Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Home-made Chili Powder

 All the pepper plants were loaded with peppers. I really should have snipped some off weeks ago since the large volume meant there wasn't enough energy for the plant to produce large peppers. 

So what oh what shall I do with them? I tried canning jalepeno peppers a few years ago and found them to be a bit mooshy. Feel free to tell me I did them wrong and give me tips because I'd love to know how to better can them. 

Hmm... maybe that is why the store ones come chopped so you don't notice the mooshiness so much. Hmm..... that's one to think on. I just might have to can a few jars but then a half pint is just too much chopped peppers for the two of us. I'll feel mighty guilty wasting them. The chickens aren't going to like left-over chopped hot peppers so what's a girl to do.

This is my solution. I chopped off the stem end of the jalepenos and the mystery peppers. The plants I bought at the livestock feed store and forgot the name of. Imagine that with all I have going on in my life? Then I split the small peppers down the length of them and put them in the food dryer on low as to not loose too much nutrition or burn them. Yes, my dryer can get hot enough to burn some vegetables. I also dried some onions and some bell peppers.
All of these dried peppers and onions went into my blender. With it a bit of chopped dried garlic. Voila, chili powder. The result is a rather hot but then I'm a mild kind of gal. The flavor is nice and complex due to the combination.

This coarse powder would have been really pretty with some red peppers BUT, last night and tonight the forecast is for low thirties Fahrenheit. Clearing the garden of produce above ground has become a priority ad I can't wait for the peppers to turn red.

 So with my pint of green chili powder I'm thinking of using some of it to simmer with some tomato juice to make some hot sauce. The juice I'm going to make when the three and a half -- five gallon bucket loads of tomatoes I just picked and laid on my basement floor, ripen and turn red. 

This chili powder would be good in enchiladas, breakfast burritos, chili and.... Yup, this project has my brain a humming. I just picked a few more peppers this afternoon and I'm thinking of drying some of the milder ones along with onions, and dried bell peppers and making a powder with a lower heat index for me.

You might think I'm all smart doing this. Think again. It was a mild panic that started this whole process. It was when I was staring at my pepper plants wondering what in the world I was going to do with them and the thought popped into my mind, how do they make chili powder?

You know where I went and what I discovered is that each commercial company has their own mixture of dried pepper varieties that they dry and turn into powder. Usually garlic is added and sometimes oregano. Some like to make it hot and some mild but any way you look at it easy peasy as Farmgirl Cyn would say. Since what I had was jalepeno and these mystery peppers, that was what I used.

Of course these thoughts led me to wonder how to they make paprika and what I discovered is that it is a mild pepper nicknames tomato pepper. I think I'll try growing some next year along wit a few other varieties as I venture a bit further down this peppered lane.

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