[CH] Re: Problems drying chiles- A Tip

Phil Cody (wpcody@mindspring.com)
Sat, 21 Mar 1998 10:12:37 -0500

Here's a tip to improve the efficiency of a kitchen oven chile drier. Call
around to the home improvement centers and hardware stores in your area and
find one that stocks "expanded steel".  It is steel mesh with diamond
shaped holes.  (Sometimes you can see its impression left on commercial
beef jerky).  It available with different size holes.  I have two sheets
roughly the size of cookie sheets.  One has holes about 1.5" X .75" , and
the other has holes about 0.75" X 0.30".  Put the expanded sheet sheets
directly on your oven racks.  The holes provide good air circulation and
shorten the drying time.  

If you have small chiles or chopped chiles are Jim described in an earlier
post, just put a single layer of paper towels on the expanded steel mesh
before the layer of chiles.  The paper towels will wick the water away from
the "fresh chop" and the air circulation of the mesh makes for a much
faster dry at relatively low oven temperatures.  

The steel mesh also works well when it comes to roasting chiles under the
oven broiler.  I've found that New Mex type green chiles are easier to
roast on the steel mesh. They tend to stay put, as you rotate them to get
an even roast, and don't roll around on their own as much as they tend to
on smooth cookie sheets.  You can put a regular cookie sheet on a lower
rack to catch the roasting juices if you want.

Hope this helps!

Phil Cody

When the situation is desperate, it is too late to be serious. Be playful.
Edward Abbey