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Jul 14, 2006 05:59 PM

Fresh Cayenne Peppers??

When I planted my garden this year I accidentally bought a cayenne pepper plant along with my jalapenos, serranos and bells. How can I use the fresh cayenne peppers, which are stacking up on me? Right now, most of them are green and about 4 inches long. Do you pick them while they're green? Thanks

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  1. Pick em green or wait until they turn red. Use them in stirfry or salsa or make ristras-- strings of dried peppers to hang on your wall. Or dry them and crush them.

    1. the old man came home with 6 cayenne peppers from a local farm stand because they looked pretty. now what? i know they can be dryed and used fresh to add some heat but how hot are they? if i take out the seeds and ribs could they be stuffed and fryed? or still to hot for most people? they look like they would make a real pretty relleno

      4 Replies
      1. re: OLDFATBOY

        You'll have to taste them to tell how hot they are. Every pepper is different.
        The thought of stuffing and frying kinda makes me think you have a diff variety than cayenne since they are usually kinda skinny, but of course, you could have just gotten some nice fat ones - again, each pepper can be different. After you taste them, you will know if they are too hot for most people that you would be stuffing and frying them for.

        1. re: gordeaux

          o.k. stupid me. yes i guess the best why to tell would be to taste a piece raw and fryed. i guess i just didn't want to breach them till i had some idea, and yes they are big. i always thought cayenne were long and thin. these look like fat red anaheim peppers, but then there bell peppers i could stuff and feed 6. any way thank you for time and input . i'll post what i find.

          1. re: OLDFATBOY

            Cayenne are long and thin, rarely wider than about a half inch at the thickest point. You have some other type of pepper that was mislabeled as cayenne. As a general rule of thumb, the smaller the breed the hotter, so what you have is probably only mild to medium hot. But only your tongue will tell for sure. Take a taste and let us know!

            1. re: BobB

              sweet like a red bell. the grumpy old woman at the stand was not happy that i questioned this and claims that it is a cayenne. WHAT EVER, made a dam fine relleno, had to add some spice to give it heat.

      2. Around here Cayenne pepper is commonly grown...They are eaten out of hand with vegetables --- picked when red (mature) they are strung with needle and thread and hung to dry....ground later for 'crushed' red pepper flakes. Also they are used to make Hot Pepper Sauce....Jars/bottles are filled with the vinegar is poured over them..After a couple of weeks the Pepper Sauce is used as a table condiment for all types of greens..turnips, mustard, collards, cabbage. --- Other vegetables too --- Sometimes I sprinkle it on a piece of Fried Catfish....

        Have Fun!!

        1. I grow several cayenne plants every year. They're pretty productive when planted in full sun, I find that 2 - 3 plants give me enough of a yield to get me through to the following summer.

          I chopped a few last night and used them in into a pot of chili along with some jalapeƱos. They work nicely in sauces and salsas as other have noted. But mostly I collect them, dry them (just wash them and let then sit on a wire rack until totally dry and brittle, a few weeks or more) and store them in a baggie for use the rest of the year.

          Some I use whole or crushed in cooking, some I grind in a spice grinder to powder - it has so much more flavor and aroma than any store-bought cayenne I've ever had.

          For drying, you want to let the peppers ripen until they're fire-engine red. Green ones are OK for cooking fresh.