Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dried Cilantro and Jalapeno Peppers

My friend, Becky, gave me a bag of Jalapeno Peppers that she and her family grew in their lovely garden. (Someday, I might be able to have an awesome garden like they have.) I was grateful to receive such a gift. I could not use all those peppers up before they would go bad, so to preserve them I either had to can (jar), freeze or dehydrate. To can them would mean more time than I had. My freezer is full at this time, thus the best option for me was to dehydrate.

I also received a large bunch of Cilantro from another person. The Cilantro is an herb that is used in a lot of Mexican dishes. I enjoy this aromatic herb in mostly Salsa. I generally make and home can all of the Salsa that we consume during the summer months when tomatoes are plentiful. So, by drying this herb I will be able to use it next summer, along with the Jalapenos to make fresh homemade Canned Salsa. Just by re-hydrating with all the other ingredients for Salsa.

How does one go about dehydrating these two items? It is really an easy process. Here goes:

 1. Wash peppers and remove stems.

 2. Cut in half and remove pith and seeds (most of them anyway).
 3. I slice mine into strips. They dry faster this way. Then place on drying rack.
 4. Wash Cilantro  and spread out onto the drying rack.
 5. Place racks into dehydrator. I turn my dehydrator on to 125 degrees for about 12 hours.
 6. After they peppers have completely dried they will shrivel up to less than 1/2 their size and be leathery.
 7. The Cilantro will be very brittle and break easily. Place rack over a towel or you will loose a lot of the herb on your counter or floor when placing in you container.
I place by dried items in extra glass jars, this way they stay moist free and last longer.

Some may wonder about the background. That is my Canning Wall where I store a lot of my Dried and Canned goods. This wall is 8 ft x 8ft x 6 in. It is on a wall in my Breakfast Room. I made it myself a little over a year ago. It really looks like an Old Country Store with all the jars and their displays of color, due to the varieties of food in them. May be some day I will post about it.

 Have you ever dehydrated anything? I would love to hear about it.  Did you know that you could dehydrate items even if you do not have a dehydrator?

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