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Preserved chillis - how do I do?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I have cultivated very nice red chillis on my garden. But now I don´t know what to do with so many of them!!. Which is the best way to preserve them?
Dry them at the sun or in the oven?? Make pickles?

Thanks

Sirlene
Sir
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Sir
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post #2 of 11
Hot sauce!! You can also create any number of relishes that incorporate the chilis. For simpler approaches you can flavor both oil and vinegar with them. I think if you plan to dry them then you might as well freeze them. At least where I'm from we have a lot of humidity so drying/dried goods don't keep that well.
post #3 of 11
They pickle well, dehydrator works if you cut them in half, sun dry works if you live where it is always sunny and dry with low humidity. The key to drying is to get enough moisture out before mold sets in. Most ovens are to hot and would roast them (not bad, adds flavor but not always what you want).
post #4 of 11
If you do oil, do it in small batches you'll use up quickly otherwise you've got a botulism risk.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #5 of 11
Thanks Phatch.. had no idea about how botulism becomes a problem. Found this to be very helpful http://everything2.com/title/Flavored+oil+and+botulism
post #6 of 11
I place them in a small ice chest with a block of dry ice to "flash" freeze them.  Then store in the regular freezer.  Just sticking in the freezer seems to leave large ice crystals so that the thawed peppers are mushy.

Rich
post #7 of 11
I prefer drying and pickling to freezing.

As mentioned above, drying really works best in a dehydrator, unless you have high heat and low humidity. This is especially true with thick-walled chilies. If your environmental conditions are right for air drying, google "ristra" for insights into making long strings and wreaths of dried chilies.

Among many other uses, you can grind dried chilies to make your own chili powder; either single-variety or blends.

One nice condiment is to fill a shaker jar with small chilies (pierce them first with a knife, or prick with a fork) and cover with Sherry. This is an interesting variation of pepper vinegar, and goes especially nicely with seafood dishes.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 11
 Regarding the botulism risk I understand that garlic preserved in oil carries the same problem has anyone on the forum read about this concern?  


NOTE*    have just read the article mentioned by Eastshores,  have changed my mind about making garlic infused oil this week.    
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi HYHeirloomer,

I´m interested in your idea about the sherry vinegar. Did you mean, sherry vinegar right? My first understanding was about the Sherry wine...

Thanks to all!!
Sir
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Sir
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post #10 of 11
No, no, no Sirlene. You're mixing two different things.

Pepper vinegar is just that. Small chilies are put in a shaker jar, then the jar is filled with plain white vinegar. Most people heat the vinegar first, but it's not really necessary.

Although you could use sherry vinegar there's not much point to it. Why change that wonderful flavor profile?

The peppered Sherry is the same thing, only Sherry wine is used instead of vinegar.

Keep in mind, too, that in both cases it's the liquid that you use as a condiment, rather than eating what amounts to being pickled chilies. However, as the liquid level decreases in the jar you can replace it with fresh vinegar/Sherry as appropriate.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Really interesting... I haven´t seen such use of wine.. As you said, I´m one of those who heat the white wine vinegar to prepare it with herbs (such as tarragon, sage)..

Thanks again for your explanation!!
Sir
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Sir
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