The weather the past two weeks has kept us somewhat “glued” to the Georgetown area so we’ve been taking advantage of the town and all it has to offer. There is a local farmer who sets up a stand under a Monkey Pod tree between the BTC (Bahamas Telephone Company) and the grocery store. He’s there every day but weekends and often displays an amazing variety of vegetables. He rises at daybreak to tend his crops then drives 10 miles into town each morning and after selling his goods returns late in the afternoon working this plot until sunset. He’s also, in a polite way, a man of few words. The other day as I was walking to BTC to get more data I noticed he had a large selection of orange, yellow and red peppers which were about the size of golf balls. I could identify those which were Scotch Bonnets but not the others. The farmer informed me that the orange were 3 pot peppers and the red 9 pot peppers. With a confused look on my face he mentioned that 3 pot peppers were fairly hot, one pepper used for 3 pots of food and the 9 pot peppers were very hot, one pepper used for 9 pots of food. I selected 4 of each which were 4 for a dollar gave the farmer a five and wished him a good day.
Once back at the boat with both data on my phone and peppers in my hand I was eager to find out exactly what I had purchased from the farmer. Peppers are classified according to their hotness by the Scoville scale. Developed in 1912, by Wilbur Scoville who was a pharmacist, the Scoville Heat Scale (SHU – Scoville Heat Unit) is a measurement of heat and runs from 0 SHU’s for the typical Green pepper to 2,200,000 SHU’s for the world’s current hot pepper record holder the Carolina Reaper. The Carolina reaper was developed by Ed Currie a farmer in South Carolina who owns the Pucker Butt Pepper Company. I’m not making this stuff up. The Scoville scale is somewhat an empirical scale as its dependent on one’s sensitivity to peppers and not a scientific measurement of the “active” ingredients in peppers which contain capsaicinoid compounds.
Once back aboard Makana a quick search on the web led me to identify the 3 and 9 pot peppers. The 3 pot peppers were Orange Habaneros with SHU’s from 150,000 to 350,000. The nine pot peppers were Caribbean Red Habaneros with SHU’s from 300,000 to 475,000 and are approximately 80 times hotter than a Jalapeno. In short I had purchased some hot buggers, now what to do with them.
My initial thought was chicken wings however a quick search in the freezer ruled them out. Then it hit me use them to make hot pepper oil. I’ve made this seasoning oil in the past and used it for a variety of dishes. It’s super easy to make, I pour a cup and half of Canola oil into my wok chop up the peppers along with a several cloves of garlic and cook until the peppers turn black. Yes, you read correctly it’s not a typo, burn the peppers, it adds a great flavor to the oil. Once the oil has cooled I strained out the peppers their seeds and garlic. Then I added a sprig of rosemary along with some fresh chopped garlic. I use the oil on everything from my eggs in the morning to lobster dip in the evening, enjoy.
- 1 - 1½ lbs. hot peppers
- 5 - 7 cloves garlic
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 cups canola oil
- Chop peppers and garlic add to oil and cook until peppers turn black then immediately remove pan or wok from heat. Let cool and strain out peppers, garlic and seeds. Save oil on a glass bottle add sprig of rosemary and 2-3 cloves of sliced garlic.