Preparing dried peppers for kitchen use

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.

Does it bother you when you go to a restaurant, order something spicy, and the plate comes with a bunch of cockroach-sized peppers intact scattered into the food?  No way of eating them if you still own your appendix and want to continue in that vein.

Ancho is a favorite of mine because they aren't much hotter than bell peppers, but they have a strong flavor.  Dusky, smoky flavor.  But only rarely will you find them fresh.

Ancho is a favorite of mine because they aren’t much hotter than bell peppers, but they have a strong flavor. Dusky, smoky flavor. But only rarely will you find them fresh.

Same applies for home cooking.  Some of the best, such as anchos, can only rarely be found fresh.  And using them dried requires some preparation if you want to taste the flavor.

 

The blender beats any other method I've ever found for reducing them to a worthy size. Unless it's the heat you're after, such as with habenero. But that's an entirely different story.

The blender beats any other method I’ve ever found for reducing them to a worthy size. Unless it’s the heat you’re after, such as with habenero. But that’s an entirely different story.

Enter, the blender.  No need to dig out the mortar and pistle.  It wouldn’t work anyway.

ancho grinding 1

Starting with low speeds seems to work best.

ancho grinding 2

Be patient and hang in there.  You’ll be able to see the particle sizes decreasing.

`ancho ground

Eventually you’ll end up with this.  Ready to use ancho, not ground enough to qualify as molido, a bit coarse, but with enough surface areas exposed to bring out the flavor.

I suspect one of the reasons so few people use dried peppers is a result  of not knowing what the hell to do with them.  Reducing the particle size enough to bring out the flaver and render them capable of being digested helps.

Old Jules

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2 responses to “Preparing dried peppers for kitchen use

  1. My late stepmom once ground up some dried Habeneros in her blender. The result was a houseful of pepper dust. She and dad had to evacuate the house for awhile. After most of the dust had settled, they opened the windows to air out the place. Dad now laughs about the incident, but at the time, both he and stepmom felt like they were in the middle of a police riot.

    • Hi swabby: I’ve had something similar happen trying to boil down habenero i a microwave to concentrate the atomic bomb so’s to use it in hand cream as a salve. Great stuff. But if a person doesn’t pay close attention it can run spang out of water and go airborne, become a gas weapon. Gracias, J

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