Foodie Friday: Five Fun Ways to Use Serrano Peppers

I love growing Serrano peppers in the garden because (1) they are super easy to grow – all you need is the plant and a lot of sun, and (2) they are delicious! Here are five easy ways to use Serrano peppers at a heat level that’s right for you…

  1. Scallops & Serranos: De-seed one pepper (I like to use latex gloves or a paper towel while doing this – the oil from the seeds and the pepper are crazy strong and if you wear contacts like I do you do not want that getting in your eyes). Chop the pepper into fine pieces. Skewer scallops, coat in olive oil, then sprinkle with the peppers. Do not add salt – scallops are naturally salty enough. Grill until scallops are done. This adds great heat – and if you like things spicy keep some of the seeds to sprinkle on, too!
  2. Serrano Burger Sauce: Chop up a fresh Serrano into fine pieces, and mix it with a half cup of mayo and half teaspoon of salt. If you really want to kick it up, add a little crushed garlic. Put in as many seeds as you want from the Serrano – the more, the spicier. Serve as a spicy mayo on a burger.
  3. Serranos and sautéed greens: Pick your favorite green to sauté – kale, collards and my favorite, Swiss chard, all work great. Sauté in butter and add chopped Serranos to taste. The pepper instantly kicks a normally pretty pedestrian dish into high gear.
  4. Spicy Corn: Add chopped Serranos, cilantro, salt and pepper to queso fresco or queso blanco to taste. Smother freshly grilled corn with the sauce.
  5. Salad dressing with a kick: Heat a quarter of a cup of olive oil on low heat. Add half a chopped Serrano with seeds to the oil until the pepper bubbles around the edges for one minute. Strain out the pepper, let cool to room temperature and combine the oil with lemon juice to taste. Use as salad dressing.