“Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?” – Julia Child
Currently, in my kitchen there is not a square inch of surface that is not covered with boxes of tomatoes or buckets of peppers. Not a bad problem to have, but a bit overwhelming at present. Tim and I made the decision, when our first grandson was born, to be actively involved with our grandchildren on a regular basis. So, once a month our grandson Edison comes to the farm to spend the weekend. We love our visits and look forward to the time we get to spend with him. Did I mention Edison is 3 years old and completely all boy? Thus, my dilemma with a kitchen full of tomatoes and peppers. Fortunately, Tim is a hands on grandpa and this will free up my time a bit to tackle freezing, roasting, and drying of the peppers. One of the wonderful things about peppers is the ease in which they can be preserved. Peppers are in abundance at the end of summer and beginning of fall, and usually when you can find them at the market most reasonably priced. If you haven’t been able to grow them yourself they are well worth the money to preserve for later use.
Three Simple Ways to Preserve Peppers
Freezing – Frozen peppers are wonderful for using in all your pure food recipes. Use them in soups, stews and casseroles, or throw them in a stir fry or omelet. Freeze peppers in the amount needed for a single recipe or flash freeze to be removed by the handful as needed. If you have not had the opportunity to grow your own peppers this year, check out your nearby farmers market. Be sure to buy enough to last throughout the winter season. This way you will not have to buy peppers when they are at a premium price in the store this winter. Roasting – Roasted peppers are simply delicious and add great flavor to sandwiches, salads and soup. My favorite is a Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup. After roasting, cut the peppers in quarters, slice, chop, or dice them. Package in single use portions and freeze. When thawed, they can be used for any recipe that calls for roasted peppers. The consistency of the roasted pepper does not change after freezing.
Drying – Dehydrating peppers is simple to accomplish and yields such wonderfully concentrated flavors. If you buy chili powder in the store you may not realize that chili powder is not the only ingredient. Several seasonings may be mixed in with the chili powder, effectively diluting the real chili flavor. When dehydrating your own, you are in charge of what goes in your powder. I mixed Cayenne and Thai Chili’s this year with a bit of Sweet NuMex red pepper to make my own blend of chili powder. Delicious. The farmers market is a great place to get chili’s in bulk and they are usually pretty reasonably priced. If you want to make your own chili powder and can’t find any fresh, another option is to look in the Mexican food section in your grocery store. There you will find bags of dried peppers at a reasonable price and this will enable you to make your own blend.
Three simple Ways to Preserve Peppers shared with:
Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays