This is it. This is the end of our chili pepper season here in zone 5 where the frost has already hit us. I still had a number of fresh chili pepper pods in the refrigerator and needed a good way to preserve them for use. We already froze a TON of them, dehydrated a crazy amount of peppers for making spice blends, made sauces galore. You name it, we've probably done it this year. And! That includes making chili paste. Chili paste is a flavorful alternative to incorporating dried spices into your meals. You can reach into the fridge and swirl your chili paste into your dish rather than season with dried ingredients. You'll get a fresher flavor blast this way. Use it as a rub for meats or seafood, or for soups or stews.
I made this one with habanero peppers, though you can easily make it with other chili peppers. I've inclulded garlic and fresh herbs, though again, you can incorporate other ingredients as well. Use a food processor to combine everything, or, if you're like me, use a molcajete and grind everything together untitl your paste forms. There is something inherently satisfying about processing your paste by hand with a molcajete. Fun!
Add or subtract the amount of oil to your personal preferences. I like more moisture to mine and I enjoy a chunky blend, which you can see in the photo. Your paste will last about a week in the fridge or much longer if you freeze it. Enjoy!
Habanero Chili Paste
- ¼ cup Olive oil
- ½ cup fresh Basil (parsley is good too)
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 20 habanero peppers, stems removed
- Water as needed
- Combine all ingredients in processor and blend until very finely processed. Or, use a molcajete and grind everything up into a paste.
- Add in more oil or a bit of water if you'd like a more consistent paste.
- Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate.
Should last about a week or so. Or, you can freeze it and thaw as needed for use.