Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rowrrrr Goes the Habanero Monster.

I bought a habanero pepper yesterday.

I've never bought one before, because their reputation scares the poop outta me. I was even nervous unpacking it from the grocery bag. I mean, what if it turned into a fiery grenade on the way home from the market and got in my eye? I don't even have the proper gear to prepare this thing, my plan is to stick my hands in leftover bulk bags and hope for the best. I could go the easy route and punch pin holes in it, then throw it in a pot of something, but no. I'm bigger than that, I plan to buck up and de-seed this bomb o' fire. It'll be like a culinary spiritual quest. Maybe when I'm done, my spirit spice will come to me and guide me for the rest of my life.

I bought the habanero because I want to make The Jamaican Jerk Seasoning out of Taymer Mason's new book, Caribbean Vegan. The recipe states you can actually use two of these hotties if you want, but I figure wee titty baby steps, right?

Taymer's publisher, The Experiment, has offered to send a free copy of Caribbean Vegan to one of you (if you live in the US or Canada). If you're interested in some island deliciousness, either tell me about one of your culinary worries, or tell me the story of your spirit spice and how it came to keep you safe. On Saturday, I'll pick a random commenter to win. Woo-woo!

xo
kittee

This post is part of VeganMoFo 2010 - the Vegan Month of Food. Get more MoFo info by checking out VeganMoFo Headquarters Itn'l, where you can subscribe to a bunch of vegan blogs and ohh and ahh to your heart's content.

32 comments:

  1. I am afraid of peppers too! And also any food that I need to stuff (pierogies, tamales, calzones etc) I want to get over it because all those things are delicious!

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  2. i'm terrified of artichokes. i never seem to get them clean enough, and then they skewer my esophagus. :-(

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  3. I'm afraid of sweet potato pie. I know, it's ridiculous! I'm sure it'll taste just as good, if not BETTER than pumpkin pie, but I fear it so.

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  4. Peppers! I'll buy sriracha, but the peppers themselves? Scary! Also scary..hmmm...finding a jicama that's good!

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  5. I really want to tackle vegan croissants, but I'm just so unsure. I was going to make them for my French class, but what if I fail and they hate vegan food forever because of my mediocre croissants. Sad sad day.
    I know I over-think these things.

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  6. My spirit spice is cinnamon. Now, before you guffaw over something so common let me assure you that we have a long history. The secret to many of my baking projects is cinnamon. One day long ago I was a-weeping in the kitchen because I found my cookies had no zazz. A wee bottle of cinnamon swooped in the window and popped it's top and shook some out into the bowl of batter. Lo and behold, those cookies improved by 29%. That cinnamon bottle is with me still and magically never seems to empty. We are friends.

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  7. Kittee! I am so glad I found you. Your kake recipes helped turn me vegan. soooooooo goooooood! What delicious things you have going, so thankful to find your adorable blog. YAY!

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  8. you will be okay, i promise. thet're not that hot, especially in jerk. next time go for a scotch bonnet!

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  9. i bought habaneros for the first time earlier this year to make the hot sauce in bryant terry's book. I was a little worried because i tend to end up touching my eyes after prepping jalapenos and it makes me cry...however it worked out great! super spicy and no tears in sight since i was super careful not to touch anything--even the peppers as little as possible (i just kind of left them on the cutting board and hacked away).

    hope you like the recipe! i've had my eye on that book, it looks awesome!

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  10. I have to agree with Emily as far as fearing the vegan croissants! I really want to make them but just don't think I can pull it off. One of these days I'm going to have to take the leap.

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  11. That little blue critter is cute. Don't be surprised if it goes missing on our next cook/bake date...

    Hmmm... My spirit spice is chipotle flakes. They keep me cozy and safe. I used to be scared of them until Tim put one (1) on my pizza slice.

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  12. Habaneros are freaky! I had a mishap with one once (submerging your hands in soymilk doesn't work the way milk supposedly does...shudder), but I love them now. The Caribbean hot sauce sounds great, can't wait to hear how it goes!

    My spirit spice right now is aleppo pepper--it makes everything so much better! Well, maybe not chocolate chip cookies, but maybe? Hmm...

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  13. Aah habaneros. One summer I planted what I thought were going to be organic jalapenos and lo and behold, they grew to be habaneros. My husband was chopping them fresh from my garden without wearing gloves. Sadly, he wiped his eyes. They teared for hours. And the people at the meeting he attended that night thought he was such a sweet and sensitive guy. He is that but that night he was crying over hot peppers. True story.

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  14. Habaneros: not that bad. Nothing to fear, people! Just tried them for the first time at http://airyway.blogspot.com/2010/11/habanero-chilies-weeknight-fajitas.html

    Asafoetida, now that's scary!

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  15. Hot peppers scare me too! I once "scorched" my hands de-seeding and chopping a jalapeño-- they burned for hours afterward. And I'm always afraid that I'm going to touch my eyes with hot pepper hands and singe my eyeballs. I will only cook with them when armed with gloves.

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  16. I will never forget the day when my grandfather tricked my dad into biting into a habanero! It took me years to try them after seeing how red my dad's face turned.

    I am always timid about chopping winter squash. It drives me crazy when my knife gets stuck halfway through.

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  17. When I was a dumb drunk kid I ate a whole Thia pepper on a dare. Pretty firey mouth. It ruined my whole evening because I was outside and I had to rinse my mouth out with river water. That was a culinary adventure for sure.

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  18. Don't be scared about the pepper! I never use any kind of protective anything with peppers, and I'm basically fine. You can do it! (I'm not entering the giveaway because I already have this book, which is great!, but I wanted to give you some pepper support)

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  19. Kitttteeee! If i won that cookbook, I might just lose it wowowowo.

    Ok, I have many spirit spices that keep me safe. And spices are the only thing in my life that have ever craved organization and alphabetization, they are a special class. Mace, the powder of roasted beet secrets; Sumac, of famous "Suman Nasturtium Tofus" and other amazing things;

    and i have saved my true spirit spice for last: black cardamom pod, true lover. do you know this story? how we ate indian food in toronto and decided that it was the secret to all things, and so we saved one out of our food, cleaned it off, and marched to the indian market to ask what it was!!!! and we got a nice big bag of cardamoms which we will never never run out of and will keep us safe forever,
    the end.

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  20. kittee! such a fun giveaway. I love your little finger monster. I have never bought a habanero. I am still a toddler in the world of hot-n-spicy foods... though I have come a long way from my infancy.

    Probably my biggest culinary worry is deep frying. Partly because I'm freaked out by so much oil, and also because I don't want to pour burning oil all over myself. I have never deep fried, and I doubt I ever will. I am ok with that.

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  21. Ohhh, I want to try vegan croissants, too, but I'm scared because they have to be gluten-free too. I have all the stuff, I just need to go for it. (I saw your comment at Mihl's blog, so I will keep you posted on progress...)

    My spirit spice is coriander seed. Such a complex little guy, and can go either sweet or savory.

    Oh, and I live in Germany, so you are under no obligation to send a book to me should my number come up. I know how much shipping costs.

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  22. I am afraid of planning a meal/party around guacamole and finding only unripe avocados!

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  23. My spirit spice is smoked paprika. Actually I will listen to any spice that says "smoked."

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  24. Kittee! Do not fear the habanero! There's a great recipe that uses habaneros in Isa's new book, and also there's a few in Viva Vegan! There's a really yummy beans recipe in VV, where instead of cutting up the pepper, you just make slits in it, so it's not IN YO FACE spicy.

    So hard to pick a spirit spice! Fennel, because I'm frondy! Cinnamon, because everyone loves cinnamon! Cumin, because yeah! Make I'm sage. Understated but makes things yummy?

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  25. I'm salt! Because I raise people's blood pressure.

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  26. I'm afraid of anything involving yeast. Not sure why, I guess I just expext failure.

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  27. I love love love habanero peppers. My father grows them in our garden every year. We can them so that we can use them all winter long. I like to add a small amount to burritos or stir fries. I suppose I have a high tolerance for heat! I'm very interested in Carribean cooking! I adore all the magical flavors and spices. Mmmmmmm.

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  28. Thyme is my spirit spice! It mixes well with most of my favorite foods (um, potatoes and bread?)

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  29. I have a super eggplant fear!
    If I won the book I'd give it to my friend from Trinidad!!

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  30. My spirit spice is cardamom. I "discovered" it in some teas that I really liked and for months thought the flavor that I liked was the rose hips. I spent months trying every tea featuring rose hips before I determined the flavor that entranced me was cardamom.

    Now I have black pods, green pods, multiple powders, seeds, etc. in my kitchen and add it to everything that I can!

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  31. Culinary worries? Anything with dough or dealing with rising of dough and yeast. It intimidates me lots but when I get down to it it ends up being easier than I think. It still ends up making a bit nervous! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  32. Mmmmmmm habanero! I'm stuck on serrano peppers right now. Any hot pepper will do me mighty fine. Spirit spices are cumin and coriander... with serrano pepper, of course! I want Carribean Vegan. Ooooh yummmers! I want! Thank you!!!!!!

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