Saturday, August 6, 2011
Late Summer Brings Jalapeno Pepper Bounty: Now What?
I had to start thinking creatively here....what to do with 40 jalapeno peppers per week? I've certainly given out plenty to friends so I had to think of responsible ways to preserve and celebrate this bounty.
Aha! Time for the dehydrator!
While I was at it, I sliced up some bell peppers and heirloom tomatoes from the garden and added them to the dehydrator, too.
Before I did that, I offered one of the dried slices to herbhusband whose face and eyes after eating it turned bright red....after a couple coughs and a bit of beer - he smiled and said how delicious the pepper was. Although the flavor of the pepper is deepened the heat was very much intact!
Seeing I was in one of my "busy body" moods, I grew more excited about grinding these peppers into spice. Out came my trusty grinder and as I placed handful after handful of these lovely jalapeno pepper chips in the grinder - I knew I was on to something good!
As I started to grind the peppers, the fine powder filled the air and absolutely took my breath away! I realized the vital potency of the peppers was so strong I needed to cover my nose before I continued to grind! Wow, were they strong! My eyes watered and I coughed a bit. Once I used a scarf to shield my nose I was back in business!
The result was pure delight. A beautiful spice was being created before my eyes! I continued to grind - seeds and all.
This is what a couple dozen sliced, dehydrated and ground peppers looks like! Amazing -
Now, instead of staring at jalapenos sitting on the counter top getting wrinkly from not being able to eat them in time, I can enjoy and share this deep...rich...aromatic spice with friends and family all year long. I can hardly wait to sprinkle some on deviled eggs and in soups!
Now...what to do with the rest of the 60 jalapenos I picked out of the garden? I see pickled jalapenos in apple cider vinegar in my future ;)