Tag Archives: dried

Dehydrated Jalapeños

17 Oct
Dehydrated Jalapenos

Dehydrated Jalapenos

This post is dedicated in loving memory to one of my cyber-foodie friends, who passed away on October 9th. I was a follower of his food blog REMCooks, and cybernetically he was one of the kindest and sincere bloggers who loved both his family and cooking with the greatest of passion. Richard McGary was also very passionate about any kind of chile peppers. He loved to cook with any type of chile, and his blog has many recipes made with a variety of spicy hot peppers.

The idea to dry the jalapeños that were harvested from my jalapeño plant this year also came about by another food blogger who actually got to meet Richard once for a weekend of food and fun, Mimi from Chef Mimi Blog. After roasting and freezing some batches of Hatch and serrano chiles, I thought it would be neat to also have some dehydrated chiles on hand for soups, stews, and salad toppings.

This is not really so much a recipe, but a method. Here is what I did:

Dehydrated Jalapeños

You can either harvest your own jalapeno plant, or simply buy some from the store. I actually had a mix of red (ripe) jalepeños, standard dark green ones, and some that were in the process of turning red left on my plant at harvest time. I like that I had the different colors for this.

Huge Jalapenos

My Jalapeño Plant

Make sure you wear latex gloves or plastic sandwich bags over your hands, and whatever you do, don’t touch your face or eyes in this process!

First I sliced all the peppers thinly into rounds. I didn’t bother de-seeding them, as most of the seeds will fall down into the pan in the drying process.

Jalapeno Slices

Jalapeño Slices

The pepper slices were then arranged on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet, and placed into an oven set at 180 degrees. You might want to do this on a day you can open your windows, as after about an hour the house will get pretty spicy! Which of course did not bother me at all.

Jalapenos at the Start of Drying Process

Jalapeños at the Start of Drying Process

I left them in the oven until they were all completely dried out. This took about 2 1/2 hours. I would check them every half hour or so after the first hour to make sure they weren’t getting too crisp. You will want to make sure they are “dry” to the touch and have no wetness left in them at all.

Jalapenos Drying Out

Jalapenos Drying Out ~ This was about halfway through the process

When completely dried, I took them out of the oven and let them cool. I then poured the dried pepper slices into a cute half-pint jelly jar to store throughout the fall and winter. There! I’ve already used some in some black-eyed peas that I made for lunch one day. They rehydrate nicely when cooked in liquid, but would also be fun to add as a crunchy topping to taco salad.

And p.s. Richard, I hope you are in chile paradise wherever you are!

Crock Pot Creamy Navy Bean and Ham Soup

22 Nov
Crock Pot Creamy Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Crock Pot Creamy Navy Bean and Ham Soup

We are in the stages of meltdown after a long, cold, and snowy week. Nothing on the scale of the Great Lake Effect snowstorm in New York, but we had enough snow, ice, and snow, thank you very much. What better way to soothe your cold bones than a nice, big bowl of creamy navy bean soup?

I’ve made huge batches of this soup before using a large ham bone, but this version is scaled down. To lend to the creamy factor, I roughly chopped all the veggies in my Ninja food processor. If you have good memory, I used to have a gray one. I now own a red one because the “dishwasher safe” base on my gray one warped from being washed on the bottom rack of the dishwasher, apparently too close to the heating element. I now hand wash my Ninja. I recommend the same if you own one.

I used homemade ham broth for this recipe, as my husband cooked up a large batch of it before our transition to our temporary home. If you don’t have any ham broth, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth will work just as well, although you may have to taste for the addition of salt.

Crock Pot Creamy Navy Bean and Ham Soup

1 pound dried navy beans
1/2 medium onion
6-8 baby carrots
2 stalks celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt to taste, if needed
4 to 5 cups ham broth
1 to 2 cups diced cooked ham
About 1 cup diced tomatoes

Rinse and sort the dried navy beans, then soak overnight in a pot covered an inch over with water.  The next day, reserve 4 cups of the soaked navy beans, and freeze the rest of the beans in a resealable freezer bag for future use. Add the beans to a 3-quart crock pot.

Soaked Beans with the Holy Trinity2

Soaked Beans with the Holy Trinity2

Add the onion, carrots and celery to a food processor, and pulse several times until roughly chopped. (I had to do this in batches.) Scrape the veggies into the crock pot, then add the garlic, seasonings, ham broth, and ham. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 to 5 hours.

Assembled Soup Ready to Cook

Assembled Soup Ready to Cook

About an hour before serving, remove about two cups of the beans and vegetables and puree until smooth in a food processor or blender, then return to the crock pot.

Pureed Soup in my RED Ninja

Pureed Soup in my RED Ninja!

Now add the diced tomatoes and cook for the last hour until ready to serve. (I almost forgot this step and took my final photo before adding the tomatoes! I thawed, peeled and chopped some of my tomatoes from the freezer.) Mmmm, mmm, good!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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