A great way to add flavor to a meal is to add a little hot pepper in it. If pepper chunks are too large they are overwhelming but in small amounts, they are a fabulous addition. Making dry peppers into a powder is a good way to add flavor with moderation.
Hot Pepper Powder
When working with hot peppers it is always a good idea to wear gloves. Even if you do, make sure that you don’t touch your face. If any of the oil from the pepper gets on your face, especially your eyes, nose or mouth, it will be really uncomfortable. Remember not to breath in any of the powder either as this can be irritating to the respiratory system.
My favorite pepper to use is a chipotle pepper. This is just a red ripened jalapeño that has been smoked. Any dry hot pepper will work. Sometimes I buy them from the store and other times I dry the peppers from my garden and use those. We have a couple of little Mexican shops near here that offer a nice selection.
Blender and Pepper Powder
I usually start by removing the bulk of the stems. I just snap them off. This is really an optional step and if a little remains it is no big deal. Then I throw them in the blender or food processor on high for 30 seconds. It is almost instant pepper powder.
It is a good idea to wait a minute before opening the container. Breathing this in is quite uncomfortable. When you do open it try to direct it away from you. It is best to pour it out into an air-tight container facing away from you as well. Place it in a cool dark place for storage. Enjoy adding spice to your foods.
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