Vegetables have a mild flavor which makes
them perfect partners for assertive spices and hot chilies. Potatoes
will never seem bland again after Potatoes with Red Chilies - this dish
is for serious chili addicts.
There are hundreds of sweet peppers and
chili peppers, with almost as many variations in size, shape, color and
flavor, from large, mild bell peppers (capsicums) to small, fiery chili
peppers. Red, green and yellow bell peppers can be used interchangeably
in many recipes, though they differ slightly in taste. The red variety
is simply the green pepper left on the vine to ripen. It has a sweeter,
mellower flavor than the green. Another variety turns bright yellow when
ripe instead of red.
Although available year-round, chili
peppers are more plentiful at the height of summer. Generally, the
smaller the chili, the more powerful the heat. Color is not an
indication of pungency, with small green chilis sometimes more potent
than red ones. When handling chili peppers, don't touch your face or
eyes, and always wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
Tips for storing chilies :
- Store fresh chilies in a plastic bag in
the chiller compartment of the fridge for a week or more.
- Fresh chilies can also be frozen. There
is no need to blanch them if you plan to use them fairly quickly.
- Store dried and ground chilies in
airtight jars in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
- To dry chilies, thread on a string, hang
in a warm dry place until crumbly, then crush in a mortar.