Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Peck of Pickled Peppers

Since I have so many peppers this year (I guess I was expecting the same results as the last three years...and may have gone a little overboard!) Matt and I have been racking our brains to come up with uses for all the different varieties. We've sauteed them, put them in stir fries, made stuffed bell peppers, and tossed them in our scrambled eggs in the mornings...and we still have more peppers than we know what to do with. Several sources suggested pickling, which I resisted, since I don't really care for pickled anything, but when Matt got involved there was no turning back. (He loves a pickled food, so when he insisted we pickle at least some of the peppers, I couldn't say no.) It was so quick and easy that we're thinking we may pickle the lot of them! Plus, I hear you can use pickled peppers for pretty much anything you would use fresh peppers for, so I guess we'll be trying that theory out this year.

We started with the hot bananas, the chinese five colors, and the pepperoncinis.

Chinese Five Color Peppers Ready to Pickle
Hot Banana Peppers

Pepperoncini Peppers

We used a simple recipe we found online, and added a garlic clove to a few of the jars. We either didn't stuff the jars properly, or we didn't understand the recipe, but we ended up making three times the amount of brine requested in the recipe and the jars are still a little low on juice. The Hot Bananas were sliced for ease of use, while the Pepperoncinis and the Chinese Five Colors were left whole (with an incision in their sides so the juice would seep in and do its job properly.) This might have also led to the packing problem, it was very difficult to fill the jars with whole peppers! Any hints or suggestions left in the comments will be greatly appreciated, as we are planning to do the jalapenos in the coming week!

Pickled Peppers in Half Pint Jars - From Left to Right, Chinese Five Colors, Banana Peppers, Pepperoncinis

2 lb hot peppers
2 tbsp canning/pickling salt
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

Combine water, vinegar, and salt to make the brine. Bring to a boil, then pour over peppers packed into jars, leave 1/2" headspace in the jars. Process in hot water bath 10 minutes. Let stand 2-3 weeks.

We found other recipes suggesting a 4-6 week time frame, so we are going to wait a full month before we open one of our jars. We also live in a high altitude area, so we did our water bath for a bit longer than ten minutes. We can't wait to see how they turn out!!

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