Spicy Success | Planet Ryan

Once or twice per year, I’ll write about my garden – mostly because I’m proud of it and feel the need to brag that I grew my own delicious veggies.

There really is a tremendous difference between store-bought and garden-grown tomatoes, as I’m sure most will agree.

This year was somewhat different. In May, I informed you that I intended on growing exotic, super hot peppers alongside my raised garden bed filled with tomatoes and Brussels sprouts.

At that time, I had just ordered the plants and put them in the ground. I can proudly say I was blessed with a bumper crop of fresh ghost peppers, among others. It’s quite exciting!

Most people scoff at the thought of a pepper so hot that it completely overwhelms one’s entire body, but let me assure spicy food lovers that these super hot peppers are not only delicious, but they can easily be tamed down in nearly any dish – such as chili.

On the other hand, if you have a spice lover in your life who’s rarely satisfied with the level of heat in a dish, trust me when I say you can use these peppers to completely melt their face off.

To give you an example of how hot they truly are, one only needs to look at the unit of measurement used to gauge the spice level of a pepper – the Scoville scale.

A jalapeno is measured at about 10,000 Scoville units. A habanero pepper is at about 100,000 Scoville units.

The ghost pepper? A staggering 1,000,000 Scoville units. That’s why when picking and preparing these devilish peppers, one is recommended to use gloves and goggles. Please trust me when I tell you the last thing you want to do is get the oil from the peppers on your hands or face.

It hurts.

After my pepper crop came in, I found myself with a pile of the world’s hottest peppers and no clue of what to do with them. A few Google searches later, I had an idea – hot sauce.

I use hot sauce on nearly everything, so why not? I had most of the equipment in the pantry from my jam-making days, so I snagged a recipe for ghost pepper hot sauce and whipped up a batch of my own.

It turned out surprisingly great!

My inner mad scientist decided to experiment with tweaking my recipe, which included using fruits such as raspberries, mangoes and peaches for the base of some of my sauces.
They, too, were unbelievably tasty – especially on fish and chicken.

My pepper loving friends now have a lifetime supply of homemade hot sauce and I’ve found a new hobby that has me considering replacing all of my garden veggies with pepper plants for the next season.

I’m completely hooked. If you’re into hot peppers and like a challenge, I’ll have plenty of ghost pepper seeds available at the end of the growing season.

I’d be happy to pass some along.

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