Stuart Trotter is a chef living in Amarillo, Texas. Earlier this year Louise and I were trying to find the difference between “dried” and “dehydrated”. The search engines were useless, but in our search, a video posted on TexasCookingToday popped up. In that video Stuart had a segment where he took a selection of peppers and did a time elapsed piece on air drying them on his kitchen counter.
We sent him an email asking him if there is a difference between dried and dehydrated. I received a concise and informative reply written in a very friendly manner. Dehydrating captures the pepper at the time it is processed, where air drying allows the sugars to evolve fully. In the video he mentioned that he loved cooking with Paprika peppers, but had a hard time finding them. We had 20 plants growing in high tunnel #4, so in the email we sent Stuart thanking him for his thoughtful consideration and offering to send him some Paprika peppers.
One email led to another, my queries got more specific, and his replies helped us develop our processing plans for the 2020 crop. We had found an mentor. About 2 months ago we sent him a box containing just about everything we grew and asked for his critical opinion.
The result was a 15 minute long un-boxing video. Here is the link:
We encourage you to view it. It is, as all our communication with Stuart has been, honest and sincere.
Peppers are a specialty item, there are over 300 different varieties, but most folks only know about Green Bell Peppers, which are high in acid and are a love it or hate it vegetable.
Many people think that if a pepper is red it is hot; our good friend Cameron looked at some Jimmy Nardelos we gave him and said “Well, they look hot”.
The Nardelo is a crisp, sweet pepper that will be the star in Sausage and Peppers, Chicken and Peppers, or Steak and Peppers dishes. It will take a salad from boring to Wow! In the markets in NY they retail for around $10/lb, in Virginia you can’t give them away. Now Cam can’t get enough of them; Nardelos and Mild Hatch Peppers are his “go to” dinner peppers.
Each variety offers different tastes, different levels of heat, different ways they can be used. When you want to make a meal that sings, put down the salt and ground (god only knows how old it is and what it has been mixed with) pepper shakers and go to the source.