Playing with flavored dusts….Theater of the Palate
In the past I have enjoyed playing with the process of taking fruits and vegetables and drying them so their essence is compressed and compact. Playing with my dehydrator and food processors I have begun yet again refining the process of making flavored dusts , salts (posted in a previous blog) and now sugars.
For those who know me for a while know that before savory cotton candy was a rage I introduced it to caterers at the ICE CATIES some years ago.
My great friend Chef Cade Nagy, Chef/Owner of Catering By design in Denver, shared the concept in a cookbook that we were co authors on and did an amazing job. Here is the picture of his interpretation of the idea, the recipe can be found in the ICA cookbook Inside the Recipe Box of the Catering Chef, available on this blog as well.
1. First picked some nice green jalapeno peppers from my garden, I chose to use young green ones but you could also use more ripe red ones for a different and less spicy flavor.
2. Next I cut the ends off the pepper, split them in half, and removed any seeds. After a little trial and error I noticed that if I cut perpendicular to the line in the middle of the pepper it was much easier to remove the seeds
3. I then placed the halved peppers in a plastic tray and put them in my dehydrator at 90F for 24 hours until they were brittle (when you break them in half they snap with minimal bending) with no soft or moist areas.
Tip: For difference flavor you can dehydrate at a higher temperature to roast/cook them a little but you will lose some of their heat.
4. Place your dried peppers into a blender or spice grinder and pulse until they create a fine powder.
Be sure to let the powder settle some and be careful to not inhale the powder, though much less heat then some of its pepper cousins getting a nose full of jalapeno pepper powder is not a pleasant experience
5. Finally carefully pour powder into a airtight container and store for 6-12 months.
As I mentioned above you can use this in meat rubs and chili but also can be used anywhere you may use other pepper powders. Some ideas I am thinking about is complement to Mexican foods, omelets, popcorn, and potatoes.
Here are some of the dusts that I created the other day. Its fun to make and the options are endless.