require a warm growing environment, it is generally accepted that plant growth becomes inhibited if the ambient temperatures fall below 15°C.  Ideally warm to hot regions of 28°C and over are the best to grow chillies outdoors, but if you live in a cold region you can still grow indoors or in a greenhouse with excellent results.  If soil conditions are right chillies will grow just as happily in a pot as outdoors in the garden.

Sowing
When growing chillies from seed many people start their seedlings off in trays or small pots before transplanting them into their final position, this works quite well but is not the most ideal for the plant as they apparently don't like to be disturbed too much.  When transplanting wait until the small plants have at least 4 or 5 leaves then try to transplant the majority of soil around the roots with them so as to avoid disturbing them.  The root systems like plenty of room so try to use a medium to large pot for a single plant if potting, or space them out well if planting in the garden.  Chilli plants like full sun and grow best with a lot of sun from morning to early afternoon.

Preferred Soils
Chillies are hardy plants and will grow in a wide variety of soils but you can achieve a much healthier and more productive plant in a well drained fertile medium, especially one that is rich in Phosphorous.  If your soil nutrients are low you should add  fertiliser that has a reasonably high Phosphorous ratio compared to other elements.  In colder climates you may also want to boost the potassium levels a little to assist in water retention by the plants.  Too much Nitrogen in your fertiliser mix can reduce your fruit yields considerably.  To achieve good draining I will usually mix 1/3 ratio of course river sand to a 2/3 potting mix and soil combination.

Plant Care
Chilli plants in well drained soil should be watered about 2-3 times a week and to the point where the soil is damp but not soaked.  Overwatering or leaving in waterlogged soil can rot the roots of your plants.  Use a little mulch laid out to cover the soil in your pot, leaving about a 2cm radius clear around the stem of the plant to avoid rot.  Mulch will improve the soil slightly as the plant grows and will also stop it drying out too quickly.  When the plants are about 20cm in height you can cut off the topmost tip which will stimulate the plant into bushing outwards more.  It is benefecial to support your plant with a slender garden stake incase of a heavy fruit crop, especially in windy conditions as their roots tend to be very shallow.

Harvesting
Depending on variety and conditions most chillies are reasonably quick to flower then fruit.  After you see flowers developing on the plant it will only be a few more weeks till the flowers begin to brown, drop off and the fruits begin to form.  As the plants begin to fruit it is good practice to water in small amounts of organic fertiliser to keep them producing longer.  Try to leave the chillies on the plant for as long as possible to increase the 'hotness' of the fruit, but don't leave them till they shrivel up and dry, your plants actually respond well to regular picking by producing more pods. If you leave the fruit till it dries and shrivels the plants purpose of setting seed is accomplished and the plant will not last much longer or will produce lower yields the next season.

Interesting Notes
Chillies can cross-pollinate if you grow a few different types of chillies in your garden you may end up with a new different and interesting strain to try!

   

Growing chili at Growing Chillies - How To Grow Chili Peppers From SeedGrowing Chilli Plants from seed - The Great Chilli FarmGrowing chili at Chilli FreakGardening Australia - Fact Sheet: ChilliesHow to Grow Chile Peppers | eHow.comHow to grow Chillies - all you need to know about growing Chilliesgrowing chilli peppers thechileman.orgGardening For Beginners: How to grow chili

Spicy Habanero Salsa

Posted by : Mouthburners | Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | Published in



This spicy hot variation of salsa goes perfectly with all sorts of hot and cold dishes, some favourites include grilled meats such as rib eye steak or pork cutlets, chicken and fish.




Ingredients
  • 6 habanero peppers finely chopped
  • 6 large tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 1 finely chopped white onion
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum roughly chopped
  • 1 green capsicum roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow capsicum roughly chopped
  • 1/2  finely chopped purple onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
  • juice of 1 lime
  • rock salt
  • aged balsamic vinegar
  • white wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 c 
  2. Place tomatoes, garlic, habanero peppers and capsicums in a large roasting pan, drizzle on a liberal amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of rock salt and bake for about 40 minutes or until vegetables start to soften.  
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine white and purple onion, lime juice, sugar, coriander and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, mix in the cooled contents of the roasting pan thoroughly and seal in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight before using .
 If refrigerated the salsa will keep well for about 1.5 weeks