Red pepper paste is a common ingredient used in Turkish cuisine. I like it because it gives a little kick and a nice red color to any dish. I especially like to use it in Bulgur Pilavi.
I keep a Ziploc bag in my freezer for any peppers that have turned red and started drying up. When I have a decent amount I make red pepper paste.
This recipe is very versatile and practically fool proof. You can use red bell peppers for a mild paste, a mix of bell and chili peppers for medium heat, or like me just chili's for a spicy hot paste.
I used dried peppers but fresh are fine too.
If using dried peppers first rehydrate them a little by pouring boiling water over them and letting them sit until cool. Once cool pull the stem and seeds out. Wear gloves for this. I didn't and my hands were burning for hours.
Boil peppers (fresh or rehydrated) about 15 minutes until soft. Put peppers and a couple of ladle fulls of the boiling liquid in a blender. (I used 2 ladle fulls for about 1 quart of peppers) Blend until smooth. Add more liquid if needed to keep the blender going.
Put pureed peppers into a pot. Add salt. Cook over low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Be careful that it doesn't BURN. Once it is thick and at the consistency you like (I like mine a little thinner than the store bought one) put it in a clean jar. Drizzle a little evoo over the top if you'd like. I make small jars at one time so I do not can mine but this summer depending on my pepper harvest I may try to can some. Keep refrigerated.
Now it's ready to use. Spread it on toast. Saute it with a little butter for eggs. Add it to soups, pasta sauces, bulgur, anything you'd like to have a little extra heat.
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