Author Topic: Chili's for Flavouring Cheeses  (Read 2829 times)

Offline John (CH)

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Chili's for Flavouring Cheeses
« on: June 21, 2008, 09:29:05 AM »
Not knowing much about chili's I none the less made a Jalapeno Flavored Momterey Jack Cheese, records in this thread.

While I live in Houston Texas, land of chili's, I grew up in Vancouver Canada, so I don't know much about them and just chose Jalapeno to flavour that cheese as I didn't know the name of any other. My wife kindly picked up a couple of green ones as she also didn't know that as reg says, when ripened, they turn red and flavor is way way better. She did mention that there were many types available in our local grocery store.

This new thread is thus to discuss everything chili! As I know almost nothing, I'll start:

  • I heard that the very hot flavour comes from the seeds and thus to prepare chili's you have to remove them, easy, but also to de-vein them, what does that mean?
  • I think there are many types of chili's, what are the most common ones and a 4 word quick description?
  • The website info page on Monterey Jack shows Habanero Chili as being a popular flavouring how is it different to Jalapeno?
  • Should use use fresh, jarred/canned or dried chili's in flavoring cheese?
  • If buying fresh, should you choose young or ripened?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 09:31:22 AM by Cheese Head »

Offline DaggerDoggie

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Re: Chili's for Flavouring Cheeses
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2008, 10:08:52 AM »
I grow chilies in my garden, a lot of them.  I love hot food.  What I have found in growing them is that one year I have a bumper crop and the next year I will have comparably fewer.  Not sure why, but it does seem to alternate years.

Habanero chilies are hot, not the hottest, but quite hot yet still maintain a good flavor and not just heat.  They are great in a lot of things.  I make chili in the fall with no spices, except salt, using a variety of garden-grown chilies.  I will have to try some in cheese this fall.  Usually at the grocery store around here they are orange.

Personally, I leave most of the seeds in, but most recipes say to remove them.  De-veining chilies is removing the pithy, stringy, lighter colored parts on the inside of the pepper.  It tends to be bitter.  I wear contacts and burn my eyes often as the hot oils do not wash off your hands completely. ;D

Offline SalMac

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Re: Chili's for Flavouring Cheeses
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2008, 02:42:19 PM »
Hi Dagger

I grow my own chilis too also speciality types like habanero, congo black, white bullet, scotch bonnets etc (all in the hot hot hot range) and have also experienced the same change in yield for reasons I've never been clear on. My husband has a very high tolerance for spicy food and will eat a jar of pickled chilis (not peppers) in one sitting and cooks with birds eye/scotch bonnets varieties generally.

The Scoville scale is a measure of the hotness or piquancy of a chili pepper. These fruits of the Capsicum genus contain capsaicin, a chemical compound which stimulates chemoreceptor nerve endings in the skin, especially the mucous membranes. The number of Scoville heat units (SHU) indicates the amount of capsaicin present

The jalapeño rates between 2,500 and 10,000 Scoville units in heat. In comparison with other chili peppers, the jalapeño has a heat level that varies from mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation. Most Scotch Bonnets have a heat rating of 150,000–325,000 Scoville Units.

But cultivation really has an effect, one year when I was very busy and forgot repeatedly to water a patio container of chilis to the extent the soil had drawn back from the container walls the chilis went nuclear in heat...

Absolutely lethal :-) and even reduced my husband to a coughing fit. So I figure there might be a relationship between available water and heat as well as quantity.

One year when Ive got the time Ill experiment further!

Fresh is the best, and I agree with Dagger that flavour is as important as heat although as stated above heat can be a little unpredictable. I'd use a milder chili and use more of it if necessary. Heat and flavour for me are better in fruits left to mature longer on the plant.

At the end of the day you know, chili, I reckon is a very personal thing :-) We select the fruits of the plants we like and carry on with those. Chili seeds propogate very well for us to the extent we no longer put them in our compost bin otherwise they turn up everywhere.

I always cook with seeds in, no de-veining.


P.S. Scoville references from wikipedia
« Last Edit: August 22, 2008, 03:17:25 PM by SalMac »

Offline bdasko

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Re: Chili's for Flavouring Cheeses
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2008, 12:03:57 PM »
OK so I've been wondering this for some time - from reading this thread it would appear that it's OK to use fresh chilis in cheese?  Is there something in the cheesemaking process that prevents them from spoiling?

So then could we also use things like fresh garlic, etc? 

Offline Tea

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Re: Chili's for Flavouring Cheeses
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2008, 03:55:15 PM »
You certainly can use these things in a cheese.  Reg made a cheese with capscium (red peppers), and I make fetta and a monterey jack using fresh herbs and garlic.
Check out the recipe exchange board, and have a look.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Chili's for Flavouring Cheeses
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2008, 03:49:21 AM »
I'm a chili and hot sauce fanatic. Making my own hot sauce is on my agenda, I even have pure pepper mash waiting for me.

First off fresh is always better. There are local cheese here in California that I love, one is habanero Cheddar and Habanero Jack. Both are great and are not too hot. The reason I suspect they are not too hot is because despite all the disinformation about what cuts heat in the mouth of a human, dairy is one of very few that actually does, so this probably counteracts the effects of the pepper. Now peppers get their heat from the oils contained within. The most oil is contained in the seeds and next the vein. You asked what does deveining mean. Cut open the pepper and remove the seeds, the veins are the white-ish meaty stringy things keeping the shape on the inside of any pepper just scape the veins off. They are like the interior walls of the pepper. Personally I would leave the seeds and veins if you want it really hot and I would remove the veins and leave the seeds just because I don't like the texture of the veins.

Now this is VERY IMPORTANT DO NOT HANDLE HOT PEPPERS -- EVEN JALAPENOS with you bare hands when cutting or processing. Please use latex gloves and be very aware and not touch your face. If they are not cut use only gloves when handling anything hotter than a jalapeno. If you do touch a bare habanero and don't have gloves you can wash your hands 10 times and still burn the crap out of your skin or eyes. Hell I was processing 10 pounds of habanero for my hot sauce and I had all the doors and windows open and I had to run to In N Out and get a milkshake to clear my throat before I choked on the fumes that had enters my throat.

Now basic hot peppers that can be tolerable by most people are Jalapenos, Serrano's, Tabasco, etc...

Oh and jalapenos come in two different colors red and green. It really doesn't matter which, green is most common and doesn't mean it's not ripe yet.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.