Posts filed under ‘recipes’

Make Your Own Dried Hot Peppers

dried pepper

It’s pepper time, and last weekend, I stepped outside to find this huge box of mixed hot peppers on my side porch. They were beautiful:

pepperbox

My friend Karen, of Skylark Studios, had one of those utopic growing seasons—bunches of red beets, hundreds of carrots, loads of tomatoes, and bushels of hot peppers. So many she didn’t know what to do with them all. 

I was short on time (It’s been a bit crazy around here, with the Dine Indie Chef Tour kicking off last week), so I decided to dry a bunch, since this is one of the easiest ways to preserve hot peppers to store all year. Plus dried peppers are versatile, and can be used in tomato sauces, reconstituted to make mexican mole type sauces, muddled  in a mortar and pestle to make your own crushed pepper flakes, or added to a soup or curry for a little kick. All you need is a dehydrator and a bunch of hot peppers. Here’s how to do it:

Wash the peppers and wear gloves, just in case (These peppers are hot people!) Leave stems on and do not cut them or your kitchen will be filled with hot pepper smoke (not fun, trust me). 

washing the habeneros

Next, place them in a dehydrator. I have a retro convection oven/dehydrator I picked up at a yard sale in Provincetown, but the typical tray ones work great. Set it at 125 degrees and dehydrate for 8 to 12 hours. Sometimes longer depending on the size of your peppers. 

spaceship-dehydratorCheck to see if they are done. If they are crunchy, and break when you bend them, they are dehydrated.  The peppers should be totally stiff, and will have darkened, like this.

final product

Then, you just have to store them. I like to put mine in mason jars. If kept airtight like this, they’ll last up to a year. They also make great presents (you can even make your own labels and put them in fun jars.) 

dried peppers

 


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October 4, 2009 at 7:09 pm 2 comments

Garlic Scapes and Pesto

crazy scapesI just love the funny shapes garlic scapes make as they swirl around.  But, one of the best things is eating them. Although these actually used to be discarded by farmers, now everyone’s caught on to how good they are, and they are flooding farmer’s markets and CSAs everywhere right now.

The garlic scape is the flower of hardneck garlic varieties (softneck varieties do not produce a scape), and these appear around late may or june in our zone 6. In order for the garlic bulb to fully develop, you’ll need to cut the scape off, or pull it gently from the base. The entire scape is edible, although some parts are tougher than most. We’ve been throwing garlic scapes into everything over the past few weeks—-stir fries, omelettes, pasta sauces, salads, you name it. You can also make an amazing pesto with garlic scapes. Feel like making pesto?

Scape Pesto

20 or more garlic scapes

1 cup of parsley

1 cup walnuts

1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/8 cup of Parmesan Cheese

Just put everything in a food processor and blend. Stores in a jar all week. Or, make a bunch of batches and freeze. Enjoy!

July 1, 2009 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment


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