More Spicy Chile Recipes || Peppers Recipes || Pickle Recipes
These peppers are great for pickling. Try any cucumber pickling recipe.
Chile Güero Recipe
We grow a pepper on our farm called the Hungarian Hot Wax to sell to restaurants that make their own pickled peppers. The Hungarian Hot Wax pepper is pale yellow and moderately spicy when we pick it for pickles, but the turns a flaming red color if allowed to fully mature. A fully red-ripe Hungarian Hot Wax pepper tastes like, well..., let’s just say that if it were a wine it would boast a “a full bodied fruit nose with napalm notes.”
Most hot peppers don’t have much heat, if any, when they’re tender and immature. The heat in a pepper, like the sweetness, takes time to develop. When the spiciness is fully developed it is concentrated mostly in the seeds and the interior membranes of the pod that tie the seeds to the flesh. It took us a little while to learn how to pick the Hungarian Wax peppers so that we were getting them at the stage when they had developed enough heat to be piquant but still young enough to be tender but crunchy to the tooth.
My harvest crew laughed to hear me call this pepper the “Hungarian Hot Wax.” It is a weird name. To me, “Hungarian Hot Wax” sounds like an expensive beauty treatment dispensed at some celebrity oriented fat farm like The Golden Door, or else some kind of product for surfers to smear on their boards. To my Mexican crew this chile will always be. known as the “chile güero”. Güero means light skinned in Spanish. The Spaniards, for example, who invaded Mexico and named the chiles they tasted there “peppers” were güeros. If my crew harbors any resentment over the subsequent appropriation of their light skinned chile by the Hungarians, of all people, they don’t let it show. In fact, they shared a recipe with me:
Slice the peppers open on one side. Sprinkle a little salt and squeeze some lemon juice inside the cavities. Then put the pepper with the sliced side up in a sizzling hot pan and cook it till it’s blistered and golden on the bottom. (If you’re being politically correct you’ll use a comal, but Mexicans are pretty mellow so they won’t complain if you gringo out and use a cast iron skillet.)
As you put the peppers on the comal, stir them around to keep them from sticking or lift them off, try not to spill the lemon juice, since the juice and salt serve to ameliorate the sting of the pepper and make this snack a pleasant experience for all potential diners. (It is simply not true that all Mexicans like really spicy food!) Serve these peppers hot from the comal or at room temperature. They’re great either way.
PEELING PEPPERS (this is an all purpose recipes for peppers, the hungarian wax peppers may be a bit tedious to do this way since they're smaller than 'regular bells'.): Lay the peppers in a broiler pan, and broil until their skins blister (2-3 minutes). With a tong or long fork, slightly rotate them and continue turning until the peppers are completely charred, then pop them into a paper bag. Close the bag and the let the peppers sit in it for 15-20 minutes: the charred skin steams loose from the flesh. Then, holding each pepper over a bowl, slit down one side, open it up, and discard the seeds, ribs and stem. Cut the pepper into 2-3 pieces, and peel off the loosened skin with a paring knife. The bowl collects the pepper juices, which can be used to store the peeled peppers up to 2 days, if you wish. Or, drain the skinned and seeded peppers on a rack. If you have a gas stove, you could also char the peppers over the flame, or you can use an open grill.
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