A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hot Peppers--dried, flakes and sauce

A stop at my sister Deb's netted me a wonderful surprise--a bag of hot peppers from her garden.  I love dried hot pepper flakes and/or hot pepper sauce.  I frequently add a "kick" to the food on my plate with a generous sprinkling of either.  I especially appreciate that these peppers came from a local garden so I have no concerns about what they were fertilized or treated with, how they were handled and processed or when they were picked.
If you hang them to dry, eventually they'll all turn red.
Drying Hot Peppers:  Thread a large needle with string, fishing line or a single thread of twine.  Thread peppers on string and hang. Attractive!!
Hot Pepper Sauce:  Pull stems from peppers.  Put in food processor and process into small pieces, scraping down sides.  Continue adding small amounts of vinegar to puree until sauce is consistency that you like for hot sauce.  Bottle and store in refrigerator.
Dehydrating Hot Peppers: (Be sure to use a well-ventilated room where you will not be.)  Put a small slit in each pepper, pull off the stems and arrange them on the mesh screen of the dehydrator.  Pull the stems after slitting them so you have something to hang on to.  Put a solid (fruit leather) dehydrator tray underneath the mesh tray to catch small bits of dried pepper and seeds. Dehydrate at 135 for 4-6 hours, until dry. Store in a jar with tight-fitting lid.
Note: Wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers. If you do get pepper oil (caspium) on your skin, use yogurt or milk to soothe. Dairy products contain casein to reduce the caspium receptor. (water intensifies)

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