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 (Hopefully) Homemade Chili Powder

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Ocean
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PostSubject: (Hopefully) Homemade Chili Powder   Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:28 pm

This all started with a gift of homegrown jalapeno and assorted peppers- an Avon box full of them.
About half of them I pickled, then some more I made hot pepper vinegar with.

The rest began to get shrivel-y and I began to despair as to what to do with them, then it hit me: Why not dry them in the dehydrator, and see if I can make my own chili powder?

So currently, I have the Nesco food dehydrator full of quartered peppers, leaving the seeds because we like a bit of heat. I've also added 10 cloves of garlic to dry along with it, having already been curious about the possibility of drying garlic for garlic powder. This garlic,however, is going into the possible chili powder I might be making, if this whole thing goes well.
The plan is, once they are dry, to put all the works in the food processor and grind to a powder. (maybe add some cumin, too)

I'll let you know how it goes!
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Proffett
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PostSubject: Re: (Hopefully) Homemade Chili Powder   Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:34 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how many things you can dehydrate. And chili powder? How perfect is that for the upcoming winter! It's a staple in our household from years ago when we were less blessed in the financial department. But still, soups, stews and chilies reign supreme in the cold months. Nothing like a simmering pot of some delicious food on the stove. It's so fragrant and inviting... mmm

Definitely keep us updated on how it all goes. I'm not a chili (as in the veggie) person, but if you can get a good powder I may reconsider planting some next year in my garden!!

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Ocean
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PostSubject: Re: (Hopefully) Homemade Chili Powder   Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:59 pm

Ok so here is what happened:
When the peppers were fully dried, I took out the food processor, only to discover I'd lost the blade I needed. how annoying, since I had just layed my hands on it that morning, but for the life of me, i couldn't find it in any drawer I searched.
So, I put up the food processor and took out the blender to place the peppers in. When I got to the garlic, I realized it hadn't dried fully; this, plus knowing the blender wouldn't do a great job with dried foods anyway, led me to make instead a chili paste. I added some rice vinegar, olice oil, brown sugar, tomato sauce I'd put up from the summer, and the rest of the Siracha (that's probably mispelled) pepper paste I had left over in a bottle. I blended it all up, and voila! Some really good jalepeno pepper paste/sauce/whatever-to-call it. I think next time I'll also add maybe some cinnamon and molasses.

Later, when putting up the cleaned dishes that had been left to dry in the drainer, I found the food processor blade I'd been looking for earlier. :/ But hat just goes to show you, roll with the punches and someting decent will usually evolve!
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PostSubject: Re: (Hopefully) Homemade Chili Powder   Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:50 pm

Isn't the saying 'necessity is the mother of all invention'? I envy your kitchen creativity. I bet that chili paste is going to be amazing!

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PostSubject: Re: (Hopefully) Homemade Chili Powder   Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:24 pm

Old friends seem to just go straight for the kitchen....



I dried seven racks of chilis in the dehydrator.

I still have two plants full of peppers I didn't pick.

I'm going to let them start drying on the plant and string them later.

Ocean, take some of the pepper paste, add some apple vinegar, brown sugar, and honey
and you will have a good basting for ribs. (mostly honey)
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Mama Len
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PostSubject: Re: (Hopefully) Homemade Chili Powder   Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:46 am

My best dinner recipe... very filling and rib sticking too

Pork chops with onion gravy,
home made from scratch (is there any other way to cook??) potato dumplings
sweet and sour cabbage...
mmmmm
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PostSubject: Re: (Hopefully) Homemade Chili Powder   Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:53 pm

as I type this there is a big, steaming bowl of my homemade chili next to me, lol.

things I learned about chili's and other hot peppers and their processing - I will just use the generic term chili to mean hot pepper if no one minds, it's less letters to type;

the white stuff inside the chili is where the heat is, not so much the seeds but as the seeds have a coating of the 'capiscum layer' people (like me) just used to assume the seeds were the heat. friends of mine who grow chili's in their garden have taught me that if you save the seeds but don't scrape the insides, like carefully pick the seeds out with tweezers, then the chili will still retain the heat. when you scrape the white stuff out, then the fruit of the chili becomes more prevalent - they often do this to the 'hotter' peppers when they make jam. but even with that the heat is always relative to the chili species itself, like scraping the inside of a scotch bonnet only reduces the heat to the 'impromptu emergency room visit' level instead of the usual 'blind for three days' effect those wee devils usually inspire - but this is Biased and Subjective and all that jazz.

how fine you grind the chili is also a matter of taste. some prefer the near-powder level of grind, others like the rough and chunky 'smashed between two rocks' effect. if you ever want to go a bit 'rustic' and have rough pounded chili nothing works better than a mortar and pestle. failing that, get a big, flat rock and a round, hand sized rock - try to insure that the big, flat rock is harder than the hand sized one. wash both very well and dry thoroughly. lay down the shrivelled little agents of heat on the big flat rock and smash them with the hand sized rock. I tried 'pulsing' the food processor and the coffee grinder to get this effect but it isn't the same. and when I grind up chili's to use in 'shaker mixes' I tend to go coarse but not rough. again, it's all a mater of personal preference.

best way to dry chili's is the same as herbs, cool, dry place. one trick I tried which worked well was to get a strand of chilli's on the vine and put them in a paper bag. tie off the top of the bag and the base of the stem so the chili's hang inside without laying on the bottom, touching is ok but you want them mostly in mid air - note, use string and leave enough to make a hanging loop. cut small slits into the bag, just a few. find a suitable place and check every few days to insure they aren't going mouldy or anything like that. it takes a couple of weeks, maybe a month if it's humid and since we live in the same general climate zone I'd guess a month.

never thought of using a dehydrator ... a little fiddling and such sounds like fun. might have to go and borrow my mom-in-law's dehydrator since she stopped using it. I bet the ripeness of the chili would also change the effect once powdered. I'm intrigued ...
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