Recently I picked up a huge, great, big bag of green chillies reduced (25p for about 70 chillies) in the supermarket. When I got them home I plucked them from their sweaty plastic bag, gave them a wash, dried them well with a tea towel and set them out on a couple of plates.
HOMEMADE SUN-DRIED CHILLIES
I popped the plates on a sunny windowsill and waited for them to dry out (you could also string them up, if you prefer). Once dried on one side (around a week during the height of summer), I turned them over and allowed a couple more days for the other side to wrinkle up nicely and BAM sun-dried red chillies! I love a good spicy or hot dish and chillies are an essential piece of kit at Thrifty Towers but sun-dried chillies are, in my opinion, much tastier. They take on a richer, deeper flavour and are half-way to a smokey taste. I also find you need less of a sun-dried chilli (a lot less) to get a good flavour in a dish, meaning you need to use fewer for each meal making that reduced bag of chillies go altogether much further.
Once nicely dried out, I chopped up around half of the chillies, laid them out on a baking tray and froze over night, before pouring into a freezer bag. Freezing them flat and then popping them into a bag or pot means you don’t get huge, unusable clumps when you come to take them out. As for the rest, some will go into oil for Christmas gifts, some will be made into sun-dried chilli jam and the rest will simply sit in a little glass jar beside our hob, and knowing our love for chillies we’ll get through them pretty damn fast. We get through a lot of chillies here at Thrifty Towers, so I’ll be looking for my next reduced bag soon, especially since I spotted sun-dried chillies on sale in a very expensive deli at £7 for 75g!