September 15, 2010

Dried Fall Harvest Goodness

The aroma coming from the dehydrator this morning is that of a fresh veg soup. Ingredients are garlic, onion, sweet Jimmy Nardello peppers, tomatoes, and blue corn. Sounds pretty good! It's the end of the 2010 growing season and we are drying, freezing, and canning as much of our harvest as we can. Pumpkins are turning orange on frozen vines, finally. What goodness.

In fact, the time to plant next year's garlic is just around the corner, October 15, here in the northern Rockies. In case you are now overrun with fresh garlic, here, I share with you our process for making dried garlic chips.
What you need: two-week hanging dried garlic, plastic cutting mat, & sharp knife

Separate cloves and peel. This part is pretty long and tedious. I recommend some good music or an audio book. Your fingers will become very sticky and all the papery skins will be gobbed up on your finger tips but persevere.
Cut the hard ends off each clove. Peel away!

When all cloves are peeled, start cutting the chips. The cloves can be cut either the long way or across. Slices should be about 1/8" thick for best results.
Big fat slices ready to be dried
Place slices on dehydrator racks and dry for about 12 hours. There is nothing quite like the aroma of drying garlic. Of course, you must be a dyed-in-the-wool garlic fan!
Garlic chips stored with tomato chips in a sealed Ball jar   
Dried garlic, sweet peppers, and tomatoes last through the winter and into the next growing season if stored in covered jars in a dark place. The burst of flavor of re-hydrated veg is a welcome reminder of summer goodness. Garlic chips can either be used as is in soups, stir-fry, or accompanying rosemary and lemon in roast chicken. The chips can also be ground to a fine mist in an electric coffee grinder.

From my kitchen to yours! Enjoy...

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