Selectingchile peppers

When selecting peppers look for thick walled, smooth and free of wrinkles.  The stem and the pepper both should be bright in color and the stem sturdy and fresh. Flavor and heat will also be a major factor in selecting which pepper to use.

Popular Pepper Varieties

Variety Heat Color Recommended Use

Anaheim

Mild to hot

Green or red

Chile relleno, seared, broiled, grilled or smoked

Poblano

Mild to medium

Green

Chile relleno, roasted, grilled, dried to make Ancho chile powder

Green Chiles

Medium

Green

Sandwiches, chili, queso, roasted, grilled

Jalapenos

Medium to Hot

Green or red

Chili, tacos, nachos, pickling, most common variety used to make chipotle peppers

Serrano

Hot

Green, red or purple

Used in Mexican and Asian cuisines, substitute for jalapenos in recipes for a kick

Habañeros

Extremely hot, orange or red pods

Green, orange or red

Found in many commercial hot sauces, add to recipes with caution


Storing



Store all fresh chili peppers unwashed and away from other fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator for about a week.

Preparation

Chopped peppers add zest to dishes of all kinds, and besides the obvious Mexican food applications, when added to pasta dishes they provide an extra kick. To avoid a burning sensation on the skin and/or eyes, wear gloves when handling peppers and rinse utensils after each use. The chemical capsaicin gives a chili its heat, and is unevenly distributed, with the seeds hot, the wall and skin hottest, and the inner membrane hottest. To cut down the heat of chili peppers, remove one or all of the ribs and seeds. Soak chili peppers for no longer than thirty seconds in cold water with a little salt or vinegar, soaking longer will cause loss of flavor.


Nutrition Information


Peppers, hot chili, red, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy 40 kcal   170 kJ

Carbohydrates    

8.8 g

- Sugars  5.3 g

- Dietary fiber  1.5 g  

Fat

0.4 g

Protein

1.9 g

Water

88 g

Vitamin A equiv.  48 μg 

5%

- β-carotene  534 μg 

5%

Vitamin B6  0.51 mg

39%

Vitamin C  144 mg

240%

Iron  1 mg

8%

Magnesium  23 mg

6% 

Potassium  322 mg  

7%

Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database