Crushed red pepper is so much more than a pizza-topping staple. It can be used in nearly any dish to give a dash of unexpected heat. Sure, it’s easy to pick up a big bottle of red pepper flakes from the store, but if you’re truly adventurous, you can make your own. You can then get your perfect level of heat, and since the pepper is crushed fresh, it’s the freshest tasting too.
If you have leftover hot peppers from your garden, this is an excellent way to make use of them. Crushed red pepper keeps for a long time, so you’ll be able to enjoy your harvest all winter long.
- A mix of fresh hot peppers cayenne, serrano, jalapeño, and bell peppers are all staples, but any hot peppers work. Expect to need 50+ hot peppers to return 1 cup of crushed red pepper
- Cut the tops off of the hot peppers and lay them out evenly on a cookie sheet.
- Place them in the oven on low heat to dry them out. This can take 4 to 6 hours, so monitor the chilies to make sure they don't burn.
- Place the dried chilies in a food processor and pulse grind them until they reach the coarse texture you prefer.