|Half of the total yield. |
And more than a year's supply.
I let them go from dark green to chili-pepper red, picking the nicest ones and leaving the remaining plants in the ground. I'll get rid of them next spring. That's the kind of fall gardener I am: If I can't deal with it right away, it'll be there next year. Kind of like dust bunnies under the bed.
So these peppers have been sitting in a basket on my porch for a couple months, not rotting but not drying, either. Yesterday I decided to move the process along and make my own crushed red pepper. I predict it will be much hotter than your typical supermarket variety.
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Be sure to wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers. Also? To reduce the heat, discard the seeds. The flesh of the pepper will be strong enough to add all the heat you need. Unless you have a cast-iron stomach.
Did I wear rubber gloves when I started this project yesterday morning? No, I did not. Which meant, had you been my sous chef, you'd have found me scrubbing my hands, nails and face with a brush before I was finished. You have no idea how many times you touch your face, especially when you're handling jalapenos. (I guess if you'd been my sous chef, you would have been scrubbing your face. But you probably would have been smart enough to wear rubber gloves.)
|Stemmed, split, into the oven.|
|Half a day later.|
The peppers continued to dry overnight on the counter and this morning I put the food processor to work again. It took a couple minutes to crush them to the desired size. In fact, some of the pieces are still a little large. But look at how pretty this is! Crushed red pepper from the store isn't this vibrant or richly colored. I'm making barbecued beef (I added smoked paprika, crushed red pepper and about a teaspoon of horseradish to the sauce ingredients) for dinner tonight; I'll let you know how it tastes.
|What would I do without a food processor?|
In addition to the crushed red pepper and horseradish, I keep ginger and sun-dried tomatoes in the freezer. And probably other stuff I've forgotten about.
Like dust bunnies.