August 31, 2005

Processing Peppers Continues

I decided to dry all the rest of my habanero chiles this morning. Not only did I finish cutting up and seeding the rest of the 47 I had harvested a few days ago, but I found around 15 more habanero chiles on the plants that were ripe. I ended up with four racks of pepper pods on my dehydrator. I also found two more cayennes and added them to the dehydrator too.

Soon I will be ready to get started with making hot chile oils. I bought a few decorative bottles that I'm going to fill and give as gifts later in the year, but most of the oil will go into small half pint mason jars for storage in my refrigerator.

I still might make some hot sauce, but since my husband is a big fan of Frank's Red Hot, perhaps we'll stick with that in our cooking and I'll use the flavored peanut and sesame oils for my stir frys.

August 29, 2005

Drying Habanero Peppers

I have learned my lesson when it comes to drying habaneros and other pungent chiles in my dehydrator. I do it outside and spare my home of the intense aroma. Here, you can see my latest batch of Red Carribean Habaneros being dried for both powder and to be used as the base for hot chile oils that I will be preparing this afternoon.

August 28, 2005

Habaneros are Harvested!

My Red Carribean Habaneros were harvested today. I found 47 of the firey hot pods on my two plants and there are still more green ones out there. This is the most of any kind of chile that I have produced in my garden this year. The picture is what is left after processing many of the pods for my food dehydrator. I harvested a number of tiny chilepins, 3 cayennes and a couple of yellow bells.

I made a batch of "Piri Piri Oil" which is olive oil infused with a habanero, a bay leaf and lemon zest. I also made a vinegar infusion of rosemary, garlic and one habanero cut in half. Both recipes were found in Dave DeWitt's book, "Too Many Chiles!" My chile harvest this year has been very poor overall, but I did manage to get enough habaneros to try out a few new recipes! I'm also hoping to make some garlic chile paste and hot sauce. Everything will be stored in my refridgerator since I don't have a water-bath canner as yet. Frankly, between drying and freezing, I should be fine when it comes to storeage of my upcoming harvest.

August 06, 2005

A Good Weekend Harvest

After a great deal of waiting, this is my first real pepper harvest of the summer. The large peppers at the top are ripe gypsy bells. The long thin peppers are cayennes. The small oval peppers are piquins. I've never had a gypy bell or a piquin before and I'm looking forward to cooking with them later this weekend. I'm considering stuffing the gypsys either with polenta or perhaps a mixture of goat and cream cheese with bacon.

August 02, 2005

First Pepper Harvest

I harvested my first Fresno pepper from the garden this morning and had it in a breakfast omelet. I have greatly missed the flavor of fresh peppers in my cooking. The fresnos are extremely large this year, at least double the size of the ones that I grew last year. I wonder if this is a different variety of fresno? The horns are so big you could stuff them!

Other peppers are starting to form and ripen. Soon there will be many more varieties to sample as the summer heat continues.