Monday, September 28, 2009

Harvest Time: Pickling Hot Peppers

K and I decided it was time this week, to harvest the hot chiles we've been growing all summer on our terrace garden-Brooklyn style. This year we planted jalapeño, habanero, tabasco and sport peppers, and I must say, they thrived pretty nicely, especially for an urban box garden. The Jalapeños are very hot, and have a much fresher pepper flavor and aroma then those readily available in the produce section. They just snap when you slice into them. The diminutive tabasco chiles on the other hand, are just silly hot; about the same heat as a thai chile. We haven't tasted the other two varieties yet, but we're just gonna assume they're stupid hot. I heard the sport peppers make a great condiment for hot dogs.

We both LOVE pickles and hot sauce(who doesn't?), so canning was something we've both been wanting to try for awhile. 

After sniffing around the internet on the subject and getting some ideas on what was involved, we headed over to The Brooklyn Kitchen to procure the necessary accoutrements, including a copy of the classic manual on the subject, Putting Food By, by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg, & Beatrice Vaughan. Which, in addition to describing in depth every modern method of canning, preserving and drying, also (repeatedly) hammers home the dangers over not canning correctly-botulism, food poisoning, death etc. Shouldn't be a worry, however, if you follow the proper steps. Another great simple-to-follow reference is Christy Jordan's tutorial from Southern 

The tools, and the last jar of sport peppers waiting for hot brine,spices & a little olive oil on top.

For our chiles, we settled on a hot water bath process, and used a very simple 1:1 white vinegar:water ratio + a little salt and spices for the pickling brine.

Peppers Harvested and ready to go

The whole process went very smoothly and took us a little over an hour from start to finish, from harvesting the chiles, to processing the sealed jars. We ended up with 6 jars of some very spicy peppers. Now we just have to let them cool, and check on them tomorrow to make sure the seals on the lids are ok. After that they'll need to rest for about 2wks-1 month before they're ready to use. We'll see how they turn out.

Jars processing

Cooling down and sealing.

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing to your sympathetic wife that's prepared to keep up your falter morale every time in your life! You do have such an interesting blog. Thank you!

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