If you like to cook and garden like I do, then you probably grow a variety of chile peppers. It doesn’t take but a couple of pepper plants to keep a family stocked with fresh chiles, but I always plant too many. This is especially true with jalapeños, cause we like them.
So here’s an idea that might come in handy when you have jalapeños coming out your ears like I do. Dehydrate them!
I hold the peppers, stem-end, in my left gloved hand (disposable latex gloves are handy for this), and then cut uniform slices with a knife in my right hand. (I’m right handed.)
Place the slices on dehydrator trays, making sure they’re not overlapping.
I place the heat setting on 118 degrees Farenheit. It typically takes about 24-36 hours, depending on the fleshiness of the chile peppers and the thickness of the slices.
And take note – even though the jalapeños are dehydrated, they’re still very strong! And during the dehydration process, the air in your house will be chile pepper-potent.
After they’re completely dehydrated, let them cool completely, and store in sealable bags in the refrigerator.
You can tell that I used green and red jalapeños in the batch I just dehydrated.
Alternatively, if you don’t own a dehydrator, place the slices on a jelly-roll pan, without overcrowding, and put the pan in the oven at about 200 degrees. It should only take about 8 hours. Lower the heat towards the end – you don’t want any browning, just dehydration.
Either way you dehydrate them, they’re handy for soups and stews, chilis, beans, stuffed bell peppers, omelets, or this stir fry.
Here they are topping a summer zucchini and corn soup.
Here they are on a chicken curry.
I hope you find dehydrated chile peppers as handy and versatile as I do! Having a dehydrator is also helpful if you have an abundance of cherry tomatoes!
Now, if you have a lot of jalapeños you can do what Debbie and David do from The Mountain Kitchen, which is to make their own chipotle peppers! If you weren’t aware, chipotles are smoked and dried jalapeños. Enjoy their beautiful photo!