Thursday, July 26, 2012

Peter Piper Had a Peck of...

Pin It

pickled peppers.

Pickled peppers are one of my husband's favorite things.
He eats them on sandwiches, salads,
and more often than not, straight out of the jar.
I started making them last year,
starting with about 4 jars and thinking that would last awhile.
They lasted not even 2 weeks.

So I kept making more
and more
and more.
And still don't know if I could ever make enough.

As with most of our veg,
we don't have enough space in our garden to grow everthing that we like to put up for the off seasons.
But I think we've figured out a good system where we grow our own hot peppers,
and just buy the bells in bulk from our regular guy at the farmers market.

And this time, I was lucky enough to get a whole trash bag full of bells from a family friend! Score!
I use a variety of sweet and hot peppers, but you can use this recipe with all bells or all hots.
I think it would be good to use with just jalepenos if you're a fan of spicy.
They have the heat, but not so much that they're inedible if you eat them straight.
You can also easily control the heat level by keeping or leaving the seeds and ribs
(see my note at the very bottom for tips when working with hot peppers).

So without further ado, here's my recipe:

My varieties:
Bells (red, orange, yellow, green)
Sweet Banana
Hot Banana

Step One: Roasting
Wash your peppers and cut them in pieces.
I roast my bells and the larger banana peppers to take some of the skins off and to give them better flavor.

For the little ones, I just split down the middle and remove some of the ribs and seeds to control the heat. Set them aside in a large bowl.
Now back to the roasting, I cut mine into pieces and take out the ribs and seeds, trying to cut them about to "snacking size" (or the size I would want them to fit on a sandwich).

Place them skin side up on a baking sheet.

Put the baking sheet under the broiler until they begin to char.
This usually takes me many batched and turns of the pepper pieces for as even a char as I can get.

Once they're charred, place them in a large bowl and cover with a lid.
This will let them steam while they cool down and help the skins to come off later.

After all of your peppers are done and cooled enough to handle, start taking the skins off (it should just slide right off).
Then place them with the small peppers and mix together.

Then, place them in your sterilized mason jars.
I use wide-mouthed quart jars.

See all that juice left at the bottom? Don't pitch it!
I just add all of that to my brine (keep reading for more on my brine)

Step Two: Brine
To make your brine, place the following ingredients in a nonreactive pan and bring to a boil.
5 Cups Water
5 Cups White Vinegar
4 bay leaves
3 Tbsp Ground Coriander
4 Tbsp whole peppercorns
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Coarse Salt
5-7 Whole Garlic Cloves, peeled

Allow to boil for a bit, until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Step Three: Canning
Using a funnel, pour brine over peppers into mason jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
Meanwhile, place your mason jar lids in boiling water for about 10 minutes.

Using a sterilized knife, run the knife along the outside of the mason jars, allowing some of the air bubbles to work themselves out.
Wipe off the rims of the jars with a clean cloth and place the lids on top, not touching the inner side.
Loosely screw on the rings.
Process in a waterbath for about 20 minutes (for quart containers).
Tighten rings and allow to cool.

You should hear the lids pop if they're airtight.
If they don't pop, or if they come unpopped after time, throw them out.

The longer these sit, the better,
but I recommend letting them marinate for at least a few weeks for the best flavor.

Tips for Working with Hot Peppers:
  • Know your peppers. The better you know the variety you're using, the more prepared you'll be for their heat.
  • Wear gloves. This seemed a little extreme to me at first... until I went a week afterward feeling like my hands were ON. FIRE.
  • Take out the ribs and seeds to control the heat. The more you leave, the hotter they'll be.
  • Use a separate cutting board and tools, and try to use a nonporous cutting surface. Nothing worse than making baby food or cookies and tasting the remnants of hot peppers! (I've done it. And it was bad.)
  • Clean up afterwards really well. The oils from the peppers can linger, so wash up thoroughly!
  • DO NOT touch your face (or anything really) until you've done the above.

1 comment:

Please leave your feedback! I would love to hear what you have to say.

If you are entering a comment for a giveaway, please be sure to post a comment for EACH entry where more than one entry qualify. Thanks!