|Pickled Peppers #2|
I tend to pickle my peppers and have 2-5 of them per meal, depending on heat levels. Since it looks like I've got a lot of pickeling ahead of me, can anyone find any serious flaws in my pickling method? I may be going a little overboard on the (thermal) heat, but I am not sure.
First, I check all the chiles to make sure that none of them have any holes or blemishes. Nothing disgusts like finding half a worm on your plate after gnawing down a few chiles. I snip the ends of the chiles jalapeno or larger lengthwise to allow air out and pickling juices in. I usually do that in an X-shape, particularly for larger chiles.
I toss the lot into boiling water for 4-5 minutes to blanche them, leaving them in the hot water, but shutting off the gas after the time elapses. I carefully transfer them one at a time into a sterilized jar with a rubber seal and wire clamp. I make sure to drain any water out of each chile as I put them in and drain the water out of the jar once the jar is filled with chiles.
As the jars are usually about 2 liter/quarts, I use a little more than 1 liter/quart of 5% acidity, white distilled vinegar. I boil this with 1/2-3/4 cups of salt along with whole peppercorns, mustard seeds, or whatever seems to make me feel right at the time.
I take the boiling liquid and pour it over the chiles in the jar. I have to repeat this several times as I have to close the jar and move it around to allow air trapped in the chiles to bubble out. (For some reason, I always seem to end up with air in the top of the jar later anyway.)
After I have removed as much air as I can, I seal the jars and put them in a tub of water. I boil the sealed jars in water for 15 minutes to kill anything nasty that might have gotten in the chiles.
In the end, the chiles turn out milder than if they were just eaten off the plant, but I figure there is little likelihood of being poisoned by anything.
From: David C. Yoshiba
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