Red Italian Cubanelle Chile Peppers
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Red cubanelle chile peppers widely vary in shape and size depending on the climate they are grown in, but the peppers are typically elongated and thin, averaging 10 to 15 centimeters in length and 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter. The pods may appear folded, twisted, or straight with slight tapering on the non-stem end, and have smooth, glossy, and red, thin skin. Underneath the surface, the flesh is thick, lightly striated, pale red, and crisp, encasing a central cavity filled with a few round and flat, cream-colored seeds. Red cubanelle chile peppers are crunchy with a sweet taste mixed with a very mild heat.
Red cubanelle chile peppers are available in the summer through early fall.
Red Cubanelle chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are the mature versions of a sweet pepper that belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Also known as Cubanella, Friarelli, and Aji Cubanela, Red cubanelle chile peppers have a very mild heat, ranging 100-1000 SHU on the Scoville scale, and are most well-known as an Italian frying pepper or cooking pepper. Cubanelle chile peppers are used in both their immature green and mature red state and are favored for their sweet taste and thick flesh. The peppers are a staple ingredient in Cuban, Puerto Rican, Italian, and Dominican cuisine, especially used in sofrito, and are also utilized in both fresh and cooked applications.
Red cubanelle chile peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help build collagen in the body and boost the immune system. The peppers also contain some potassium, vitamin A, folate, manganese, and vitamin K.
Red cubanelle chile peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as roasting, frying, grilling, baking, and sautéing. When fresh, the peppers can be sliced and layered into sandwiches, chopped and tossed into salads, or sliced into strips and consumed on appetizer plates. Red cubanelle peppers can also be diced and stirred into soups, topped over pizza or pasta, minced and stirred into beans and rice, stuffed with meat or cheese, or baked into casseroles. The peppers are sometimes used in yellow mole sauce, minced into fillings for fried fritters, or used as a substitute for Anaheim or banana peppers. Red cubanelle chile peppers pair well with meats such as chorizo, turkey, beef, and poultry, onions, garlic, herbs such as basil, cilantro, and thyme, spices such as cumin and paprika, olives, and cheeses such as pepper jack and manchego. The peppers will keep up to one week when loosely stored whole and unwashed in a plastic or paper bag in the refrigerator.
In Cuba, Red Cubanelle chile peppers are popularly used in sofrito, which is a style of cooking that consists of lightly sautéing peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cilantro and is used as the base for many different recipes including soups, stews, rice, and bean dishes. Sofrito was introduced into the Caribbean by Spanish colonists in the 1400s and is used similarly to mirepoix. Each household has its own traditional variation of sofrito using secret ingredients and cooking techniques that are passed down between family generations. Sofrito can be used in everyday cooking applications, traditional holiday meals, to street food, including Cuban dishes such as croquetas de pollo or chicken fritters, picadillo which is a beef stew, arroz congri or black beans and rice, and the chicken stew known as fricase de pollo.
Red cubanelle chile peppers are descendants of peppers from South and Central America and were introduced to Europe by Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries. The sweet peppers are believed by the majority of experts to have been first cultivated in Italy, but its origins are mostly unknown with a few experts tracing it back to Cuba. Red cubanelle chile peppers were introduced to the United States in 1932, and today Red cubanelle chile peppers are exported to countries around the world mainly from the Dominican Republic. Red cubanelle chile peppers can also be found on a smaller scale at local farmers markets throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States.
Recipes that include Red Italian Cubanelle Chile Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Gluten-Free Goddess||Mexican Pumpkin Soup|
|All Recipes||Fiery Five Pepper Hummus|
|Kid and Nancy||Quinoa stuffed Cubanelle peppers|