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Make your own: Red Pepper Flakes!


donk79
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A year or two ago, all I was hearing about online was Allepo pepper.  So I hopped on Amazon (I think, iirc) and ordered some crushed (ground?)  Aleppo pepper.

It was wonderful.  I sprinkled it everywhere red pepper applied.  I didn't forget about it, but gradually it applied fewer places.

Then, this evening I saw a mention of Marasa pepper.  It reminded me very much of the first mention I heard of Aleppo pepper.  And then I had to wonder if it was actually the sourcing of the red pepper that attracted me initially or perhaps only the freshness. 

I have lots of a serrano type hybrid coming out of my garden right now.  I would love to produce my own gloriously wonderful ground pepper and pepper flakes.  If you have any insight or experience, I would love to hear what you have to share.

Thank you!

Edited by donk79 (log)
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I have, in the past, dried and ground 朝天椒 (cháo tiān jiāo), "facing heaven peppers" as used in Sichuan cuisine.  I still keep a small jar of it handy, but just buy it in the market, where it is easily available. That said, I tend to use them whole and unground much more.

 

This is from the last batch I made.

 

chilli.thumb.jpg.fce44c5993e0948225d16e386981be55.jpg

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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I make my own red pepper flakes; I don't have the luxury of using freshly grown peppers, to dry and flake, but crush up a variety of dried red peppers I have into flake size.  I did a little bit of research on the topic when I ran out of what are commonly referred to here as crushed red pepper, and are ubiquitous in pizza parlors.

 

image.thumb.png.8504b33bbef2898a3515276b86a1aac4.png

 

These tend to be pretty spicy, and usually are heavy on one particular pepper, the cayenne.

 

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/what-are-red-pepper-flakes

 

https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/whats-in-red-pepper-flakes-article

 

https://www.pepperscale.com/crushed-red-pepper-recipe/

 

https://www.sandiaseed.com/blogs/news/how-to-make-red-pepper-flakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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My brother grows his own chile peppers and also grinds a lot of the dried peppers into flakes which he hands out as gifts to family members every year. They tend to be quite spicy hot, hotter than the chile flakes you can buy in the stores.

I gave him my food dehydrator years ago to dry his peppers, but now he doesn't bother with it. Once he reaps the peppers from the bushes, they go into a flat wicker basket in his kitchen to air dry. The wicker basket allows air to circulate around the peppers so they dry and don't get moldy. Plus he will stir the picked peppers up once in a while to promote even drying.

Then when he goes to grind up the dried peppers into flakes using a dedicated electric coffee grinder, he does it outside (very important!) while wearing safety goggles so the fine pepper "mist" generated from the grinding is prevented from causing him to tear up.

The first time he ground up peppers, he did it inside his house and it was as if someone had set off a tear gas bomb inside. Live and learn. xD

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So, I have now got into growing my own chili peppers and making my own hot sauce.   The great byproduct of doing this, I get this awesome leftover chili residue that keeps forever in the fridge that is a cross between sambal, chili crisp and chili flakes.    It is awesome.   I did it last year, and now. being in mid September as my chilis are ready to harvest, it is time to do it this year!!

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2 hours ago, Owtahear said:

So, I have now got into growing my own chili peppers and making my own hot sauce.   The great byproduct of doing this, I get this awesome leftover chili residue that keeps forever in the fridge that is a cross between sambal, chili crisp and chili flakes.    It is awesome.   I did it last year, and now. being in mid September as my chilis are ready to harvest, it is time to do it this year!!

If you would not mind going deeper into your process, I would love to hear about it.  Thank you!

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7 hours ago, donk79 said:

If you would not mind going deeper into your process, I would love to hear about it.  Thank you!


yes definitely. Tell us more…

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I dry chillies by placing them in an open wide box in the fridge. Works better than sun drying in our humid weather.

 

I don't grind them to a powder anymore. I keep them whole and chop as needed.

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~ Shai N.

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15 hours ago, Owtahear said:

So, I have now got into growing my own chili peppers and making my own hot sauce.   The great byproduct of doing this, I get this awesome leftover chili residue that keeps forever in the fridge that is a cross between sambal, chili crisp and chili flakes.    It is awesome.   I did it last year, and now. being in mid September as my chilis are ready to harvest, it is time to do it this year!!

 

I'm with @donk79 and @&roid: more information, please! Photos would be a welcome addition.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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On 9/19/2021 at 9:03 AM, Smithy said:
On 9/18/2021 at 5:20 PM, Owtahear said:

So, I have now got into growing my own chili peppers and making my own hot sauce.   The great byproduct of doing this, I get this awesome leftover chili residue that keeps forever in the fridge that is a cross between sambal, chili crisp and chili flakes.    It is awesome.   I did it last year, and now. being in mid September as my chilis are ready to harvest, it is time to do it this year!!

 

I'm with @donk79 and @&roid: more information, please! Photos would be a welcome addition.

I think it is a good personal study to photo a process for a photo file. I have a big photo file after 10 years of fermentation. Do it for yourself first---even quick cell phone pics. On a gardening forum I was asked for a hot sauce method over and over. I made the effort that took some time. The response, "ok, thanks...I was just curious...nothing I will ever do", lol. I did not mind at all. It was a great push to document processes. Fermentation does take some study. Sandor Katz, y-tube....

Took me a while to get confident---slow learner. Now my end of counter near pantry---out of the kitchen triangle, always has some sort of ferment in rotation. Where we also have the coffee station. (grinder lives in the pantry plugged in). Small kitchen.

Some good on-line information like this one, HERE

FERMENTATION MISC 9-21.png

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My first batch of sauerkraut using my grandmothers 2 gallon brown ceramic crock----hilarious. Opaque. And stressful. Now have advanced to small batch. Wide mouth quart ball jars. Air-locks. 14 hour work days I can glance with morning coffee---clear glass. Start a batch of kraut or kimchi or AC/Pear vinegar...kombucha...every few weeks in rotation. Prep a batch while prepping a meal chopping session. I do think it takes a study/confidence and understanding. 

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2 hours ago, Annie_H said:

My first batch of sauerkraut using my grandmothers 2 gallon brown ceramic crock----hilarious. Opaque. And stressful. Now have advanced to small batch. Wide mouth quart ball jars. Air-locks. 14 hour work days I can glance with morning coffee---clear glass. Start a batch of kraut or kimchi or AC/Pear vinegar...kombucha...every few weeks in rotation. Prep a batch while prepping a meal chopping session. I do think it takes a study/confidence and understanding. 

 

Do you use red pepper flakes in the sauerkraut or kimchi or AC/Pear vinegar or kombucha?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

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3 hours ago, Annie_H said:

Start a batch of kraut or kimchi or AC/Pear vinegar...kombucha...

Over the past several years, I have made several batches of fermented peppers that then became hot sauce.  My absolute favorite had a large amount of pear in the ferment.  Something about pears and fermentation that, for me anyway, just works!

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12 hours ago, donk79 said:

Over the past several years, I have made several batches of fermented peppers that then became hot sauce.  My absolute favorite had a large amount of pear in the ferment.  Something about pears and fermentation that, for me anyway, just works!

Just reminded of an Austin start-up that uses some fruit in their hot sauces. Not pronounced or heavily fruity. Nor sweet. Was it mango?

 

Not enough homegrown quantity this year to dehydrate or ferment. AjiAmarillo are tiny things I just toss in a freezer zip-lock as I harvest. Same with cherry tomatoes. I find I use them most often frozen over the tomato powder I've made in the past. 

 

Peppers---mild or spicy...smoked, dried, dehydrated, fermented, another ball game. On and in everything. I blame, or give credit to my first visit to Kalustyan's spice shop. 

 

The top right picture is hot sauce. Mostly Hatch but kicked up the heat with some baby hots. I just blended the entire contents. Did not occur to keep some of the solids for a chili crisp. Might be good dehydrated for flakes. 

On 9/16/2021 at 12:06 AM, donk79 said:

I have lots of a serrano type hybrid coming out of my garden right now.  I would love to produce my own gloriously wonderful ground pepper and pepper flakes.  If you have any insight or experience, I would love to hear what you have to share.

I never had much luck air drying due to humidity. I eventually invested in a dehydrator. Slice into rings. I keep the seed ends separate on another tray. That will give you two heat levels. Your oven will work fine if the lowest setting is 150-160ºish. Or run an hour, then off an hour, repeat. They can touch on the tray since they will start to shrink rather quickly. Just not piled up. 

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Urfa started my obsession as well as Allepo. A few more likely that first visit. At that time I had already experimented with the Mexican whole dried found in every corner bodega. 

Interest text about the process...and on the package front---something about olive oil used. So I keep it in the freezer. Nice on eggs, ramen eggs, potato salad, roasted fresh corn off the cob salads. 

Description

2 oz,6 oz,16 oz,5 lb,2 oz
These wonderful crushedpeppers are from the Turkish town of Urfa. These premium ripepeppers are picked and cut, dried in the sun by day, then wrapped and sweated at night for more than a week. This sweating process gives thepurplish black colorin appearance, and a rich, earthy flavor, mellow heat and smoky aroma. Flakes are moist and seedless with an intense dark color. Its less spicy than many other chile peppers, but provides a more lasting build of heat. Urfa peppers have a moderate heat level, rating a 3-4 on a heat scale of 1-10 and 35,000 scoville heat unit.

Screen Shot 2021-09-21 at 6.39.23 AM.png

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This is a bit of a detour, but I would like some clarification about the term "pepperoncini." Sometimes it refers to crushed red peppers, regardless of whether it is a single origin pepper or a mix of cayenne and other peppers sold often as simply "crushed red peppers." And other times it refers to the green pickled relatively mild peppers. Is there a single type of pepper used both in its green phase and then dried when it turns red and crushed up to be served as dried red flakes.

 

Most mixed crushed red pepper flakes are hotter than the green pickled peppers that are called pepperoncini. If indeed the crushed red pepper sold in spice jars (or if you are making it yourself from a variety of peppers) is often heavy on cayenne, then what is the specific pepper that is ubiquitous as an Italian pickled fresh pepper? In my experience with various types of fresh peppers and dried, I have no proof that a fresh mild green chile will become hotter as it ripens and turns red, but is that a factor?

 

According to Lidia B it is a pepper specific to Calabria and is used in all forms. What do you think?

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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In my world the term is those yellowish mild pickled ones - but my world is not Lidia's Italy and adjacent. The flakes I prefer are El Guapo - in Mexican spice aisle everywhere in plastic packets. Fruity and hot. Label does not ID type(s). Wonderful enough that I'll open the jar I store them in and sniff for a mental lift. When I grew a variety of hot peppers I just froze the excess. The drying process I leave to the experts. Their on-line descriptor:  a savory and zesty combination of various dried peppers such as ancho, cayenne, bell, and other dried red peppers. Their name comes from being sun dried and then pulverized to make very small flakes. 

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So I make my own hot sauce.  The best thing maybe is the leftover seeds/peppers, which I jar as almost a "chili crisp" and is incredible as it adds hear/salt/acid (vinegar) and a bit of garlic to any dishes.   Because of the salt and vinegar, it keeps in the refridgerator forever.

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37 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

And other times it refers to the green pickled relatively mild peppers.

 

My experience is that in addition to being relatively mild, they (the pickled) can get pretty spicy.

 

Calabrian chili is often, once again in my experience, quite hot. And I don't thick usually pickled whole like the green ones, but used red.

 

Dried - I'm sure they make delicious flakes...https://buonitalia.com/?s=calabrian+pepper&post_type=product&v=7516fd43adaa  Also sold whole, in jars.

 

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJtZXJjYXRvLWltYWdlcyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJmaXQiOiJpbnNpZGUiLCJoZWlnaHQiOjcyMH0sIndlYnAiOnsicXVhbGl0eSI6NjB9fSwia2V5IjoicHJvZHVjdC1pbWFnZXMveHZhd3FWQ1BDbkt3YjNrWUpidUR4ZjZwb3VFY3NFNThUZ3FsNTNPUS5qcGcifQ==

 

This may shed some light...https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-pepperoncini

 

And yes, I've also heard crushed red pepper referred to as pepperoncino/i.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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