Mike Hultquist: My Love of Superhots
Superhot chili peppers are a gift and I intend to spread the word.
I’ve been cooking with superhot chili peppers for quite some time now, though I don’t remember them always being called “superhots”. The name just sort of appeared along with the rise of peppers that crossed the 1 Million SHU line. It was inevitable, really. You need a moniker for something so astonishing, something I consider flat out awesome.
My love for chili peppers began like most others, being introduced to them as a child via the popular jalapeno pepper. That was my gateway pepper. The hottest pepper I had tried before that was the pepperoncini, and even that brought on the spice for me. With the jalapeno, I remember thinking, “Yes! Talk about heat! Flavor!” I was hooked from then on.
As I graduated to habanero peppers, I kept looking for hotter and hotter flavors. There were sauces, but the extract-laden ones left me unsatisfied. Then along came the superhots. Such a happy day when I finally discovered them! I wish it hadn’t taken me this long to catch up, but I’m glad I’m here. I’ve moved on up to cooking with any superhot I can get my hands on or grow, from 7-Pots to scorpions to the insane Carolina Reaper. I have some in my garden right now and I’ve just picked a batch. I need to replenish the superhot Louisiana style hot sauce I made a few weeks ago.
I’m not one of those guys who can chow down a raw superhot pepper. You’ve seen them on YouTube or in your Facebook feed. I’m always amazed at how some people can take that level of pure heat. I love the heat, but I prefer it blended with other flavors, cooked through and developed. I also love to dehydrate them and turn them into rubs or infuse salts. There is nothing better.
My growing love for chili peppers and spicy, zesty food led me to build our web site, called Chili Pepper Madness, where I cook with chili peppers of all kinds, from the mildest bell pepper to the craziest of the hots. I love them all. With most people, I tell them they do not need to fear the superhots. Like anything, they can certainly be overdone, but if you treat them right, you can learn to enjoy them. However, as fans of “I Love It Spicy”, I know I am talking to my kind of people. You love superhots! Or at least you are on your way.
Whether you are new to them or a seasoned superhot veteran, I’ve put together some recipe links you might like to try. I hope you enjoy them.
Homemade Ghost Pepper Chili Hot Sauce
This is a flavorful tomato-based sauce with plenty of heat. It’s an everyday sauce, ready to sprinkle onto anything. Use it as a base for pasta sauces as well. You can make this with other superhots. I’ve made some with Reapers and nearly knocked my socks off.
Pineapple-Mango Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
Tropical fruits bring in the sweet for this particular sauce. Sweet and heat is a popular combination, and for excellent reason. Keep this around for your next shrimp taco meal, or pour it over grilled chicken. You can also use it as a base for a glaze for seafood, chicken or pork.
Hot Pepper Relish
Relish is a smart way to preserve a large harvest of chili peppers. If you’re like me, your garden explodes with them every year. You can freeze them, pickle them, or dry them, but a good relish is a quick go-to for topping many a dish.
Grilled Moruga Wings
I sincerely love hot wings. Very few places make them hot enough, so I often make them on my own. This recipe will use your dried superhot rubs, though you can also use fresh peppers by grinding them up with garlic and herbs to form a paste. Use it as a sauce base.
I have a number of other recipes on our site with heat levels of all ranges, and you’ll find plenty more superhot peppers there, from ghost peppers to 7-pots to scorpions and more.
I also recently released a cookbook with 100 recipes and plenty of information on cooking with superhots, from incorporating them into different dishes, to sauces, hot sauces, dehydrating them and making your own rubs, salts, oils, and more. It is called “1 Million Plus: Cooking with the World’s Hottest Chili Peppers” – my ode to the superhots.
Here is a link for more information: http://www.chilipeppermadness.com/chili-pepper-cookbooks/1-million-plus-cooking-with-the-world-s-hottest-chili-peppers
I hope you enjoy the book and our website. I look forward to seeing you there. Carry on the heat!