Preserving peppers is very easy and I'm using a couple of different methods.
Roasting then Freezing
My husband loves roasted jalapeno peppers in his sandwiches so I have been roasting the peppers in mass, then freezing them. Here's how:
Turn the broiler on to low. Coat the peppers in a little olive oil and spread them out on a foil lined baking sheet. Place them under the broiler for a few minutes, until they start to blacken. Gently turn the peppers and place them back in the oven until they are blackened, but not burned.
Immediately put the peppers into a bowl and cover with cling film. The peppers will steam, making the skins easy to peel. Once the peppers have cooled, you can gently peel off the skins. Cut off the top of the pepper and cut down one side so you can open up the flesh. Using the back of the knife, carefully scrape the seeds and membrane out of the pepper.
To freeze, place the peppers in a layer on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer until frozen. Put the peppers in a quart freezer bag and store in the freezer. This method will prevent the peppers from freezing together.
|Photo by Michael St. Jean|
I hung mine in my kitchen window. This method, however, is not for the impatient. My jumbo jalapenos could take as long as five weeks to dry. The peppers will shrink as they shrivel so check the ties and tighten if necessary.
A quicker way to dry peppers is in a dehydrator. I cut this batch of peppers in half and dried them with the seeds and membranes attached. In other batches I remove them so I can adjust the strength of the heat. These peppers were dry in under twelve hours.
Once dry, the peppers can be ground to form a powder (you can use a coffee grinder but be sure to clean it REALLY well before you use it to grind beans again) or can be reconstituted by soaking them in boiling water for fifteen minutes, then added to soups, stews or chilli. Store the peppers in a jar in a cool place.
There are other methods of preserving hot peppers. Jalapeno jelly is one, as is canning in a pickling solution, but freezing and drying work with how I like to use hot peppers in my winter recipes.
How do you preserve your hot peppers?
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