@bogman mentioned dried peppers in another thread, and I imagine some here have experience with that.
I grew some Espelette this year, and have been drying them outside for awhile.
They seem dry, but flexible. I found this…
But some information online seems to suggest I dry them in the oven.
Favuzzi of Italy on Espelette pepper
How would you folks process them to use as flakes or powder?
Do anyone have an opinion about dried or fresh Espelette pepper? I want to try some fresh but don’t want to waste even one!
P.S. New buds!
Those look really good! But I don’t recall ever making flakes/powder from dried chiles. I mean it is destined to go into other ingredients, right?… so just work with them directly (they’ll be better than powdered and stored).
I’ll usually seed/stem and then toast/roast, then hydrating in warm water or other liquids of the dish (skipping this step for fresh)… then blend with all sauce ingredients. Often that sauce will go into a puddle of hot oil and cook for even more flavor (but sometimes not).
Interesting! I can’t help but think there are times when dried is at least different, if not better.
I predominantly work with chiles for liquids (salsas, sauces, braises, marinades, etc), so in that case I can’t imagine powder being better there.
I suppose if you want to use it in something like a dry rub for meats you’ve got no choice. Consider a spice grinder, Vitamix, or good FP.
I do sauces sometimes, but rubs and spice blends too. I have almost exclusively seen Espelette used dry, but I think one exception was a hot sauce!
The hot sauce is in “The Chef’s Garden”, lacto-fermented, is called “60/40 Hot Sauce”, with 60 percent Espelette (“or other red, such as Fresno”), and 40 percent Aji Amarillo ( “or other yellow or orange, such as Aji Amarillo, Hungarian wax, or Habanada”).
Fortunately I happen to be growing all three of these!
Agreed. Its almost always in powder form in France (haven’t shopped in the Basque region so cant speak to that region)
I’ve never used fresh espelette peppers, but always keep dried, ground on hand. They add a flavourful, gentle heat. They’re most often sprinkled on top of soups, here, for a bit of heat and colour.
Very curious what you think of the flavor, and if there’s another chilli to which you’d liken the taste.
I’ve only seen it used dry (powder) but that’s probably because it’s virtually impossible to find fresh outside CA (or the AOC region).
(That said, I couldn’t detect any special flavor, vs with something like urfa biber or aleppo pepper.)
I would store them in whole and crush/powder them as needed.
A Spice Grinder, Mortar or Coffee Grinder takes just a moment or two.
I’m so glad you said that!
Good to know! I just got quite a supply of dried “pul biber”.
Wow. That is a serious supply!
Yes! Also this
Which has a powdered version in addition to the crushed. Son in DIL just arrived from where they live in Turkey for an extended visit.
So you can use any Pepper in the World as a Sub.
There are several Mexican groceries around me, they carry lots of different kinds of dried chiles, nearly all are sold whole in plastic. I’ve seen dried chiles torn in half or pieces, and toasted for a short time on a hot griddle, which intensifies the flavor a bit.
This is something that I always do when working with Mexican, Indian and Szechuan Dried Chilies.
Toasting or frying Chilis definitely adds another layer of complexity and roundness to the flavor.
It and can help to counteract some of the astringency and bitterness (although over toasting makes them taste horrible).
To get the most out of toasting your Chilies using Oil or Lard (almost always done in Chinese Cooking) gives the most noticeable boost to the flavor of the finished Dish.
If I am gonna fry, my choice is to roast & process (rehydrate, add other seasonings/ingredients, blend), and then add that liquid to hot oil. I think way more flavor comes from frying the processed chile mixture than just the chiles themselves.
For me those they are not mutually exclusive. Many things used Chilies that are fried more than once.
Mole for example, Chilies are seeded, Oil roasted/fried and rehydrated. Then pureed with additional Ingredients and the resulting Paste is “fried” till the Oil separates before liquid is added.
Many South Indian Masalas are treated in a similar way.
You don’t find frying the chile impedes the rehydration? I have only fried them when I was looking for chile oil for the rest of the recipe… and the end result was the blended chiles needed straining even out of the Vitamix (which is not the case with toasted, rehydrated chiles).