DRAGON'S DUST

Favorite Minion and I have always liked to add a little spice to certain dishes, either to add a little flavor or maybe even a little kick.  There are a lot of things out there on the market, like hot sauces that will turn your mouth to and inferno (and let’s not even talk about the other end, although I have heard that Johnny Cash wrote one of his hits, Ring of Fire, the morning after he ate a bunch of hot sauce) to various powders that are usually mostly salt.  So, what’s a guy to do if he just wants some heat and flavor? Make your own!

Enter Dragon’s Dust, a little concoction of loveliness that I came up with that fits the bill. It has a ton of flavor (mostly from the habanero, to me, the all-time best tasting hot pepper out there). I like to put it on popcorn.

The recipe has been improved upon over the years but basically it is just dehydrated home grown hot peppers, usually habanero, jalapeno, various chilies, sometimes tobasco. I have even used ghost peppers a time or two. Habaneros make up the bulk as they are prolific bearers and have a wonderful smoky flavor all their own, once you get past the heat. I also add a little granulated garlic and onion, along with season salt.

I start out dehydrating the peppers when they are picked during the summer and storing them in plastic zip lock bags. At the end of the summer I mix all of them up along with the other spices and then grind it, seeds and all, into a fine powder.
Here is a breakdown of how I do it, I am sure there may be a better way, if you know of one, please share.

Pictured is everything that you will need to make Dragon’s Dust. (left to right): Bowl, peppers, spices, coffee grinder, food processor. I use a burr mill coffee grinder because it uses ceramic plates to mill whatever you put into it into a dust or fine powder. A regular bladed coffee grinder just won’t get it fine enough.

I start by placing everything into the food processor to chop it up. This is what it looks like after one pass.  I usually give it three passes to get it small enough to go through the coffee grinder.  Once I have it chopped up thoroughly, I add it to the coffee grinder. I sometimes make two passes through it, also, to get the powder fine enough.

Peppers in Processor

One Pass in Processor

Finished Product

I started out with about five gallons of dehydrated peppers, this is what it reduces down after grinding - about three quarts.  
I must warn you that a dust mask and gloves are a must while doing this. The operation produces a fine airborne dust that will irritate your lungs, eyes, and nose. It will settle on your skin and also be unpleasant, if you have worked with hot peppers before, you know what to expect.

Give it a try. Now, where is the popcorn?

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