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Jul 27, 2013 08:54 AM

Dried Chili Peppers

A couple of years ago I strung some habanero chili peppers and hung them in my attic. I forgot about them until yesterday. I went up and got them down and they are perfectly dried and they appear to be okay. I found a recipe for Spicy Tomato Salsa that calls for 9 dried peppers. Do you think it would be okay to use these? The recipe says to soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes, drain off half the water and blend them until smooth. Do you think these are still good? What can I do with the rest of them? Do you think they are safe to use?

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    1. re: wyogal

      Sure, use them, just rinse off any dust before soaking. Leave the rest as is until you need them - they'll keep. I'd suggest adding the habeneros slowly to your salsa, since they pack some serious heat. Enjoy!

    2. Break them apart, if they are not moldy on the inside they will be good. Ran into that problem a lot when I used to string dry cayenne. Now, with habanero crops in the hundreds, I use a food dryer and have had no mold issues.
      I don't know your experience with or tolerance for habanero heat but 9 habs in a salsa sounds like a bit much unless it is a huge batch.

      1. I absolutely think so. It is only a couple years. I would use them. They are definitely safe to use. The only potential question is: Do they still taste good? I am pretty certain they still taste just fine.

        1. THANKS!!!!! My son likes "HOT" salsa so I'm gonna make it hot. I thought 9 sounds like a lot too but in addition to the 9 you add 6 jalapeƱos. I certainly won't be eating it. THANKS again....Now I know where to come when I need help!!!!!

          1. OMG... well if he likes it that hot I think you are going to fill the bill. lol I also grind dried habaneros in a coffee / spice mill to a powder much the same as commercial cayenne. The result is a much more versatile product with more predictable results. Good luck!

            3 Replies
            1. re: tonyabbo

              I probably have 30 or 40 of them dried. I was wondering if I should grind some of them up or put them in one of those sealing bags. I can't believe I forgot about them for 2 years. If y'all read of a 41 year old East TN boy burning his insides out on salsa his mom made, then you can say: "I think I know them". Ha....

              1. re: safritts

                The finer you chop them the faster they degrade. The way around this is to grind, put them in a zip lock bag and freeze.