Last summer I had an abundance of hot peppers! I love having an abundance of fresh things from the garden. Sometimes it can feel like we are not selling enough of something that we have lots of, but in the end it is usually nice to have the extra. I do not like to let anything go to waste and very little does. When we have extra produce I either use it or store it for ourselves, give it to friends, donate it to the food bank and sometimes compost it or feed it to our chickens.
In this case I ended up drying lots of hot peppers. All different types; Jalapeno, Serrano, Hungarian Wax, Fish, Habanero, Cayenne and probably a few I’ve forgotten. I used a couple different methods to dry them. One way that is fun and also makes a pretty decoration, is to take a needle and thread and string the peppers on that and hang them somewhere to dry. I also did quite a few of them in the food dehydrator. I just spread them out on the trays and turned it on. I think I may have poked holes through the skin with a knife, but can’t remember for sure. They took a few days to get completely dry. Then I stored them in jars or paper bags.
They are great for throwing into chili, soup, or stir-fry to add a little extra kick. But I had a lot of them and sure wasn’t using them very fast. So I decided to turn some of them into red pepper flakes. The thinner skinned varieties like Cayenne or Hungarian Wax work the best for this but I used several of the others too. I did mine by hand in several batches with my mortar and pestle. It was fun, I have more time for projects like this in the winter. If I was more in a hurry I would have just used my food processor and I think that would have worked just fine, too. Now you know one idea for using up an excess of hot peppers. Another great way to use them is in a delicious roasted pepper hot sauce. I will be posting the recipe for that at some point, too.
|Making red pepper flakes|
|Mortar and Pestle|
|A Lovely Jar of Red Pepper Flakes|