Tag Archives: habanero

Friday Linkage 2/17/2017

Is this what it looks like from the inside of a failed state?  The current president cannot go a day without an unforced error blowing up in his face, leaks are rampant, confidantes are completely off message, and the orange master of ceremonies cannot let the smallest slight go unnoticed.  Is it the sign of a completely unhinged personality to respond via Twitter to every perceived challenge to his authority?

On to the links…

Coal-Fired Electricity is at its Lowest since Officials Started Keeping Track—Natural gas and cheap renewables are killing coal.  No one wants to live downwind from a coal plant and the death spiral is on.

The West’s Coal Giant is Going Down—You would be hard pressed to find a more controversial symbol of the coal industrial complex than the Navajo Generating Station, a giant coal fired power plant in Arizona.  With decades of life left in its boilers, its operator is scheduling the beast for shutdown in 2019.  This is a coal plant that burns upwards of 24,000 tons of coal per day.

Wind Energy is Setting Records in the U.S. and Around the World—Wind is cheap, a lot of people work in the industry, and even Republicans are behind the sector as they realize the political suicide of condemning something so popular.  The future may not be as bright, but there is potential for hope.

New North American Wind Power Record Set In Central United States—Over 50% of the electricity served came from wind. Yes it was overnight, but it’s a start.
China Doubled Its Solar Capacity In 2016—No matter what the base, doubling the capacity of anything is a big deal.  There are a lot of problems with China—one party state, authoritarian rule, etc.—but when they decide to go for something, solar in this case, they go big.

U.S. Solar Installations Jumped 95 Percent Last Year—China is not the only one to go big on solar.  We were yuge!

Low Carbon Technologies Now Cost-Competitive With Fossil Fuels—Low carbon technologies are basically mainstream.  Right wing reactionaries can try and stop the flood, but it is over.

5 Possible Futures for the EPA under Trump—This assumes that the Trump administration is not a flaming crater of incompetence by the end of March.

The United States of Oil and Gas—There are some amazing images that show the pervasiveness of oil and gas in our lives.

To Save The Planet, Give Cows Better Pasture—Managing productive rangeland for grazing may be on the lowest hanging fruit we have for helping to mitigate the near term impacts of climate change.

Outdoor Rec Industry Defends Public Lands—Outdoor recreation is a huge—sorry yuge—economic activity that needs to be taken into account when changes to our public lands policy are proposed.  Your elected representatives need to understand the value that you place on these lands.  The companies you patronize need to be reminded of the value that you place on these lands.  The time is now.

This Heatless Habanero Packs All Of The Flavor With None Of The Burn—I am really intrigued by this idea.  Bringing the flavor of a pepper without the heat might convert some of my family members.

The Best Trick for Cutting Down on Sugar—After getting some exercise there is no better or bigger change you can make in terms of your health than cutting down or eliminating added sugar from your diet.

Pineapple Jalapeno Jelly Update

Well, how did my modified pineapple jalapeno jelly dip turn out?

Pretty good, but it is a little light on the heat.  I do not think that I need to go the habanero route next time.  Rather, my plan is to increase the amount of jalapenos and pineapple to jazz up the dip a little bit.  As it stands now the flavor is heavy on the sweet because of the high sugar content.

I also think that I need to grill the pineapples for a little while to caramelize some of the sugars in an effort to give the dip a little bit of a different flavor as well.

This is the problem with canning and making your own foods…it’s a constant journey of exploration and experimentation.  Like my beer brewing, it never feels like I will return to the same recipe because there are so many other enticing options to try.

Jalapeño versus Habanero

When I made my pineapple jalapeno jelly dip two of the changes I made from the original recipe was the replacement of apricots with pineapple and the substitution of jalapenos for habaneros.

People like to talk a lot about habaneros, in my opinion, because hot peppers are one of the most masochistic components of our modern food culture.  Like brewers going to extreme lengths with hops in modern American craft beers, the heat from peppers has become an arms race without regard to the impact on the palate.

Based on Scoville Units, a jalapeno has a range of 3,500 to 8,000 heat units versus the habanero’s range of 100,000 to 350,000 units.  Neither of these is a Naga Bhut Jolokia’s 855,000 to almost 1.5 MILLION heat units.  That is like a weaponized chili pepper.  I digress…

On the low end, the habanero is over 12 times the heat of a jalapeno and it only goes up from there to a high end of 100 times the heat.  Think about that for a moment…100 times the heat.  Ugh!

No one needs the morning “burning ring of fire.”  No one.

Homemade Pineapple Jalapeno Jelly Dip

I love the roasted pineapple and habanero dip from Robert Rothschild Farm.  My local Costco carries it in a quart jar and it is addictive.  However, the heat gets to be a little overwhelming at times and no one likes the “burning ring of fire” you sometimes get the morning after.  Eat a bowl of this stuff with a few beers and your next day’s routine will include lots of wincing.  Trust me.

Because I feel empowered by my adventures in pickling garlic, I decided to try my hand at making my own version of the dip.  I adapted the recipe for habanero gold on page 131 from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

I substituted pineapple for the apricots and fresh jalapeno for the habanero.  The recipe was followed to the “T” otherwise and resulted in four eight ounce jars of dip:

The dip has appeared to set correctly, although as you can see in the picture above I have had a little problem with the distribution of particles.  Really, it’s no big deal because I will likely transfer the contents of the jar into a storage container and I can mix the contents thoroughly at that time for a more even distribution.

I highly suggest the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving as a starter’s guide to all things canning and preserving.  There are a lot of recipes, lots of tips or tricks, and a whole bunch of inspiration.  I am flipping through the book a lot lately to see what will be my next home preserving adventure.  Maybe a corn relish…

Here is the recipe that I used:

Pineapple Jalapeno Jell Dip

Makes 4 half-pint jars

1/3 cup finely diced pineapple

3/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup finely diced red onion

1/4 cup finely diced sweet red bell pepper

1/4 cup finely diced jalapeno peppers, seeds removed

3 cups granulated sugar

1 3 ounce pouch liquid pectin

  1. Combine apricots and vinegar in a deep stainless steel pan; let stand 4 hours. Add onions, peppers, and sugar and bring to a full rolling boil.  Stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add liquid pectin, mixing well.
  2. Pour jelly into hot jars, dividing solids equally among jars and filling each jar to within 1/4-inch of top rim. Wipe rims and apply lids.
  3. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool upright, until lids pop down, about 30 minutes. When lids are concave but the jelly is still hot, carefully grasp jar without disturbing lid and invert, twist, or rotate each jar to distribute solids throughout jelly.  Repeat as necessary during the cooling/setting time, until solids remain suspended in the jelly.