Bring on the Heat

One unexpected way to preserve the results of your summer gardening bliss, is by making seasoned salts. As we are a house that loves all things spicy, I whipped up this batch of chili salt this morning in 5 minutes. I had two last hot peppers on an indoor plant that were starting to look, well sad. Like they knew they’d end up in the trash sooner or later if I didn’t take action.

Simple, endlessly adjustable and most likely enough to take you through at least 6 months, even if using regularly. This is one for the heat lovers out there… and does require them to be dried (or semi dried) or a mixture of both.

H.A.F. Chili Salt (makes slightly more than 1 cup of salt… halve or quarter if you are not an avid finished salt user, but… honestly, why not make something you can use throughout the year!)

  • 3-6 dehydrated or not perfectly fresh chilis, imperfectly de-seeded and tops removed (dealer’s choice on variety, whether smoked or not… note: the more watery the variety though, the more dried out you will want it… think not rotten, but ‘wrinkled’ if that makes sense…)
  • 1 cup of coarse Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp smoked coarse salt (Applewood or Alderwood are my favorite)

Instructions:

  1. roughly de-seed the chilis, removing the top
  2. place your kosher salt into a quart mason jar
  3. place chilis into coffee or spice grinder with 1 tbsp of the kosher salt you measured out, grind until chilis are a fine/semi-fine powder as is salt. If chilis are not breaking down, add a bit more coarse salt.. this should help in breaking them down
  4. using a small spatula (after unplugging grinder) scrape out chili/salt mixture into ball jar (don’t worry if there is a bit left in the grinder)
  5. take 1 tsp of smoked salt you measured and place into grinder. Plug back in, and grind to fine powder (this will take any additional chili bits off the grinder)
  6. unplug grinder and scrape smoked mixture into ball jar
  7. add remaining smoke coarse salt
  8. cover and shake vigorously, incorporating chili/smoked salt throughout
  9. Shake occasionally for the first 24 hours (get all those awesome chili oils spread throughout your mixture before you set it away on a shelf…)
  10. Store in airtight glass jar (or spice bottle) and enjoy!

Our household LOVES chili salt on pizza, as a finish to fish or chicken or even steak… it’s amazing over soft scrambled eggs and even to top your avocado toast. It is also a gorgeous mix once finished, so mine will live on our open shelves in the kitchen, alongside the olive oil, sugar, flour and other commonly used ingredients… and other commonly used salts (*ahem truffle salt… mmmm!) I will also probably use my favorite squat Weck clip jar for it.

Ooooh, I think I will also make some fresh butter… and salt it with THIS… ohh, yum.

What I used for this recipe was our own, garden grown:

  • Carbanero – wrinked, x2, de-seeded
  • Smoked Ghost – smoked/dried, x1, de-seeded roughly, some seeds left
  • Fiery Cayenne – dried, x2, not de-seeded… ooooh, bring the heat!

Additional tools I used for this worth noting:

Spice Grinder This is nothing special. Most of us have an old coffee grinder lying around, but if you don’t, this one is what we use for making spice blends or breaking things down to powder (think homemade onion or garlic powder!) Ours is by a company called Barsetto, which isn’t out there anymore, but this is it’s equivalent:

Dehydrator More of a specialty tool, but one I recommend if you grow fruits or veggies, and DEFINITELY a tool you should have if you plan on taking a bunch off your shopping list. This works for snacks (think fruit rollups, coconut chips, kale chips, apply rings, banana chips) to jerky to, you guessed it, preserving hot peppers that you have no time to use immediately, but KNOW need to go into a winter bbq sauce or chili recipe. Or salt. Spicy salt. This is the one we own, and we have had no issues with it after many seasons of use. I also use this to dry hops (yes, HOPS for our own beer that we brew, but that’s for a future post….)

Weck Jars I love these and have a bunch of different Weck jars in my preserving arsenal… these are small and also make great giftables.

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