Search for habanada pepper - 329 results found

beet fusilli, celery, scallion, habanada pepper, breadcrumbs

It had been a stressful day for both of us, beginning with a 5:15 am wake-up, but I still wanted to put some kind of homemade dinner on the table. What we got was some delicious comfort food that I quickly improvised 15 or so hours later.

    • eight ounces of boiled Sfolini Beet fusilli pasta, some of the cooking water reserved (note: this pasta only takes about 5 or 6 minutes to cook, and it goes to al dente with virtually no warning), drained and stirred into a large, heavy, vintage tin-lined copper pan in which about a tablespoon of olive oil had been heated before a handful of chopped young celery stalks from Phillips Farms and one chopped Japanese scallion from Norwich Meadows Farm had been tossed in and sautéed until all of the pieces had softened, after which one section of golden/orange dried habanada pepper, sea salt, and freshly -ground black pepper were added and stirred in, the pasta and vegetables stirred over a moderate flame along with some of the pasta water until the liquid was emulsified, the sauced pasta arranged in 2 low bowls, some olive oil drizzled around the edges, sprinkled with sprinkled with toasted home-made breadcrumbs, and scattered with chopped celery leaves
    • the wine was an Italian (Marche) white, Le Salse, Verdicchio di Matelica, 2015, from Flatiron Wines
    • the music was Haydn’s Symphony No. 60, ‘Il Distratto’, and No. 91, performed by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

the habanada pepper: fresh, and dried two ways

I’ve used and written about these peppers so often, both fresh, as seen above, when they were available last summer, and now home-dried, that I decided I had to do a special post about them alone, if only to have something to link to.

The Habanada is a highbred pepper which was developed only recently; I think it it’s a very special one.

This paragraph, from a page on the Cornel University Small Farms Program site, is an introduction to their origin story, which, like most such stories, includes a hero:

Habanada is a brand new pepper, the first truly heatless habanero (hence the haba-nada) bursting with all the bright, tropical flavor of the fruit unmasked. Many attempts have been made over the years but none have achieved the fullness of flavor with absolutely zero heat. Their crisp, thin skin has an exotic, floral flavor like no pepper I have ever tasted. From cast-away seed to a signature show-stopper variety, Michael Mazourek has brought this pepper a long way in just thirteen generations.

I’ve encountered Habanadas only at Norwich Meadows Farm, in the Union Square Greenmarket.

When dried, which I did myself in order to extend their season through the winter and spring, at the suggestion of Haifa Kurdieh, who runs the farm with her husband Zaid, they look like this:

I retrieved the darker, very serious looking mahogany-colored batch from the oven just in time; they have more than a hint of smokiness (and, oddly something like an anise scent), in addition to the elements they retain from the original Habanero. The golden orange ones, which were my second try, are somehow both more gentle and more powerfully aromatic; they’re quite perfect, in every way.

This is a close-up of the dried golden orange, just after they came out of the oven:

All three versions have been wonderful additions to many parts of many meals over the last 6 or 8 months. I miss the fresh peppers, but I’ve been using both the darker and the lighter versions more than frequently ever since I dried them last fall, as a quick search will show. They work with everything, meat, fish, eggs, pasta, vegetables. The only difficulty they present, I might confess, is controlling my addiction (and deciding which of the 2 to use in any particular application).

rye trumpets, ramps, habanada, pepperoncino, parmesan

It was almost a night off, since, although there were 2 courses, this meal was very easy to throw together.

  • most of the bulb sections, including stems, of a bunch of ramps from Berried Treasures, heated with a little olive oil inside a heavy, high-sided, tin-lined copper pan with a bit of crushed dried dark habanada pepper and about the same amount of a crushed dried Sicilian pepperoncino from Buon Italia until the alliums had softened and begun to give pff an aroma, mixed with half a pound of Sfoglini rye blend ‘trumpets which had been cooked seriously al dente, the roughly chopped ramp leaves now added and everything (including some of the reserved pasta water) tossed and stirred over a low-to-moderate flame for a couple of minutes to blend the flavors and the ingredients, served with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Vache Rosse from Eataly

There was a antipasto, served immediately before the trumpets.

  • three ounces of an incredibly delicious salumi, La Quercia Ridgetop Prosciutto, from Whole Foods, drizzled with a very small amount of Alce Nero DOP ‘Terra di Bari Bitonto from Eataly
  • baby arugula from Lani’s Farm, also drizzled with the oil
  • slices of Bien Cuit rye and sunflower bread from Foragers Market


lemony, habanada-breaded, baked perch; potatoes; kale

A fish bake.

Although there were some obvious differences and some less than obvious even to me, after I spotted the little fillets in the fisherman’s family’s stand, I almost immediately thought of this meal as a modest salute to the Great Lakes of what are generally describe as one’s ‘formative’ years.

I brought home exactly one dozen of these fresh beauties on Monday, but no more, although they were not expensive, since I was already worried about fitting them into a single non-reactive pan.

Because of the difficulty – or at least the anxiety anticipated with the idea – of turning over that many thin fillets more or less at the same time, I decided I would bread then bake them, obviating the flipping challenge. This is when I really started sliding, mentally back into the Midwest, since this is not how I usually cook fish of any kind.

Half an hour before I expected to begin their cooking I removed the perch from the refrigerator and placed them on a plate on the counter.

Then the process began in earnest, my excitement now including that of seeing them lying inside the perfect pan, a French antique I had recently bought and had re-tinned, exactly for times like this.

  • twelve small coastal white perch fillets (a total of 15 ounces) from P.E. & D.D. Seafood in the Union Square Greenmarket, submerged first in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 teaspoons of juice from a Chelsea While Foods Market organic lemon, then rolled in a mixture of roughly half a cup of homemade    breadcrumbs, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a large pinch of crushed dried habanada pepper [a paprika or another dried chili, or even crushed mustard seed would also work], arranged inside a very heavy antique low-sided,13″ tin-lined copper pan and set in an oven preheated to 500º, baked for roughly for a very few minutes, because of their size, or until the breading was crispy and golden brown, removed and allowed to cool for a couple minutes before serving, garnished with micro red mustard from two Guys from Woodbridge [the recipe was adapted from]

  • just under a pound of small sweet Natasha potatoes from Phillips Farms, scrubbed, boiled unpeeled in generously-salted water until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried in the still-warm large vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, tossed with a little Trader Joe’s Italian Reserve extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and tossed with some home grown basil from Barry’s Artsy colleague Becca

  • some super sweet flat kale from Lani’s Farm, wilted inside a large antique copper pot in which one halved garlic clove from Norwich Meadows had first been allowed to sweat in a little olive oil until pungent, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of fresh olive oil
  • the wine was a French (Loire) white, Sancerre, Sommet Doré 2017, from Astor Wines
  • the music was Lully’s 1683 tragédie en musique, ‘Phaéton’, Christophe Rousset conducting Les Talens Lyriques and the Chœur de Chambre de Namur

culotte steak, chives; habanada-roasted potatoes; lacinato

The best steak.

The plate suggested the New York steak house classic: Steak and potatoes, with something green on the side. There were even chives, but they weren’t to be found on the baked potato, and the vegetable proved that everything green is not spinach. Actually, I think everything was very different.

We don’t eat out much, and I think neither of us has been to a real steak house more than once in our lives.

In fact, we don’t eat beef of any kind very often, but when we do it’s normally a steak, and the steaks I’ve chosen more and more are of a single perfect cut, the sirloin cap steak (aka ‘rump cover’, ‘rump cap’, or ‘culotte’ in the United States, and ‘coulotte’ in France, ‘picanha’ in Brazil). There are reasons for this, and we’re reminded of them every time we’re able to enjoy the texture and the flavor of this great cut.

I’m noting right now, for my own records at least, that for once no fancy micro greens showed up for dinner. Maybe it was an unconscious obeisance to the sturdy fare served in the classic steak houses that still remain in this city.

  • one perfect, frozen 23-ounce picanha/culotte steak from Sun Fed Beef in the Union Square Greenmarket, defrosted, brought to room temperature, seasoned on all sides with sea salt and a generous amount of freshly-ground black pepper, seared for less than a minute on the top, thick, fat-covered side inside a dry oval heavy enameled cast iron pan, then the 2 long sides cooked for 3 or 4 minutes each and the ends briefly seared, removed from the pan at the moment it had become perfectly medium-rare (checking with an instant-read thermometer), carefully cut crosswise into 2 pieces of the same weight, arranged on warm plates, a bit of juice from an organic Chelsea Whole Foods Market lemon squeezed on top, followed by a drizzle of a little of Trader Joe’s Italian Reserve extra unfiltered virgin olive oil, scattered with scissored fresh chives from Phillips Farms, the steaks allowed to rest for about 4 minutes before being served

  • just under a pound of La Ratte potatoes from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, halved lengthwise, tossed with olive oil, a small amount of crushed dried habanada pepper, sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper, roasted inside a large seasoned Pampered Chef ceramic oven pan, cut side down, inside a 400º oven for about 20 minutes

  • one not-so-large bunch of high tunnel-raised cavolo nero (aka lacinato, Tuscan kale, or black kale, among other names) from Norwich Meadows Farm, wilted briefly inside a heavy antique medium size tin-lined copper pot in a tablespoon or so of olive oil after several halved cloves of garlic, also from Norwich Meadows, had first been heated there until fragrant and softened, the greens seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and drizzled with a little more oil
  • the wine was a Spanish (Catalonia/Priorat) red, Sao del Coster Priorat 2015, from Crush Wine & Spirits


[image of Gander’s album cover from KAIROS]