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stella1751
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Let's Talk Chile Powder

I am collecting and drying peppers like a madwoman. Every doorknob or likely protrusion in the house has a string of peppers hanging from it. My coffee table is covered with peppers in the final stage of drying. I have ordered a cheapo seed grinder; it should be here today or tomorrow.

I also bought the cutest little locking-lid jars off eBay. They are probably too small, holding only three ounces. (I plan to give this away as gifts.) How big a jar does anyone else use? Where to you get them?

Recipes: I looked online, and other people add other ingredients to their chile powder, such as Mexican oregano and cumin. Does anyone else do this? If so, where do you buy your organic extras?

Finally, about how many pounds of peppers should I save if I want to make, say, three pounds of chile powder? I noticed the peppers lose a lot of their bulk while drying, and I want to make certain I have enough.

Oh. Does anyone make fancy labels for their jars? If so, can you tell me where you got them or how you make them?

Thanks!
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soil
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i recommend drying the chilis and leaving them whole, and then grinding before use. you will get the best flavor this way and nutrition from them.

i keep a small amount of ground chili in small mason jars and do label them. the dried whole chilis do not need labels. the dried stuff gets used and replaced all the time.

try searching for chili seasoning blend recipes
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webmaster
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Oregano, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder are standard ingredients I use in addition to chile powder and/or sweet paprika or smoked paprika.

Cumin is an optional ingredient I use. I've been adding cumin to sauteed onions and the other ingredients to the meat I am marinating and cooking. Then I cube the meat or pull it and join the meat and onions together on an iron pan with a small amount of a high smoke point oil like sunflower oil for a final searing. The result can be used on a pita, in a sandwich, taco, wrap, panini- however you want to use it.

Here's something that makes an interesting flavor. Using monterey, mozzarella or another mild white cheese, add raw chopped green bell peppers and mix it together in a blender so the cheese is tinted green. Then stick it into your panini or grilled cheese. Use enough cheese that it spills out and forms burned bits around the edges. The bell peppers give the cheese a delicious undertone of bell pepper tang. It's hard to identify while eating it without knowing what it is. This is something my mother invented, not a traditional dish of any kind I know.

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Avonnow
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Peppers

I do not have alot of experience, but I dry them (dehydrate or smoker) whole, I store them in mason jars until I personally need new powder then grind them in my special pepper coffee grinder - it makes a nice powder and I control the size. I bought some cute jars for a buck, that come with a screw on lid and then have the plastic cover that has holes in it to regulate spices. I also found some with those snap on lids. They were at World Market, which is also online if not close. I am going to give some hot chili powder away and some chipolte powder away after I smoke a big batch of peppers this weekend. Thought it was a nice little gift. Sorry photos aren't great but I did it really quick! The two on the far right are my Chipolte powder and ground hot peppers for chilis , soups etc. We use them all the time - Love them. I had an abundance of peppers this year in all shapes, heats and sizes Good Luck!

[img]https://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc119/Avonnow/DSCF1877.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc119/Avonnow/DSCF1878.jpg[/img]
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stella1751
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These are some excellent ideas, everyone; thanks for all the tips. What I want to do is to make a blend of all my peppers. That will make it really special because it won't be anything you could find at a store. I suspect it will be pretty hot. I keep reminding myself that I need to taste the McCormick chile powder I have in the house to see how hot it is, pre-recipe. Anyway, I will dry everything, grind everything, and mix everything. Then I will bottle it and give it to my friends.

I've been freezing the ones that are almost completely dry. Once the grinder arrives, I will grind them and put them back into the freezer until everything is ready to mix, which could be months :roll: (Actually, I don't mind taking the slow route to do this. It's a really fun project!)

I had secretly hoped to find some 8 oz. plastic apothecary jars online, the kind Chugwater Chile uses, but I haven't had any luck so far. Those are stunningly attractive!

In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the process. How fun it will be to see the peppers go from seed to plant to pepper to packaged chile powder :)
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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gixxerific
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Just wrote a huge reply that I lost now I am foming at the mouth mad. :evil: :evil: :evil:

Good luck
Use old spice containers
Wash hands a lot still don't touch yourself or anyone for a day or two
drying whole sounds good
i want to add some of my own dried spices to my recent batch
they shrilvel to nothing when dry

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soil
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no need to freeze them for next time so you know, they will store dried for over a year.
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lorax
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I'd second Gixx's reccomendation about caution after handling dried and/or powdered Chilis - and I'd say that your easiest way around it is a nice pair of surgical gloves.

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stella1751
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lorax wrote:I'd second Gixx's reccomendation about caution after handling dried and/or powdered Chilis - and I'd say that your easiest way around it is a nice pair of surgical gloves.
Yeah, I figured this one out the hard way last year when I scratched the corner of one eye while working with dried peppers. Ouch! And the sting takes a long while to wash out. I still don't wear gloves to work with them. I think the palms of my hands must have too many calluses for the juice to penetrate the skin. However, if I have to scratch my eyes or my nose, I wash my hands first.

One night, after working with pepper dust all day, I got a bloody nose when I went to bed. I don't think I've ever had a bloody nose in my life, well, not that I can remember, anyway :D
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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gixxerific
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Stella if you have to scratch don't use your hands, use a forearm or something, maybe a fork. :lol:

Trust me the other day I washed my hands several times when working with the peppers. I am OCD in that way while working with any food. But even hours later my wife and I were in pain after certain things were touched by my hands. :oops:

About the nosebleed thing. I had a similar occurrence several years ago. I was using some dried Habanero as a seasoning while sautéing onions. The fumes of cooking them made my wife leave the house with the kid and my nose, throat, eyes, esophagus were all burning. Just from the fumes. Lessons learned. :D

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stella1751
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It just occurred to me that adding Habaneros to my chili powder will make it too hot. Or will it? Habaneros will probably only represent 5 or 10% of the total. Should I go ahead and add them to the blend, or should I put them in their own special Habanero powder?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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