Fall is no doubt my favorite time, or should I say time of weather, of year. I love the cooler temperatures, and the colors in Wisconsin but what I am not a big fan of is the forecast from November through March. With fall already on us, there is also another sad ending to summer and that is the vegetable garden. My wife did an awesome job this year starting seedlings and had them mature to an abundance of produce. But now the tomatoes are gone, the jalapeno peppers, beans, etc. Granted we still have things in the ground s uch as more radish, peas, and cauliflower, but those are going to dwindle down over the next month. We learn something every year when we plant our garden, and this year I think we learned that we planted to many jalapeno plants, and we need to come up with another plan to spread out our tomatoes. But those jalapenos…. What do you do with so many jalapenos?
I used so may jalapenos during the summer months in salsas, pico de gallo, and jalapeno poppers, and I was still left with close to 100 additional jalapeno peppers. That’s when I came up with the idea of making a chili powder with them as I gave my container to my oldest kid as he went back to college, and he loved adding crushed chilies to many of his meals. That left me empty on chili powder that I also use in many of my meals when I want an additional blast of heat, and trust me… this one is a perfect (and somewhat mild) heat.
What a great way to use up jalapeno peppers!
Let’s get started.
- 40 jalapeno peppers, stems removed, cut into thin coins
- dehydrator (or oven)
- spice grinder or mortar and pestle
- cooking latex gloves, optional
Start by slipping on cooking gloves if you have them. If you don’t, no sweat (well maybe you will sweat from slicing into those ribs and seeds), but MAKE SURE YOU WASH YOUR HANDS WELL AFTERWARD.
Slice the jalapenos into thin coins. Seeds will scatter so don’t worry. Just remember not to touch anything until after you are finished slicing, and finished washing your hands (gloves or no gloves).
After slicing the jalapenos, add them to your dehydrator trays. I fit about 40 sliced jalapenos onto my trays. The goal is to add the coins to the trays without overlapping them. Start your dehydrator once the trays are loaded and begin the drying process. This roughly takes between 3-5 hours. You can check on them about 3 hours in and see if they are nice and dry. Once dried, they are ready to be processed into a powder.
Empty the trays into a baking tray, a bowl, or piece of paper, whatever works for you, and take enough to fit into a spice grinder or food processor, and pulse into a powder. If you want a course grind then do just that. A fine grind? Keep grinding. Just be mindful when you take off the cover of the grinder or processor as the spice dust may get you sneezing!
Repeat until the all of the jalapenos are processed.
The end result is a really awesome chili powder. No lie about that. I think I have been using this powder on almost all of my meals. I keep the jar on the table, along with a small spoon, and I drizzle the powder on things like eggs, potatoes, heck even some lasagna I had last night. It’s a real winner in my books and was a perfect way to replenish my chili powder as well as use up the remaining jalapeno peppers from our summer harvest. Give this one a try if you have an abundance of peppers. BTW this would work with many other chili peppers as well. I should have given those shishito peppers a run for the money. Next year… there is always next year.