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Using Dehydrated California Chilies
Dehydrating is an easy, inexpensive way to preserve foods. One of my best growing crops are my peppers – whether it is bell, jalapeno, Anaheim or habanero, peppers grow abundantly in my garden. Even though I use a great amount of fresh peppers in my home canning and meal creation I reserve a sizable portion for dehydrating.
Some of the recipes I use my dried Anaheim peppers, also known as dried California chilies, are Pickled Garlic Cloves, Zesty Spaghetti Sauce and Zesty Tomato Salsa. Adding the rehydrated paste to any sauce is sure to please and using a dried pepper when canning gives amazing flavor and color!
How to Rehydrate Dried Chilies
Start with 9 to 12 dried peppers. Cut each stem off to remove the seeds inside the pepper.
Next, place dried peppers in a deep bowl or stock pot and cover with hot water. The dried peppers should not float, they must be fully submerged to thoroughly rehydrate. To do so, use a large dish or bowl filled with hot water atop the peppers.
After 15 minutes, remove the plate or bowl used to submerge the dried peppers. The peppers should now appear thicker, have a deeper color and no longer be brittle but soft. The water will now have a reddish hue. Be sure to save the water – do not drain.
Place the rehydrated peppers in a food processor along with 1/4 cup of the liquid. Pulse on high to create a pureed texture or paste. This paste can be used immediately in canning recipes, in sauces and salsas or as a way to add flavor to any tomato-based dish. The paste can also be frozen in half-pint jars to use later when canning or cooking. I will check the pH level of my next batch of chili paste to determine the best source of preservation so we may process and store it on our shelves… I am creating fun recipes to incorporate into my cookbook so stay tuned…
Enjoy dehydrating your garden’s bounty this season! It is an excellent way to preserve fresh vegetables and herbs. Be sure to sign up for my Newsletter as I will share more insight, recipes and events throughout the year!
From the Garden to the Jar~
The Canning Diva