Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Drying Peppers- Blogging from a country kitchen
Well, the frost came but not before I was able to grab all the peppers out of the garden.
I simply pulled all the plants up from the beds and placed them in the cart and headed for the greenhouse.
There I removed the fruit from the plants and gathered them into a clean garbage can.
The empty plants were handed over to the chickens who enjoyed them as food tremendously while the ducks used them as nesting material.
I drug the pepper-filled can to the garage and transferred the peppers to colanders to bring to the kitchen sink.
There they were washed, the stem cut off and seeded.
From there I cut them into narrow 1/4" strips and rings and laid them out on the trays of my Excalibur dehydrator.
I set5 the dial to 125 degrees and left them on their own for the next 4 to 8 hours.
Soon the house was filled with the tantalizing smell of heated peppers.
A much better fragrance then when I dry mushrooms!
After they have dried to a leathery feel, I cool them and then place them in ziploc bags.
The drying intensifies their flavors, heat and sugars, and I use them in all kinds of dishes.
They can be left that size or crumbled up to use in meat rubs or other recipes that call for pepper flakes.
I will not dry all the peppers.
Some, like the cherry pick and smaller cubanelles and hungarians will go into a brine for my family fave pickled peppers.
They are eagerly devoured by the grandkids over the winter.
It's a really easy recipe of vinegar, salt, fresh garlic cloves, and pickling spices.
I pierce the skins of the pepper in several spots and place them in glass gallon jars.
I mix the vinegar and spices and salt until well mixed and pour over the peppers till they are covered.
I place the lid on and put them in the refrigerator to pickle. They will be ready after about 6 weeks.