Chocolate Habanero plants produce extremely hot peppers. Its heat challenges the Red Savina Habanero. Large abundant 1.5 to 2.5 inches long by 1 to 2 inches wide fruit on plants 3-4 feet tall by 3-4 feet wide. Matures from green to chocolate brown color (no chocolate flavor). Sometimes called Congo Black. Mid to late season fruiting C. chinense.
Habaneros are most commonly red or orange in color; although brown, white and pink peppers do exist. The habanero variety is believed to have originated in the Yucatan Peninsula before being later transported to other parts of the world by Spaniards. Named after the Cuban city of La Habana in which it was regularly traded, the chocolate habanero is characterized by its waxy brown skin, floral aroma, and a fruity citrus-like flavor.
Habaneros thrive in hot and humid climates. They are especially popular in Mexico where it’s commonly used to flavor tequila or mezcal.
Plant spacing should be 16 to 18 inches apart in rows 4 to 5 feet apart. If growing single plants they will benifit from staking or being in a supporting cage to support the branches due to the abundant heavy fruit, especially in windy areas.
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Fry lean bacon to crispy and drain on paper towels. Great cheese fine. Remove stems and chop cilantro leaves fine. Grate horseradish root fine.
Cut a small circular hole in the tops of peppers around the stem, approximately. 3/8 inch, and remove stem and seeds core.
Mix cheese, horseradish, cilantro and bacon bits together. Stuff mixture into chilies.
Put about a 1/2 inch or peanut oil in your favorite cast iron skillet and heat to high, but not smoking. Other oils are OK and using a deep fat fryer would work also.
Mix a thin pancake batter using approximate. double the amount of water called for.
Plunge stuffed habs into batter and then roll in durum flour. After all 12 are coated repeat for a second time.
A lazy-man's alternative for the batter is to cut phyllo dough and wrap each pepper. This method is not as messy, easier, faster and still taste great.
Cook only 2-3 at a time to keep the oil hot. Cook each side for 30-45 seconds (flip gently with a fork), until golden tan, not brown. Serve hot.
I find it hard to eat one whole hab pepper fresh and ripe off the plant. But I can usually eat 5-6 of these critters at a sitting. The seed removal, cooking and cheese seem to make the "heat" level more tolerable (at least for me).
Alternate filling ingredients: Horseradish can be over powering and "kill" the flavor of the other ingredients some times. You can leave it out or substitute cumin, celery seed, garlic etc. Experiment, it's the fun part of cooking!... Or is it the eating? Enjoy the heat!
Notes: These bite sized treats are also a home remedy for the comon cold or stuffy nose.
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