Dried chilies for the winter

This year I once again planted too few cayenne chilies for the year. They always seem to go so much faster that I had planned. I crumble a chili up and add it to almost everything I make.Think of chili flakes that have flavor rather than just heat.

I have saved seed (in the form of that last dried chili) for the past three years because I was so happy with the cultivar. I will do the same again next year, but plant six bushes instead of three. I’ll have extra seeds if you want to try some.

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If you decided to grow your own, I suggest waiting to pick until they have already started to shrivel on the plant. Use a heavy sewing needle, I prefer a curved needle, and pull a double line of heavy-duty upholstery thread to string the peppers through the stem end.

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Then hang them up, and let them dry. I usually tie the ends of the thread to a clothes hanger to hang them all in one place.

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About david@davidgingrass.com

David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.