In Praise of Habanero

Where has this stuff been all my life? I thought I was content with Thai peanut sauce, and I tolerated jalapenos in salsa, but if I’d ever run across habeneros before I surely didn’t know it. It’s definitely hot, but stops just shy of being painful, with an underlying pleasantly mild taste that hits the spot. I just had a turkey sandwich with barbecue sauce mixed with a couple drops of habanero sauce, and it was the best damn turkey sandwich I’ve ever made myself.

What are some other things I can use habanero sauce in? There’s the obvious meat choices like adding some to a burger or taco, but is there anything really interesting I can do with it? I’m thinking dips or unusual food items, but my creativity is coming up short.

I put habanero sauce in my Chex mix. Gives it a nice burn to off-set the beer. :smiley:

I’m a huge fan of hot peppers, the habanero being king. What brand of habanero sauce are you using? Ever heard of Dave’s Insanity - Yeeeowwww!!!

I honestly put hot sauce on, or in, just about everything. Especially soups, stews, casseroles and anything semi-liquid that blends nicely.

Of course chicken wings and pork chops are also good candidates. Hmmm, so are ribs: beef or pork.

Mixing it with anything Mexican or Chinese works. Oh, East Indian and Thai too.

God, I love spicy food. I need a fix tonight now.

Habaneros are nice in moderation. I once tried a Habanero stuffed olive at a gift show, and I was completely incapacitated for around a half hour, and my tongue was so burned I thought it was blistered…

I’m more careful now.

I love 'em too. They’re not just freaking hot, they have a fruity, tropical flavor, and their heat is all mouth-forward and glowing. Serranos and their ilk are just harsh, biting and bitter at the back of the tongue. I’ve gone to using habaneros in every recipe which calls for raw chopped hot peppers.

There’s nothing like Rick Bayless’s roasted tomato and haberno salsa recipe.

Well, just to be clear, there’s a difference between Habanero sauce and Habaneros themselves. Bite into a fresh, raw Habanero and you aren’t going to be singing its praises.

I love 'em too though. Fun little peppers, when used carefully.

A few drops in clam chowder…heavenly!

I can vouch for this by telling you guys about something stupid I did a while ago.

I normally add spices before the items being cooked. While the oil in the skillet is heating up, I add freshly ground black pepper, salt, (occasionally herbs), onion garlic and what other stuff is to go in there.
I was gonna fry some veggies and did what I use to do but at the end, when the oil was quite hot and just before adding the veggies, I threw in fresh, chopped habanero…


It was a full five minutes before I stopped coughing and sputtering. The skillet getting cold, airing out the kitchen and my friends running around wondering if there was some kind of gas leak.


Re-heating and adding veggies provided a great and spicy meal, but I learned that one has to be careful handling those little red fuckers.

Exactly! I’ve had plenty of hot sauces where it was all heat and no flavor. The first time I tasted it, it was the flavor and not the heat that made me a fan.

Leaffan, it’s Mezzetta brand. I hadn’t heard of them before, I just grabbed the bottle off the shelf because it looked like a good basic sauce. I may have to try something hotter just for the experience, though.

Give El Yucateco a try. That’s my default habanero sauce and, to be honest, I really don’t need any other. There’s a red one, a green one, and an extra hot rusty orange one called “Kutbil-ik XXXtra Hot Sauce.” I like them all.

Habanero is wonderful in xni-pec, a Mayan/Yucatecan pico-de-gallo type of salsa. Basically, make it like you would a normal pico de gallo except use habanero instead of serrano/jalapeno and use bitter orange (naranja agria) juice instead of lime. Beautiful and addictive stuff.

Habanero also marries well with fruit flavors, especially mango and peach or apricot. It’s also one of the predominant flavors in jerk (actually, the Scotch Bonnet, a related pepper, is traditionally used, but the habanero is very similar and often substituted), along with allspice and thyme.

I love habaneros, but, because of their distinct flavor, I don’t find them to be good substitutes for many other types of peppers. Like, for example, habaneros in most Asian dishes just tastes wrong to me.

I can’t remember the brand of what I get, but I’ve become addicted to habanero sauce myself. It’s funny how one builds up a tolerance to it and how it readjusts your idea of what is spicy. I used to only be able to stand a few drops of it in a bowl of potato soup or on a taco, but now I use it like I used to use Cholula or tabasco and it doesn’t seem that spicy to me anymore. I had an occasion to eat some Pace Hot salsa recently and was surprised at how mild it seems to me now - I used to use Pace Medium for dipping chips and Pace Hot for sauce on chili or tacos, but now the hot seems milder than I used to perceive medium.

Yeah, man. I forgot about El Yucateco. We keep a bottle in the fridge in between the Sam’s Red Hot and the Sambel Olek. It’s what we drip on fish tacos and bean burritos.

You’re right about habanero going perfectly in a fruit salsa. We love a mango, habanero and Maui onion salsa with grilled tuna.

Also being a lover of habaneros, I’d love to see anybody’s salsa recipes here.

I’ll second this one. My Jerk recipe calls for lemon, lime, and orange juice along with the twenty or so other ingredients, and habanero blends really well with it.

Check out Dave’s stuff. Use in moderation. I haven’t found anything hotter.

My father is fond of spicy foods and habaneros being part of his passion. Anyway, my brother gave him a pepper plant as a gift a few weeks ago. He’s been harvesting peppers from it. A few a week perhaps. He was warned to be VERY careful with it. I don’t think he’s been brave enough to try any yet.

He got one of these plants.

Here y’are:

Mango/Habanero/Maui onion salsa

One whole ripe mango, peeled & diced
1/4 of a large Maui or other sweet, mild onion, diced fine
1/3 of a cup of finely chopped cilantro
2 habanero peppers, deseeded and minced fine
squeeze of lime juice
salt to taste

I mince these peppers by holding them only by the stem and contriving to slice the flesh away from the seed heart without touching it. When I mince the pepper, I use a small paring knife to scrape the chunks off the blade of the chopping knife between choppings, thereby again avoiding touching the habanero flesh with my hands.

Mix it all together, but don’t add all the habanero at first. Add half, taste for heat, and add the remaining habanero by degrees, if you like it uber fiery.

Blair’s, specifically the 16 million Reserve… the cure to your hot pepper problem, will have you blowing snot bubbles and writhing in pain for weeks.

I think you guys are all nuts, myself.

I heart scrambled tofu, and it’s freakishly easy to make:

A bunch of tofu
Butter, or some suitable alternative (I use SmartBalance Organic)
Jerk seasoning
Turmeric (mostly for color, but I love, love, love turmeric)
Onion, bell peppers, habaneros, et al.

Press the water out of the tofu beforehand by sandwiching it between two plates and weighing the topmost one down with a couple of cans, books, or whatever you have on hand, pouring the liquid out as it begins to accumulate in the bottom plate.
Afterward, melt the butter in a pan, add copious jerk seasoning and a sprinkle of turmeric. Toss in the vegetables (they take the longest to cook, the tofu just really needs to heat up and absorb the flavors), cook until the onions are translucent, throw in tofu. Scramble like you would eggs. Serve with ketchup, hot sauce, or what have you.

Should you not be of the bean curd persuasion, there’s no reason not to substitute eggs, but I imagine the cooking process would vary slightly. You basically end up with a dish similar in consistency to scrambled eggs, but (since tofu hasn’t got much flavor of its own) tasting like butter, jerk seasoning, onions, and peppers. :smiley:

I ate a habanero pepper once.


committing oneself to hot sauces