Fall is one of my favorite times of the year for many reasons and one of those reasons is peppers. This is the time I make hot pepper flakes, roast poblano peppers, chop and freeze various peppers for use throughout the winter and spring, and fermenting jalapeños-to name a few!
With the freeze approaching this week – we are busy harvesting the peppers before they freeze! We have crates of peppers for our CSA customers to take this week as they wish. Some of those have already begun vine drying – which creates the deepest flavor for dried pepper flakes! There are several ways you can complete the drying process – or start with fresh peppers – in place of a food dehydrator.
Convection Oven – wash, air dry and place on cookie sheets or if you have cooling racks for better air flow – and place in a convection oven at 140 degrees. Prop the oven door just enough to vent but not too much to stop the oven. If the peppers are on cookie sheets – give them a stir every couple hours. Keep in oven until they are completely dry – can be as long as 24 hours. Make sure they are completely dry before processing in a blender to make pepper flakes to spice up your food!
Place peppers in a basket or any type of container that encourages air flow and place in a dry area – a sunny window sill would be ideal. Let sit until peppers dry! You can also put them on the front or rear dash inside your closed car when sitting in a sunny spot. Thus speeds up the drying process dramatically!
Remember – you can roast any pepper to enhance their flavor, peel and remove seeds and freeze for later use. You can also chop, place on a cookie sheet and freeze – and then place in baggie and use as needed this winter. And there is always fermentation – will cover that in a later blog.