Black Plastic Mulch

system Chile Gardening Leave a Comment

Hello Dave,I enjoy your books, and website very much, as I am becoming a chilehead. I grew about 175 hot pepper plants in the garden last year- this year will be more! I have a couple questions for you. One is about growing through black plastic. I use raised rows in my garden- this seemed to work very well last …

Louisiana-Type Hot Sauce

Dave DeWitt Recipes Leave a Comment

This recipe is from The Hot Sauce Bible, by Dave DeWitt and Chuck Evans. They say that the key to success with this sauce is to use fresh rather than dried chiles and that any small fresh hot chile can be used.


  • 15 to 20 large fresh Tabasco chiles, stems and seeds removed, cut in half lengthwise, or substitute fresh piquins or cayennes

  • 2 cloves garlic, cut in half

  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar

  • Salt to taste


Place the chiles, cut side down, on a broiler rack. Broil for about 5 minutes or until the skin blisters and blackens. Transfer the peppers to a paper bag and let stand for about 10 minutes. Peel the chiles when cool.


Place the chiles and garlic in a blender or food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the vinegar until the mixture is well blended. Add salt to taste. Keep covered and refrigerated until you use it.

Yield: ½ cup

Heat Scale: Hot


The Pepper Growing Season, by Dave DeWitt and Dr. Paul W. Bosland

Mulching and Irrigation

Fiery Foods Manager The Pepper Growing Season Leave a Comment

  Mulching and Irrigation Maximizing Your Pepper Pod Yield Peppers in Cool Climates   SuperSite Recommendations Chile Pepper Bedding Plants… over 500 varieties from Cross Country Nurseries, shipping April to early June. Fresh pods ship September and early October. Go here Chile Pepper Seeds… from all over the world from the Chile Pepper Institute. Go here After transplanting, the pepper …

Italian Sport Peppers

system Chile Varieties Leave a Comment

Q: Dear Dave,What are Italian sport peppers?  Can banana peppers be substituted?–Alison Leszcz A: Alison:They are small peppers that are usually pickled.  They are popular in the Midwest.  Yes, banana peppers can be substituted.–Dave

Grilled Shrimp with Orange-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Dave DeWitt Leave a Comment

This recipe accompanies Grilled Swordfish with Lime-Basil-Jala-peño Vinaigrette (see above) and others in the chapter titled Fish Taco Party.


  • 24 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1/2 cup mild vegetable oil, such as canola

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 24 wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes


Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in a large dish. Combine the orange zest and juice, onion, chile, and cilantro in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and blend until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper, pour over the shrimp, and marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat your grill to high.

Spear the shrimp by pushing the skewer through the head and the tail, then smoothing the shrimp along the skewer to help it lie flat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp until pink, opaque, and just cooked through, 1 1/2 seconds to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with tortillas and garnishes listed above in the Grilled Swordfish with Lime-Basil-Jala-peño Vinaigrette recipe.