Freakishly large Harbaneros

So a co-worker gave me a bunch of habaneros when I was in OH last week. When he said, “hey do you want some habanero peppers” I had no idea WTH I was getting into saying “sure”. These peppers were freakishly large – double the size of a normal habanero. Even more frightening was the note that came with them – “take as many as you want I have twice this amount on the plants still”. “This amount” being twice the dozen peppers presented for me to choose from.

Anyway I came home with 4 peppers that I needed to use. This weekend was my first chance to us them and I had a few recipes in mind.

I like spicy stuff and have a relatively good heat tolerance. The cheesecake is the MOST tempting but I’d be eating it for weeks. Whatever I made though, before I embarked on my escapades I needed one thing – plastic gloves. Otherwise no matter how tasty things turned out I’d be in a world of pain.

Step one was to roast the peppers and remove the skins. Next I had to decide what to make. It turned out that I was seriously in a mood to try out my new meat grinder. So I bought pork shoulder at the grocery store. I ground about 2 pounds of this and added, 1 finely diced onion, 6 minced cloves of garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 2 habanero peppers. I didn’t have any sausage casings so I instead made little patties. To make sure I wasn’t going to kill myself with heat I cooked up one patty first to check the habanero ratio. Turned out just about right. Hot but not OMG so.

With one of the other peppers I decided to make a variation on the squash bread recipe I’ve made several times before. Below is the recipe variation.

Habanero Squash Bread

Recipe type: Bread

  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash puree
  • 1 roasted skinned and seeded pureed habanero pepper
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • 1½ cups dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup baking Splenda
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk

  1. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon.
  2. With a mixer combine oil, brown sugar, and baking Splenda. Beat for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add squash and habanero pepper and mix about 2 more minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time until mixed in.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture and buttermilk ⅓ at a time.
  6. Make sure batter well combined
  7. Place batter in 1 greased bread loaf pan and 4 small mini loaf pans.
  8. Bake at 325 degree for 60 – 90 minutes.
  9. Mini loaves will take 60 minutes. Full size loaves will take 90 minutes. To test doneness, insert a toothpick into center and make sure it comes out clean.

That left one more pepper which I put in a mini ziptop bag in the freezer to dig out and use at a later date. When I have houseguests I’m SO making the Habanero Lime cheesecake!

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