Thursday, December 4, 2014

Drying and Processing Cayenne Peppers

We grow several varieties of peppers but cayennes are probably the easiest and most prolific. The bushes are about 2 ft. tall and loaded with fruit. We use a few fresh then preserve the rest by roasting and grinding into powder.

Homemade cayenne powder is HOT. If you prefer a tamer chili powder, cut the ground peppers with salt, garlic, oregano and cumin. Cayenne powder can be added to meat rubs, BBQ seasonings, and any dish that needs a kick of heat.

Once ground, store the powder in an airtight container and use within a year.

Cayennes are easy to dry - just lay them in the sun or a warm room for a few weeks.
No need to string. We leave a few whole to use throughout the year.

Before grinding, place the air dried peppers on a sheet tray and roast at
350 degrees for 4-5 minutes. The extra blast of heat will make for easier grinding
and add a smoky flavor. Be sure to keep an eye on the peppers to prevent burning.
Remove from the oven just when you begin to notice a peppery, smoky aroma.
Roasted peppers will take on a dark reddish brown color (right).

Remove stems from peppers and place pods and seeds in a food processor,
blender or mortar and pestle. Grind to desired texture (ours still has some seeds visible).
Place in an airtight container and consume within one year.

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