I’ve dried these in the oven before for ground red pepper. You can also wait for them to dry on the plant. Then you cut the stems and shake the peppers off.
You can pick the green or red peppers and use them in salsa–however you’d use a hot pepper.
There’s a lot of educational stuff below the recipe. Read it if you are interested in using more of your landscape for food. You probably should read it because, you know, zombie apocalypse. You’ll need this information when that happens.
- 1/2 cup chile pequin peppers (AKA Chile petin, Bird pepper, Turkey pepper)
- 1/2 cup onion
- 1.5 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 cup vinegar
- Salt to taste
RECIPE (Go see Emeril Lagasse for a better explanation.)
- Get a kid to harvest the red berries of the Grand Chile Pequin. This will cost you a few additional dollars for allowance. But the tedium you avoid is worth a 5 note. I don’t use the green berries because they aren’t as fragrant.
- Emeril’s recipe: He says 20 serranos or tabascos. Depending on your love of spiciness, get 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the pequin peppers.
- A clove or two of minced garlic. I also mush mine with the knife and some salt. Mom taught me to do that.
- A half of a medium onion. He says to slice thinly. It hardly matters because:
- Sautee for 3 minutes. Put 2 cups of water in and cook down for about 20 minutes until the liquid is gone.
- Blender. With a cup of vinegar. He said to use white vinegar, so I did. I doubt something untoward will happen should you use white wine vinegar. BUT WHO KNOWS. I live dangerously.
- Sieve it. Then do it again. And again. And again. Until you’ve got more of a liquid than a thick Pepper Smoothie.
- Put in a sterile (boiled 10 minutes) jar. Lid. Put in fridge for at least 2 weeks. Because Emeril says so.
ALL THE GOOD INFORMATION
Chile pequin is an excellent landscaping bush for scorching, dry locations. And you can eat the berries. Well, peppers. Those suckers are hot! I prefer to plant bushes that serve a dual purpose. Either feed me or some animal around here–or be gone. You can’t just sit here looking pretty!
Being a native plant, the piquin has done swimmingly through both the droughts and the rains. It’s found throughout the Americas. If you are in a northern region, it would probably be an annual. But I don’t know that for sure! It dies down to the ground here in cold winters. (Yes, it does get cold in Austin. Not Minnesota cold, but enough to kill most tropical/sub-tropical plants.)
There aren’t a whole heck of a lot of recipes for some of the native landscaping plants you can find in Austin. (winecups…they tell me at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center that you can eat the tubers. Huh.)
But these are chili peppers. Seriously. This is easy. Mash ’em. Fry ’em. Put ’em in a stew. <<<—waaaiiit. That’s taters. That’s the speech Samwise Gamgee gives to Golum. Wrong plant. WAIT AGAIN. Those capsicum annuums are members of the potato family.