Tuesday, August 23, 2011
How to Dehydrate Jalapenos
One of the most amazing things about Summer is the abundance of gorgeous, delicious, local produce available at the farmers markets. Here in the Twin Cities, we're lucky to have several markets that take place during the week, making it easy to shop even if you can't make it on the weekend. This past week, I picked up two containers of fresh jalapeno peppers with the intention of pickling them. Life got in the way however, and enough days passed that I decided to dry them instead. My ultimate goal was to make something that tasted like the delicious dried jalapenos that I buy sometimes at Penzeys, they're SO GOOD! I like them added into cornbread, chili, and any other dishes that need a bit of a kick.
So here's what I did to make my dehydrated peppers:
1. Use organic, home grown, or farmers market quality peppers if you can.
2. Use gloves AT ALL TIMES when you're handling the peppers. Pepper oil is irritating to your hands and anything else you touch with your hands, so please be careful and don't burn yourself.
3. Wash and dry your peppers. Cut off the stem and discard. Slice peppers into thin rings. If you want a milder end product, remove the seeds and inner membrane. I left mine in because I like it hot!
4. Place your slices on racks in your dehydrator. Dehydrate at 135 degrees F for about 12 hours, or until peppers are completely dried out. I haven't dried anything using a regular oven, but it can likely be done, just do a bit of research for temps and times. Make sure to dehydrate in a well ventilated area, the fumes from the peppers can be irritating to breathe. I did mine in my kitchen with the window open and a fan blowing and didn't have any problems.
5. After your peppers are dry, turn off your dehydrator and let the slices cool completely.
6. Place your slices in a food processor (or you can chop them by hand, wearing gloves) and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
7. Place in a clean jar or other container.
What dishes would you use dehydrated jalapenos in?