Tuesday, 21 July 2009

What Makes your Pantry Special - Dried Items Part 2

Dried Vegetables

Chillies - I dry my own and they are the finishing touch to my home made pickled onions. To dry them I use a bodkin and string and thread them all on then leave up on the dresser to dry. I tend to do them as a garland or mini string done as a garland I can drape them over the dressers to add a touch more interest yet being practical as they are in the throes of drying.

Dried Chilli ground down to a powder and then mixed with pepper and cloves is a very tangy seasoning for adding to pumpkin and/or squash.

Dried Mushrooms

I string mushrooms - you can do this with any edible variety of your choice - at time of preparation I keep to one particular variety to string - I mix them up in jars later on. I string them the same way as I do chillis only this time round I use a bodkin and string but I put a big not in between each mushroom and a little space. I then hang them out of the way to dry. Once dry I pull from the string and place in glass preserving jars. I then use in winter casseroles to help pep them up a little.

Dried Mushroom powder

This is basically the dried mushrooms blitzed in the food processor. It is very good for adding extra flavour to soups and casseroles and also with some boiling milk, butter and a little thickner (cornflour) to make a soup in a mug.

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