Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Homemade Cayenne pepper and Chili powder

Cayenne Pepper
So this was my first time making cayenne pepper and chili powder, and might I say, the experience was all but fun. I basically maced myself during the process. (More on that down below).  As a family, we love Love LOVE making tacos and fajitas. Personally, i'm a sucker for hot wings and want to try making my own wing sauce. We grew Cayenne peppers this year so I could do just that. But then of course, we threw in some Anaheim Chili's so that we could make our own taco/fajita seasonings too. Not all of the ingredients will be home grown, but we are trying really hard to at least say that we grew "the majority of them".  The peppers were pretty hot this year. In fact, I had a friend accuse me of trying to "kill him" because I neglected to tell him that he should wear gloves while cutting the jalapeno's I gave him. (ooops). Oh, and my nephew decided that it would be a brilliant idea to take a bite straight from one of the cayenne's and show everyone how tough he was. He didn't actually get past the chewing stage before he spit it all out and began wiping his tongue with his shirt like Tom Hanks in Big. After the ordeal was over, he took a few more and pocketed them so that he could dare his friends to do the same. (poor kids....I saw the video)
Needless to say, I had thought that the pepper stories were done for the year.........

I started by drying the peppers. Actually, they spent some time air drying for about 2 weeks prior to the dehydrator, but I grew impatient and decided to speed up the process. I left the peppers on the racks until they were brittle and crumbled in my hands.

Then I put them in a food processor 

I chopped and chopped and chopped, until all but the seeds were as fine as the processor could make them.
It was right after this stage that "the incident" occurred. I would suggest two things when opening the processor to dump out the fine pepper. 
1) Let it sit for a while before you open it
2) Don't breath in deeply when you do.
I received a nice dose of your gonna wish you were dead.  My nose was on fire, and my eyes were stinging like someone was racking nettles back and forth across them. 
My best suggestion would be to take this step V-E-R-Y slowly.

After I recovered from the near fatal incident, I slowly sifted the fine pepper onto a paper plate

This was what I was going for, a nice little bag of cayenne pepper, made straight from the garden. The larger bits and the seeds can be used in rubs and course seasonings

Chili Powder
This was essentially made the same way as the cayenne pepper, with only a few differences. 
1) I didn't mace myself again
2) I sifted the fine particles through a smaller, finer sifter, to make it more like powder. What was left in the second sifter, I used a mortar and pestle to grind further and re-sifted. 

I broke the large Anaheim's in half so they fit in the processor better


course sifting

mortar and pestle set with the finer sifter.

Will I do this again next year?  Probably.
Will I mace myself again?  Probably.

Thanks for checkin' in. 

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