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Nigella often uses long red chillies in her recipes but I can't find them all year through. Could you suggest a way to keep them as long as possible? I wonder if they can be frozen? Thanks!
Posted by Sagia. Answered on 8th Mar 2013 at 12.00
In the UK many supermarkets stock long red chillies all year round but they do crop from Spring through to the Autumn and most commonly the chillies will be found in September and October in Europe and the US. Drying is one method of storing the chillies, though this can be quite fiddly in a domestic environment.
It is possible also to freeze the chillies but you will need to remember that when they thaw they will be very soft and only suitable for cooking, not for garnishing. Also we would not recommend freezing whole chillies as the thawed chillies will be difficult to cut up. If you prefer to use the chillies with seeds in then it is easiest to thinly slice the chillies and lay the slices on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Freeze the rings of chilli until firm then store them in resealable plastic bags and use direct from frozen. You can portion the chillies into individual portions or measure how many tablespoons of sliced chilli makes up one whole chilli when you first cut up the chillis.
The other method is to deseed and chop the chillies and freeze them in an ice cube tray. We would suggest using one chilli per cube. Cover the chillis with a little vegetable oil before freezing and use the chillies direct from frozen.
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