Friday, June 29, 2012

Homegrown Crushed Red Pepper

I've been trying to get this post written for months now, but for one reason or another I just kept putting it off...mostly by continually forgetting to take the accompanying photographs.  I was excited about it though so finally I have managed to get it together in order to share it with all of you.
Last year we grew hot peppers for the first time, more or less.  We'd grown jalapenos before, but I don't consider them very spicy really and we'd only grown a rather limited amount.  But, last year we grew a few different kinds of spicy peppers and the plants turned out to be quite prolific.  So prolific in fact that I had strings of dried cayenne peppers that I'd been trying to figure out what to do with.  (We ate all the serrano peppers fresh in stir-fry and a crazy hot Ethiopian inspired dish)  As I mentioned in that post I'd been tossing them (and the cayennes) into soups, stir-fry, and such, but since Matt has a heat sensitive tongue and since there were so many we still had two long strands of cayenne peppers.  I transported them carefully from where they hung in the kitchen at the rental to the new kitchen when we moved. 

Right about this time I ran out of crushed red pepper.  "Aha!"  I thought.  "That's what I'll do with all those cayennes!"  So I popped them in the spice grinder (a mini food processor) and voila!  Homegrown crushed red pepper.  I was pretty pleased as I tend to sprinkle it on wherever I can, frequently adding it directly to my plate because of the previously mention tender mouth.  I made sure to clean out the spice grinder thoroughly afterwards.


I still have two pint jars of dried peppers to crush whenever the bottle runs dry again.  Truth be told though that will be take longer than I'd have expected.  My crushed red peppers are much fiery than the one from the store.  A little goes a long way.  Yum!  Next, my hot sauce bottle is empty and I'm thinking of maybe trying to make my own of that as well! 

6 comments:

  1. Yep, I took my string of cayenne pepper and put it in my coffee bean grinder that is a little stainless steel bowl thing. I soon had ground pepper, not flakes. Since I cannot stand hot either, I now can use just a bit instead of too much pepper. My spice jar is not cute and decorated.

    I felt proud to "do it myself," knowing I did not have to rely on McCormick's. Now, I want to grow peppercorns for black pepper since cayenne, mild though it is, is still too hot for me. Thanks to you, I now have an inferiority complex about my spice jars. Yours are just so cute.

    Do you decorate with a pen? If so, what kind do you use so that damp hands or conditions will not cause the color and letters to run?

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  2. Oh, you make me smile.

    The labels are sketched with pencil usually and then I just use crayola markers. I carefully tape over every part of the label before taping it on the jar. Its sort of homestyle laminating. So far they've all held up.

    Good for you on making your own ground pepper and I hope you are successful at expanding into peppercorns!

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    1. I think I dropped a word or two up there. I sketch them with pencil and then when its to my liking I go over it with marker.

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  3. Hot sauce is SO easy. Heat white vinegar to boiling. Stuff as many peppers as you can get into a narrow mouthed jar (such as Worcestershire). Pour the hot vinegar over the peppers. Cap. Enjoy. It's usually better after a couple weeks.

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  4. Nik makes his own hot sauce fairly often. I am also a "tender mouth" so he makes it pretty mild for me, and oh man! It is so tasty!! I can ask him to give you the recipe if you'd like.

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