A friend recently gifted us with a bag of peppers from her garden. She had used all she could, and decided it was time to “share the wealth”. We snapped them up.
To be fair, there wasn’t quite a peck. A peck is actually 2 gallons, or 1/4 of a bushel. But it was a fair amount. The assortment included Primo Jalapeños, Poblanos, Peperocinis, Banana Peppers, Anaheims, and a couple that she thought were most likely hybrids of her plants. With the exception of the Primo Jalapeños, they are all mild. We will be putting them to good use, in all kinds of recipes.
But with this many, I don’t think we can eat them all before they start going bad. It’s preserving time!
And yes, “pickling” is something you can actually do with peppers.
- Pickling peppers – preserving them in brine and canning them.
- Flash freezing – Cut them into strips or pieces, put them on waxed paper or parchment paper on a baking sheet, and place them in the freezer. When they are frozen solid, bag them up. This keeps them from freezing into a solid lump, so you can take out as many as you need at any time. We do this with bell peppers, because we frequently need just a few pieces for color and flavor. We don’t have to thaw the entire bag to use them.
- Drying. You can either air dry them or dry them with an oven or dehydrator. We have air dried cayenne peppers in the past with great results. We simply took a needle and thread, passed it through the stems, and hung the string up. After they were all dried we put them in a jar, and whenever we need one we have it.
- Salsa.- mixing them with tomatoes, ions, and other seasonings.
- Roasting.Searing the skin to change the flavor. This won’t actually preserve it, but is a useful step for other preparations.
- Dried jalapeño “chips” – Cut the japapeños into rings, dry them, and use them for delicious bursts of flavor.
If you have a pepper and you’re not sure which kind it is (a frequent problem for us!), CayenneDianne has an amazing visual list that can help you identify them.
This article originally appeared at Examiner.com