crushed red pepper

One of my favorite things to do at the end of summer is to grab all my leftover red chili peppers (plus any other red colored peppers I have lying around) and dry them out to make crushed red pepper flakes.  It is so easy!

 

This process begins with drying out whatever peppers you choose to crush.  One easy process to dry peppers out is to hang them in a window of a room that gets a lot of sunlight and stays fairly warm.  I put mine in my sunporch and let them dry out for about a month.
Another way to dry peppers is to lay them out on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven slowly at the lowest temperature possible.  I believe I have cooked mine around 200-250 degrees in the past.  The complaint about this option is that cooking the peppers can make your house feel like it is full of spicy fumes and smoke.  It smells very strange.  I rather tie the peppers up and let the sun dry them out instead, however when I’m in a rush, this is my backup!
After your peppers are dried out, you can begin the process of crushing them.  The two ways I have done this is to cut the tops off (throw them away) and crush the peppers by hand, or the more simple process would be throwing them in your food processor to handle itself.
This year I used my new food processor and loved the results!  I threw all the peppers in the processor and ran it for 5-7 minutes on the finest setting.  It took longer than what I felt the average time of using the food processor would be (such as with the pesto), but it needed that time to grind up to the perfect crushed red pepper size!  How easy and beautiful!!  I love it!

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