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One of our top goals is to make sure every week that we don’t waste any food, especially any of the fresh ingredients we stocked our fridge with over the weekend. But week after week, year after year, it seems like there’s always at least one forgotten item that turns into a slimy puddle in the crisper before we get a chance to cook with it. One of those ingredients that gets this treatment more often than it deserves is hot chili peppers. Jalapeño, serrano, habanero—we buy them with the best of intentions, but some recipes (and tasters) can only handle limited heat. When British food TV star and cookbook author Jamie Oliver shared his trick for storing leftover chillies so they never turn into a weird science project in the fridge again, we were excited and, to be honest, a little shocked we hadn’t thought of it before .
It is actually quite simple. If you know you won’t use up your fresh hot peppers before they go bad, simply place them in a ziplock bag or airtight storage container and toss in the freezer. If the next time you needed a chili, you just took a hot pepper out of the freezer and let it thaw before shredding, you’d end up with a soggy, wet mess. Instead, Oliver builds on a hack we saw with frozen ginger.
Rubbermaid Brilliance Freezer Safe Food Storage Containers 5-Pack
He grates the still-frozen chilies on a microplane grater and says it creates “this gorgeous chili powder that’s great for cooking, marinating or sprinkling on dishes.” Any time your food needs a spicy kick, you can simply grate a frozen chili straight into your pot or pan, or even right over your plate, before serving.
Microplane Classic Zester/Grater
This is also a great way to plan meals in advance. Simply buy a selection of fresh chiles from the grocery store or farmer’s market and freeze them – then every time you come across a recipe calling for a specific chilli, you don’t have to run to the store just to pick it up. You have a whole range of frozen fresh chillies to choose from, right in your own freezer.
Before you go, check out Garden’s best dinner recipes below:
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