Or…what to do with all those dried dragon cayenne peppers!
Just harvested your peppers and they’re not dried yet? Skip the drying and roast them low and slow in a little olive oil with a sprinkle of salt (300 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes to one hour depending on size and type of pepper). Bear in mind roasting with seeds will elevate the heat level of your peppers so use caution in determining the amount of spicy peppers to use in your pepper ketchup. And wear gloves when handling so you don’t get “fire hands” that transfer the heat to anything you touch!
This pepper based sauce is good on anything. Use it as you would BBQ sauce for flavoring chicken wings, drumettes or fingers, burgers or hot dogs. Dunk your fries in it, or mix it into dips for a fiery flavor. It is a quick, easy and low fat flavor powerhouse!
Spicy Dragon Cayenne Ketchup
12 ounce jar of roasted red sweet bell peppers, drained*
1/4 cup vinegar (any flavor you like, I used apple cider)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons loosely packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 to 3 dried cayenne peppers, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes depending on the amount of heat you want (or other variety of pepper you’ve grown)
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree. Transfer to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until mixture has thickened. When cool, taste and adjust seasoning, adding more pepper if necessary. Enjoy!
Store in the refrigerator for one week, or in the freezer for up to one month.
*You can roast sweet red bell peppers yourself and use them in this recipe, if desired. Go to my buffalo chili recipe here: Buffalo Turkey Chili and scroll to the bottom for instructions and a photo gallery.
For other flavor profiles, alter your sweetener by using pureed fruit or jam (peach, apricot or pineapple), molasses, honey or Piloncillo (pure unrefined cane sugar pressed into cone shape usually available in the international section of the market and tastes similar to brown sugar). Or, add freshly squeezed lemon, lime or orange juice and a teaspoon of fresh zest for some extra zip.