August 29, 2008

Scarpariello with Hot Cherry Bombs

My favorite hot chile used to be the Fresno chile. It was a good medium heat, all purpose pepper to use in cooking. I still grow Fresnos and like them, but lately I've been growing very fond of the hot cherry bombs. They are a little sweeter and flavorful than the Fresnos and are easy to stuff due to their small round shape. So not only can I slice them up, but I have snack options with them as well.

Tonight I made the Chicken and Sausage with Hot Cherry Peppers recipe from the Sara Moulton website. I decided to omit the artichoke hearts since my husband doesn't like them, but honestly, I didn't miss it. The chicken breasts turned out tender and moist with her cooking method, the sauce was rich with just enough kick from the four hot cherry bombs that I picked from my garden this afternoon.

I've discovered that this "scarpariello" recipe is actually quite common on the internet. It is a traditional Italian American dish that was developed by a New York City chef many years ago. The common tie of all the recipes are chicken, sausage and hot cherry bomb peppers. The rest seems to vary depending on the chef. I believe that only Sara Moulton put artichoke hearts in her verison. Others put in lemon and rosemary or other vegtable combinations.

August 26, 2008

Nearly Harvest Time!

This weekend, I managed to get all the weeding done in my little raised beds of chile pepper plants. The grass that overtook one of the beds, something that I've never seen before, had choked off and killed my two overwintered italian pepper plants. So no italian horns to fry up this fall. I still have one yellow bell plant left, so I'm hoping to get something off of it later in the year for dinner.

My chiles are the opposite of the bells. In their sheltered place on the side of the house, they have flourished as always. I have dozens of scotch bonnets ripe and ready to go, a huge crop of fatali chiles, hot cherry bombs and a few of the new chiles that I planted this spring.

It is time to start drying my chiles in order to make fresh powder for my pantry. My dehydrator has been taken out of the garage, but I haven't set up a station outside to do the drying. Thunderstorms are predicted in the next few days and I don't want to leave my machine out to the elements. I will keep an eye on the weather, but I intend to get started with my harvest shortly.