Author Topic: Crushed Red Pepper  (Read 4643 times)

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Offline MWTC

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Crushed Red Pepper
« on: June 19, 2007, 01:09:09 AM »
red.november

I have a question about Crushed Red Peppers.

If I grind Crushed Red Pepper how does the result compare to, say,Cayenne, Chili Powder, White Pepper, Cayjun, etc.? I know they all are very similar, is there any reason that one shouldn't grind crushed red pepper and use one of the other options? Is it just a matter of personal taste?

What is the reasoning to use crushed red pepper over the other medium heat flavoring? I understand in a situation like for example, oil flavoring? I have a recipe for oil flavoring using garlic and crushed red peppers, some Parm/ Romano, salt, sugar, oregano or basil. He recommended to strain the mixture after a week of setting because he said it would get a little funky. So I see using the crushed red pepper as a better option in this situation because you want to strain it withe the garlic and others that will strain.

As a side question, should that oil be refridgerated or kept out on the counter, at room temperature? And  how long can that be used before it goes bad, is the smell, the sign that it's bad?

I just want to get clear on the Crushed Red Pepper and grind it.


MWTC  :chef:


Offline November

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Re: Crushed Red Pepper
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2007, 01:56:54 AM »
If I grind Crushed Red Pepper how does the result compare to, say,Cayenne, Chili Powder, White Pepper, Cayjun, etc.? I know they all are very similar, is there any reason that one shouldn't grind crushed red pepper and use one of the other options? Is it just a matter of personal taste?

First of all, white pepper is not similar to red pepper at all.  White pepper and black pepper come from peppercorns, not peppers.  I'm not sure what you mean by comparing "Cayjun" to crushed red pepper.  If you mean Cajun as in the ethnic cuisine found in Louisiana, that's a style of cooking and is not just one spice, or even an exact recipe of spices.  Cajun seasoning could include a number of spices such as the ones listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cajun_cuisine#Seasonings

Chili powder is another example of a seasoning blend with different kinds of spices.  You can see an example blend here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilli_powder

Crushed red pepper (or red pepper flakes) is simply dried flecks of red chili peppers, seeds and flesh.  From the items you listed, the only two that are interchangeable are crushed red pepper and cayenne since they are both the same species of plant, Capsicum annuum, and are singular spices rather than blends.  If you grind crushed red pepper, you will end up with cayenne pepper for the most part.

What is the reasoning to use crushed red pepper over the other medium heat flavoring?

Could you give an example of a medium heat flavoring?  The are a number of reasons why one might use a different seasoning that just happens to also be less spicy (hot), but it's not always about the heat.  Paprika for instance has a fruitier flavor than cayenne in addition to being less hot.  In some case, like what I think you were alluding to, it's easier to handle one spice versus another.  There is also the benefit of accuracy when using a spice with less heat.  If you want to add a very small amount of heat, it's easier to add it through a milder spice because the measuring doesn't have to be as precise.

If you are infusing an oil with crushed red pepper, I see no real benefit to grinding it first.  Keep infused oils in the refrigerator.  I don't use infused oils, so I've never witnessed the lifespan of one.  It will probably have a faint musty odor when it's time to discard it.  I definitely wouldn't keep it around any longer than I would the seasonings if they were left on their own.  I would also check for rancid or stale smells from oil oxidation, and taste it for off-flavors before using it after you've had it around for a month or two.

- red.november

Offline scott r

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Re: Crushed Red Pepper
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2007, 02:41:19 AM »
MTWC, Pizzeria Regina in Boston leaves the oil mixture you are referring to out at room temp for a week or so.  If you go right to the fridge with the mixture it doesn't really give the flavors time to develop.  I prefer to leave the oil out for a day or so at room temp before it goes in to the fridge.  At that point I think November is spot on about it keeping for a month or two.

Offline November

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Re: Crushed Red Pepper
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2007, 12:14:28 PM »
Flavor development depends on the infusion method.  If using a hot infusion method, there is no need to leave the oil out at room temperature beyond the time it takes to cool down.  That's not to say you can't leave the oil out for a week, but there isn't any reason to.  See hot infusion: http://www.cheftalk.com/content/display.cfm?articleid=125

Offline Lydia

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Re: Crushed Red Pepper
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2007, 12:39:31 PM »
Most warnings regarding cold infused oil reference fresh garlic but the warnings also pertain to any low acidic fresh ingredients such as fresh herbs. I have seen conflicting information within various State University Extension and Co-op articles pertaining to the safe use of fresh vs dried garlic as well as tomatoes, having preference for the use of "properly" dried preparations.

Clip from an article explaing the dangers.

Quote
Cutting up your summer herbs and bottling them in oil can preserve the herbs and make wonderfully flavored oil besides. But it can also stir up trouble if the concoction is not kept refrigerated.

As with garlic-in-oil mixtures, which EN has warned about in the past, herbs in oil pose the risk of botulism, a rare but deadly food-borne disease. Clostridium botulinum, the organism that causes botulism, is widespread in the environment and can be present on any plant that's come in contact with soil. Normally, this is not a cause for concern, because C. botulinum can not survive for long when oxygen is present.

But when herbs or garlic harboring C. botulinum are placed in oil, butter or margarine, the bacteria enter their favorite milieu--an oxygen-free, lowacid environment. This allows botulinum spores to grow and produce their deadly toxin.

Following several cases of botulism in the late 1980's, the Food and Drug Administration instituted safety measures for store-bought chopped garlic in oil, margarine or butter. They are now required to be labeled with instructions to "keep refrigerated" and they must contain a preservative, such as phosphoric or citric acid.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0854/is_n8_v18/ai_n18606639


This following is an outline for safely processing cold infused oil with fresh garlic and herbs. Although the FDA technically discourages storing any home preparations.

Quote
There is a safe way to preserve herbs or vegetables in oil, but there are some crucial steps you need to follow to make sure the worst never happens: You must work with a freshly opened jar of commercial oil, and work very quickly to get your bottled gift into a refrigerator after you add any food products that were grown in or near the ground (where E. coli and botulism live). You have about two hours, Goodling says. After that, foods that are submerged in unrefrigerated oil reach a dangerous bacteria level. That two-hour time limit means two hours from the time you begin to prepare your flavored oil to the time you present the finished product. So even if you bottle your oil, you must also make sure to take into account the travel time between your refrigerator and the home of the recipient. And, of course, you must tell the recipient to keep his or her gift of oil refrigerated at all times not just after opening.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4196/is_19961208/ai_n10285423

By law, commercially prepared garlic in oil has been prepared using strict guidelines and must contain citric or phosphoric acid to increase the acidity. Unfortunately, there is no easy or reliable method to acidify garlic in the home. Acidifying garlic in vinegar is a lengthy and highly variable process; a whole clove of garlic covered with vinegar can take from 3 days to more than 1 week to sufficiently acidify. As an alternative, properly prepared dried garlic cloves may be safely added to flavor oils.

Drawback: Most oils will thicken or harden up, when cold.
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Offline Lydia

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Re: Crushed Red Pepper
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2007, 12:40:40 PM »
Cool Link november

thanks.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline MWTC

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Re: Crushed Red Pepper
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2007, 12:40:31 AM »
Excellent responses. That is what this forum is all about!   ;D

MWTC  :chef:

Offline MWTC

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Re: Crushed Red Pepper
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2007, 12:45:28 AM »
Red.November

"Crushed red pepper (or red pepper flakes) is simply dried flecks of red chili peppers, seeds and flesh.  From the items you listed, the only two that are interchangeable are crushed red pepper and cayenne since they are both the same species of plant, Capsicum annuum, and are singular spices rather than blends.  If you grind crushed red pepper, you will end up with cayenne pepper for the most part."

That is what I needed clarity on.

Thanks

MWTC  :chef: