Dried Hot Peppers

09/16/2013

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Our friend Sam recently was paid in peppers for watching a friend’s dog, and he brought over the loot for us to dehydrate. Sam’s friend grew a variety of scorchers, from chilies to cayennes to ghosts and scotch bonnets. The ghost peppers, scotch bonnets, and other ones that I couldn’t distinguish yet I knew were off the Scoville scale chart, are all too hot for my liking. Thus, I ground them up in a coffee grinder I keep around only for grinding spices so you only have to use a pinch.

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Wearing gloves, Sam and I made small slits in each of the small peppers with knives. The larger peppers we cut in half. (Note: when washing hands afterward, use COLD water instead of warm; warm water opens the pores in your skin and causes them to burn.) We placed them in my dehydrator and dried them for about 12 hours, or until they were completely stiff. I left the stems of the chilies and cayennes on, but of course, discard the stem before using.

Ideas for dried cayennes and chilies: put one or a couple in stews, fajitas, sauces, or salsas just like you’d use crushed red pepper. It crumbles beautifully into flakes when chopped with a knife.

Ideas for dried atomic pepper flakes: sprinkle generously on nemeses’ dinners, or blow into the eyes and nostrils of home burglars or intruders. If you choose to do the latter, wearing a respirator may be necessary.

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