Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Home for Hot Peppers

The Jalapeños have been quite nice this year. Sometimes it seems as though hot peppers are just easier than sweet -- they're abundant, they aren't terribly picky about just the right heat, and generally mine aren't pest bothered. Mine are also somewhat small, over all. I just haven't watered enough. But they taste okay. Generally, I don't grow anything but bells and Padrons, for me, yet this year I ended up with a good handful of what I'd consider hot peppers -- and for me, that starts with Jalapeños, and goes up to "heat I can't handle."

Eric said he wanted some of them pickled, and I figure I'll try my hand at a Tabasco-style sauce with the long hot chiles and some of the ripe banana peppers, but still. . . there's a lot of green, hot peppers out there. What to do?

Well, that same Eric mentioned he thought he might like some pepper/cheddar bread, so I trolled around the internet to find a recipe to tweak follow, and this is what happened:


And the recipe, from Epicurious:
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (less than a 1/4-ounce package)
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon warm water (105-115°F)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting (I cheerfully substitute whole wheat or white whole wheat for at least half)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeño, including seeds and ribs, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeño, without seeds and ribs (from 3 medium total) (I left all the seeds and ribs -- hey, I'm not eating it! As written, it was sort of flavorless.)
  • 5 ounces coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
Stir together yeast and 1 tablespoon warm water in a small bowl; let mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If it doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Mix together flour, salt, oil, yeast mixture, and remaining 1 3/4 cups warm water in bowl of mixer at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more. Add jalapeño, 1 1/2 cups Cheddar, and 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix until combined.
Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) to keep a crust from forming and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (Alternatively,let dough rise in bowl in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours.)
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and gently form into a roughly 11- by 8-inch rectangle with floured hands.
Fold dough in thirds (like a letter) with floured hands (dough will be sticky), pressing along seam of each fold to seal.
Put dough, seam side down, in an oiled 9- by 5-inch loaf pan. Cover pan with same clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until dough completely fills pan and rises above it slightly, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.
Brush loaf with egg, then sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons Cheddar and remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano down center of loaf.
Bake until bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen loaf, then remove from pan to test for doneness.

Return bread (not in pan) to oven and turn on its side, then bake 10 minutes more to crisp crust. Cool completely on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.



Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I've noticed it's been a good year for us on the pepper front too, both for sweet, and hot peppers (my padrons had a bit more heat than than we expected though). This recipe looks dangerous...I hope Mr. CVF doesn't see it ;) A fabulous use of your peppers though, it looks like the bread turned out great!

Last year I put quite a few hot peppers into some batches of tomatillo salsa...if you happen to have some tomatillos growing in your garden this year, that might be another home for a few extra peppers.

Erin said...

Wow that's exactly what I have going, bells, Padron Tapas and Jalapeños - great minds, LOL... My jalapenos are on the small side this year too but I agree, they are pretty trouble free plants, probably the most so of all my summer stuff!

Stefaneener said...

CVS, we have had the occasional turbo Padron. All part of the fun! The bread is good, but not really an everyday indulgence.

I still have jars of enchilada sauce and have promised not to grow any more tomatillos before they're gone.

Erin, I was actually thinking of your peppers, I think. Next year, I'm planting more bells.

Michelle said...

Your Jalapeños are lovely and I bet they will be delicious pickled, but I must admit that they are not one of my favorites, they're a bit too "green" for my taste. Funny though, I love Sriracha hot sauce which is made from ripe jalapeños. I guess it's like the green vs. ripe bell pepper thing - I hate them green but love them ripe. On the other hand, I love love love those little green Padrons. And every green Italian frying pepper that I've tried as well.

kitsapFG said...

My jalepenos are abundant but very small yet. It's hard to grow any kind of pepper here with our typical summers. I will yet get some decent harvests out of them yet though. In fact, I am planning to move the containers with the jalepenos into the greenhouse soon so that I can close it up at night and keep them warmer/longer. I am even toying with the idea of trying to overwinter a few pepper plants too. Probably won't work but might be fun to try. :D

Kristin Sherman Olnes said...

Your husband gets what he asks for--so lucky! The food you cook is fabulous. I ate so many of the roasted padrones you gave me and I could still eat more they are so delicious. I think there was a jalapeno in one of them cuz the heat got me in a few bites.