‘Hungarian Hot Wax’ has been the quickest of my chilli plants to produce lots of fruit. It’s a mild/medium variety (2000 Scoville Heat Units) with long pointed fruit that grow up to 11 cm in length. The chillies are normally harvested yellow, but will ripen to orange if left. Saveur describes the taste as “a particularly mild spiciness and floral aroma”, and “just as vital as paprika” in Hungarian cooking. After trying out these recipes, I can confirm these chillies definitely add something special.
Mushroom Goulash Ⓥ
Recipe available online: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/wild-mushroom-goulash or in ‘Feast’ by Sarah Copeland
It’s really satisfying when a recipe exceeds your expectations – delicious! It’s packed full of flavour and interesting textures. We just served it in a bowl with some sour cream and crusty bread. Just a couple of things to note…
Portions: This recipe is HUGE. It’s enough for 8 portions and unless you have a giant pot, you’ll have to half the recipe or split it across two pots as we did. The amount of mushrooms seems mad, but definitely buy a mix. It doesn’t have to be expensive – we bought 650g of ‘wonky’ mushrooms (£1.41 Aldi), 250g chestnut mushrooms (82p Aldi), and 250g woodland mushrooms (£1.50 Morrisons, included shiitake, oyster etc.)
Paprika: I’ve seen recipes call for sweet, smoked, and hot and then you go to a supermarket and they often just sell ‘paprika’. It’s confusing, but this post by The Kitchn definitely helps. I ended up using Spanish sweet (dulce) paprika and Schwartz hot paprika, although confusingly there was also hot smoked paprika available – WHY.
Conversions: This recipe is American, so there’s cups and ounces all over the place. Hopefully this helps: 1 pound = 450g; 1 1/2 pounds = 680g; 1/4 cup = 60ml = 4 tablespoons; 28 ounces = 800g; 6 cups = 1.5 litres; zucchinis = courgettes.
Feta stuffed chilli peppers
Stuffed with cheese appears to be a winner. Sarah Raven suggests cream cheese, thyme and pine nuts; Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall a more complicated mix of beans and goat’s cheese; and The Spruce Eats shares a Hungarian version (sajtos töltött paprika) which adds garlic and herbs to ricotta. I tried what I had in – feta, garlic, and pine nuts. Chop off the chilli heads, scoop out the seeds and membrane. Dry fry the pine nuts until golden, then mix with the feta and some finely chopped garlic. Spoon the mix into the chillies and replace the heads. Place in a lightly oiled baking tray and roast for 20 mins (Fan oven 180°C) or until golden. Simple and really tasty.
My recipe testing is currently limited by supply, but there’s lots of options out there:
- Kay Maguire, in the RHS ‘Red Hot Chilli Grower‘ book, suggests Hungarian Hot Wax are “perfect sliced into salads and stir-fries, barbecued, fried or grilled whole” (p. 76).
- Mariquita Farm has posted a Mexican recipe, where the chillies are simply fried with a little lemon juice and salt.
- Pickles and jam are the classic home grower solution. Sarah Raven recommends pickled Hungarian Hot Wax for a simple lunch with cheese and bread.
Do you grow ‘Hungarian Hot Wax’? What is your favourite way to use them?