Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers

Ok, so I didn't "pick" a peck of pickled peppers, I made pickled peppers. What I don't get about that that goofy old nursery rhyme is that he picked any pickled peppers at all, correct me if I'm wrong here, but have you ever seen "pickled" anything growing on plants? Oh, and I guess I didn't even come near making a peck as that's about 2 gallons. I made a jam-jar worth. 'Nuff said. Moving on.

My husband bought these pepper plants* a while back, and it turns out those mofos are way too hot for human consumption. We've made some dishes with them, but we use just a piece of one pepper, and it's plenty hot. I decided to pickle those bad-boys and see what happens. Here's how I did it...

  • Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Dill
  • Salt
  • Vinegar

  • Mason Jar, lid, etc.
  • Saucepan
  • Big pot for water-bath

I've made pickles before, and they came out okay, so I pretty much did the same thing, only with the usual adjustments that probably make it worse. First I cut the peppers into slices - be sure to wear gloves** when doing this. Put the sliced peppers in your mason jar.

I then skinned 4 cloves of garlic and added them to the mason jar. You might think that's an excess of garlic, and it probably is, but that's just how I roll.

Word on the street is that you're supposed to use dill seed or dill weed, but I had neither. I just sprinkled a bunch of dried dill into the jar.

I remember from making pickles that you need to use equal parts of pickling salt and vinegar for the brine. I don't have pickling salt, so I used sea salt.*** Since I just did 1 jam-jar worth of peppers, I used a half cup of vinegar. As I started measuring out the salt, I thought to myself, "I say goddamn, that's a lot of salt!" So I probably only did a 1/4 cup. Mix them in your saucepan and heat up until the salt is dissolved. Be careful not to breathe that shit in, it's mighty painful and stinky if you do.

Finally, pour your brine into your jar and leave about a 1/4 or 1/2 inch of space. Put your lid on, and do your water-bath thang for about 10 minutes. Make sure your jar seals, or you could get botulism up in your shiz, and nobody wants that.

I really hope this comes out good, or at least edible! If anyone out there has done this before and can help me along in my process, that would be great! Oh, and do you know how long it has to sit before it's thoroughly pickled? Eh, whatever, I'll just Google it.

* Not sure what kind they are - take a look at the pictures to see if you can figure it out.

** One time I was cutting pasilla peppers for fajitas, and I touched my eye a while after, and I damn near went blind. Those weren't even that hot, so who knows what the hell would happen with these bad-boys!

*** Sea salt might have been a bad choice as it didn't dissolve quite right, and I have all these salt crystals floating in my jar now.

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