Thursday, September 23, 2010

PRESERVING FOOD FOR WINTER- Pickled sweet banana & jalapeno peppers

My husband and I have a small garden. We plant aromatics such as rosemary, lavender, mint, thyme, oregano, parsley, and basil; veggies such as peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, and eggplants. This year we also planted Japanese sweet potatoes. They were simply delicious.
Cucumbers were hyper productive this year, so I pickled quite a large quantity. They will be a real treat in the winter.
It's already September and our sweet banana and jalapeno peppers are still producing actively, so today I'm making some pickled banana and jalapeno peppers.

Basic recipe:
1 cup white distilled vinegar
3 cups water
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Spices I usually add to my pickling jar:
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 large garlic cloves, cut in half

Put all ingredients together in a pot, bring to boil, and let it boil for a few minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let cool completely.

I picked quite a nice quantity of banana and jalapeno peppers from our garden yesterday evening. I washed them and cut them to circles. There were 10 cups of cut peepers in my colander. I sprinkled them with 2 tbsp of salt, toss them a bit so that all the peppers were covered with salt, and let them stand covered over night so them all the water drains from peppers. Remember to always wear gloves when you handle hot peppers, as jalapeno peppers are, to avoid painful burnings of skin and eyes.

To be one step ahead tomorrow morning, I also prepared my pickling liquid so it will have plenty of time to cool down over night. And, of course, I washed and sterilized my jars and lids.

This morning I rinsed my peppers well and let them drain for about 10 minutes. I filled two 4.6 FL.OZ
(1.36 L) jars up to three quarters with my peppers.

On the top I lay five whole peppers, so my cut peppers won't be floating to the top. I sprinkled my spices and threw garlic cloves on top of the peppers, and filled the jars with pickling liquid to the top. The jars have to be closed really tightly to prevent the air from coming inside the jar. Your efforts will be wasted as the contents of the jar will get spoiled!

Now all my family has to do is wait at least 3 weeks and the sour deliciousness will be ready to indulge as a condiment to a sandwich or soup or just as a quick snack.

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