22 September 2012

Pickled jalepenos

My friend Jennifer gave me a whack of jalepeno peppers and since there was no chance of eating them all anytime soon, I decided to give the pickling a go.

I used a very basic pickling recipe and from a pound got two small and three medium-sized jars. More than enough to get anyone throught the winter.

Here's the recipe:
  • 1 pound jalepenos
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 tbsp pickling salt.
Slice the jalepenos into rounds and pack them into hot, cleaned jars.  Put the other ingredients together in a pot on the stove and simmer for about five minutes. Pour the hot brine over the peppers, clean the rims, and seal the jars.

Process in a canner or huge pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.

You're done.

03 September 2012

I am smokin' hot

I planted my first real vegetable garden this year. Started slow with just a few things but one of the most vibrant producers has been the cayenne pepper plants. And what is there to do with dozens of bright red peppers other than brew up some hot sauce? So I did.

The recipe is quite simple:

1 dozen cayenne peppers
2 heads of garlic
3/4 cup of vinegar
salt (which I just realized I forgot)

I had a lot of cayenne peppers and some little loco peppers that I also grew, so threw a few of those in the mix, and made 4x the recipe.

First cut off the stem, slit, and remove the seeds of each pepper. Please do this with gloves. And don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth while you're doing the deed. The burn is fierce.

The traditional Tobasco Sauce has "aged" peppers but who's got time for that. So I figured I'd deepen the flavour by roasting the peppers a bit. I used my favourite Mexican style of dry roasting on the comal, but you can do it by broiling them in the oven until the skin turns a bit black. Some people suggest taking the skins off after the roasting but seriously, that's a bunch of fiddling around that takes up time I'll never get back. So I just tossed them, the garlic (which I also roasted but there's no need to), and the vinegar into the blender and wazzed it all up.

Once it's all lovely and liquidized, simmer the mix on the stove for about 20 minutes. At this point, the whole kitchen, if not house, will start smelling like hot sauce. There may be some burning eyes. It's all for a good cause.

Once the simmering of the flavours is done, run the whole thing through a sieve to clear out the pulp, seeds, and skin.

This, I would say is the time to add the salt, if you're not too busy forgetting to do it like I was.

You need to prepare some jars to put this lovely concotion in. I didn't have any traditional style bottles so I used small jam jars (125 ml each). They need to be washed out with boiling water and new lids prepared in boiling water. Once that's all ready, pour the sauce in, seal and you're ready to go with some smokin' hot sauce!


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