Recent Tweets

Follow Me on Twitter

Powered by Twitter Tools

Juicy Bites

Looking for Something?


Homemade Chile Powder and Crushed Pepper Flakes

Flakes in a Basket

I recently posted about the ornamental peppers I’m growing in pots around the reservation here. Knowing that these small chiles are edible, I lay in wait, kitchen shears and bowl in hand, for the red lovelies to begin to dry out. Then I snipped them off the bushes and put them into my new Waring Pro dehydrator. I set the temp knob on low and put the apparatus out in the garage to work. (I may be slow, but you won’t catch ME pumping humid, capsaicin-laden air into the house. Not again, anyways.)

Pepper Powder

After a few days the pointed chiles were all dry and crunchy. I carefully nipped off and discarded the stem ends, then divided the feather-light chiles into small storage bowls with air-tight lids. Kept this way, in a cool, dark pantry, they will last for months; at least until I can harvest the next crop.

Mound of Flakes

Using my blender and a half-pint Ball jar, I ground a double-handful of these zesty chiles into a fine powder. As long as this powder isn’t left open for long, it’ll keep its high-power heat for months. I plan to experiment with this powdered chile mix to make my own chili powder. For instance, I plan to start with 3 tablespoons of mild or smoked paprika as a base, then add 2 tablespoons of Mexican oregano. Next up, I’ll add a half-teaspoon of garlic powder. I’ve got some nice cumin seeds, which I’ll toast in a hot, dry cast-iron skillet and grind in my spice grinder. A tablespoon or so of the fresh-ground cumin will do nicely. Finally, I’ll put in a teaspoon of the fresh chile powder, made from the ornamental chiles. When well-mixed, this simple concoction will yield a mild chili seasoning for Mexican dishes, or for sprinkling over hot popcorn.

Tex-Mex Plate

I’ll experiment by adding other types of paprika, and maybe some other chile powders (commercial and fresh). Onion powder is a nice ingredient to consider. I likely won’t add salt, though, which will make my chili blends different from most commercial mixes, where salt is often the first ingredient. I suspect this chili powder can’t stand much more than a couple teaspoons of the extra-hot powder from the ornamentals, though; my first taste-tests indicate it’s hotter than cayenne…

Enjoy the (Fresh Flakes and Fines) Heat!


Comments are closed.