Spicy Butter Recipe (with Habanero Chiles)
We picked the last Habanero peppers yesterday, officially marking the end of our vegetable season. I feel a little bad about that seeing as folks on the East Coast are already dealing with snow. Sorry! I think I've mentioned that due to a very frustrating gopher infestation, my husband Lulu planted mostly everything in planters this year. We had one planter full of Habanero chiles, which are famous for being the hottest peppers in the world. If you've never gotten a chance to experience Habanero peppers, they are extremely fragrant and fruity. The flavor is almost indescribable, as is the heat follows. Our plants were prolific; three habanero plants produced over 20 cups of peppers! Of course, having that many peppers forced us to get creative with how we used them, which was a lot of fun.
The first application we came up with was a flavored butter, which oddly wasn't all that spicy to my taste. I think the casein in the butter neutralizes a lot of the heat. Trust me, if I can enjoy it, you can too. I've been married for many years now, and before, I couldn't bare the spiciness of black pepper. I'm sure it helps marrying into an Indian family, but this Habanero chile butter captures that intoxicating fragrance without being overly spicy.
I pulsed red Habanero chiles with garlic into a purée and mixed them into soft butter. I measured 10 grams for a mild butter, 20 grams for medium and 40 grams for extra spicy. You could reduce the ratio, depending on how strong you want the heat. This butter is lovely as a spread for sandwiches, in pasta or as a garnish for a juicy steak. I especially like it on whole grain bagels.
I'll slowly post all the other ways we put these peppers to use. Try them if you dare!
Yields: ½ cup8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 fresh Habanero chiles (see tips)
1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped
1-½ tablespoons blossom honey (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
Pick fully ripened, extremely red chiles. Wash them. Pat them dry using paper towels. Trim the stems.
Depending on the spiciness, you can remove the seeds or not. This time, I removed the seeds (don't forget to wear disposable gloves). Roughly chop them.
Note: remember not to rub your eyes after touching the chile pepper seeds.
Blend the Habanero chiles, salt and garlic in a mini-prep with about 10 pulses. It should turn into a purée.
This step is optional: Strain the purée through a medium-sized sieve.
Cream the butter with honey (if used). Add the chile mixture.
Transfer to a butter crock (or a ramekin that you seal with plastic wrap).
Let the butter stand at room temperature (covered) for about 30 minutes before using it (to allow the flavors to develop and blend together).
You can store the flavored butter for up to 2 days (3 days at the most) in the refrigerator.
I used exactly 20 grams (0.7 ounces) of Habanero chiles for medium heat. 2 chiles weighs 20 grams depending on their size.
The quantity of chiles varies with the level of heat. Make sure to test the spiciness of the chiles by biting a piece prior to flavoring the butter. Keep in mind that Habanero is the hottest pepper in the world. Anaheim and Serrano are relatively midly hot. Scotch bonnets would work as well. On the other hand, if you can't handle spicy food, you could use red bell peppers or eggplant pulp instead.
When adjusting the flavor of the butter, you might want to add a floral honey to balance the spiciness if necessary.Published By: on November 3, 2011.