The fall garden was planted in September this year, all my radishes were of the 30 day ripening variety. Well…. It is now December and It’s finally time to pick a few. One thing that’s apparent is that the quickest ripening times are a necessity. Partially due to lack of sun on some of the beds, partially due to crazy unpredictable weather… things just take longer here than it seems like they should.
The fennel and the dill have started to produce, and since the hot peppers are still going strong it seemed like spicy dill and spicy fennel radishes were in order today.
One bunch of radishes per pint
Dill or Fennel
1 cup vinegar
1 tsp of black pepper
1/2 hot pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients and shake once a day for 2 days.
Let sit for 3 days before use. Is good for up to 6 months in the fridge.
The vinegar turns a beautiful pink color. It’s such pretty Christmas colors. Very fitting for the season.
We’re going to have to have some Tilapia tacos soon to use the pickled radishes on. YUM!
I didn’t grow any sweet peppers this year. I tried in Washington but they never were that impressive only getting to a small size. This recipe maybe the thing to make me want to give them a shot again.
I have a few pounds of hot peppers frozen right now. This traditional southern recipe seemed like a fun way to use a small amount of them up. After making the recipe I think I would double the amount of hot peppers next time. It’s got a very slight hint of spice on the backend but I like it to be a little more spicy than that.
This pinterest recipe (or maybe it was found via YouTube) by A Fork’s tale is a good one. I’ll probably experiment with a few that will use up more of the hot peppers that I have next since I grew absolutely 0 sweet peppers this year. The YouTube video is great it includes the measurements. The website blog portion does not. Here is the youtube link.
1 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped (I used 2)
1 cup yellow bell pepper
1 1/4 cup green bell pepper
1/4 cup Jalapeno with seeds (I’ll do 1/2 cup next time)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
6 Tbsp powdered pectin
5 cups sugar
So full disclosure, I have never made any jelly before ever.
But It worked out just fine which was awesome!
It made about 42 ounces for me. Each gold lid jar is 4 ounces and the one in the front is 8 there was that and a little bit left over probably 2 -3 ounces which we just ate.
We spooned some over cream cheese and ate it with crackers. It was great! I’m excited to find other ways to use it!
I spent two whole hours the evening before last picking not even a pint of peppers. The Chile pequin peppers are finicky little things. And since the hurricane Harvey blew through the area we have mosquitoes the size of hawks. So I picked peppers until it got dark, and got bit by mosquitos to prove it.
This is the result of snipping the peppers off with scissors:
The recipe said to try to keep the stems on since these little guys are so hot you really only need one or two and the stem functions as a handle to pick them up with.
The process exactly the same as my post for hot vinegar posted here here. The difference this time is instead of draining the peppers for the vinegar, the vinegar is preserving the peppers that will stay in there. The original recipe for pickling these guys has it optional to use onions and carrots finely diced, but I think they are beautiful on their own and really only wanted to be able to use the peppers in recipes. I decided to use small bottles since the peppers are so small and that way they can be divided up and used as gifts for my family in Washington.
This is the end result:
It’s so pretty with the greens and reds. But the color will fade to an olive-green as they soak in vinegar. The jars are small because you don’t need too many. I have a friend that uses them to spice up Chile. For an entire large pot he will only use 6 and no more. So small package but packs a big punch.
I’m looking forward to giving them a shot and making more next year. Maybe next time without the mosquitos.
Springtime my pepper plants were all getting established, got a few but nothing spectacular. I think part of the reason was they were in my new raised bed where the PH and nutrients were all messed up. Summer was hot, they produced a little but mostly just limped along. Now that things have started to cool down a little bit all the flowers are setting and they are really ramping up production.
Our favorite hot pepper we have found so far is the garden salsa pepper (pictured above). These guys are great for making salsa, poppers and basically anywhere you’d use a jalapeno. They are tough little plants and have made it all the way through the winter without protection during our mild winter years. Then below, the birds have bestowed upon me the gift of seed spreading a chile Pequin pepper plant. Which I was determined to actually find a use for this year. The plant is HUGE. It’s getting about a 1/2 day of full sun morning through mid day, then full shade from our house and fence. I don’t water it. It’s 5 feet tall and covered in little peppers that the birds love to eat. There are plenty for them and me so I don’t mind.
Now what to do with all the peppers. This is supposed to be a cold winter and I doubt the garden salsa pepper plants will actually make it all the way through the winter. The chile pequin will probably die down to the ground and come back in the spring once temperatures warm up a bit. My strategy for collecting peppers has been to go out every two weeks or so and pick all of the full sized peppers leaving a few just smaller than full size on the plant and all the immature ones there still so we will have plenty for cooking if we want them fresh.
I’ve been throwing a few hot peppers in the freezer to accumulate enough to make a hot pepper jelly later on. All the recipe’s I’ve found appear to be just fine with using frozen ones. I have never made jelly before so that is going to become an interesting experiment.
Another easy way to preserve them is probably dehydrating. I have an entire jar of dehydrated peppers that is more than enough to throw into soups and stews over the winter time or to make more Fire cider with if I run out. Dried jalapenos are also perfect for making jalapeno salt. Just grind them up with salt in the food processor or coffee grinder. We have one grinder only dedicated to spices so we don’t get an unexpected surprise in our coffee.
Hot pepper Vinegar
So this is a recipe I stumbled across on pinterest that couldn’t be easier. It’s a southern traditional way to use chile pequins. I have to admit that I was skeptical that we would use it or like it. And honestly I was afraid of trying the chili pequin peppers themselves. They have a crazy high heat level 30,000-60,000 SHU on the scoville heat unit scale. Where a Jalapeno is ranked between 3,500 and 10,000 to give some perspective. These little suckers pack a punch. But I lOVE them. This is the perfect recipe to tone down their heat a little (still have not had the guts to try one raw). This recipe can be used for any type of hot pepper. The recipe I found said to pack the jar full but 1) I didn’t want to spend 3 hours picking enough of these tiny peppers to fill the jar 2) was a little weary of the heat level since I hadn’t tried it before and figured 1/4 – 1/3rd ish of the jar was probably going to be enough for these little guys. Recipe:
Glass jar with a non-corrosive lid (ideally it would be one better for pouring smaller amounts than what I had available)
Hot peppers – most recipes pack the jar full
1 tsp of salt
The recipe couldn’t be simpler. Wash the peppers, stuff them in your glass jar. Pour in 1-2 tsp of salt into the jar. Boil vinegar, put the boiling vinegar solution in the jar and seal with lid. Let the vinegar sit for a few weeks. some people keep the peppers in the vinegar as it is used. Because I was afraid of how hot this batch was going to be I decided to strain out the peppers after a few weeks once I started noticing the vinegar taking on a greenish hue but this step is not necessary. Store in the pantry. No need to refrigerate. I saved the strained peppers and have been using them on tacos. they are so good I’m going to pickle some in small jars later just for the peppers. The vinegar is great to spice up any type of beans. It is reminiscent of tabasco. We’ve been enjoying it.
Those Mexican spicy carrots are a favorite in our house, but since we had more peppers than carrots available this small batch recipe was a great find and a great way to store some spice for cold winter days. This is the recipe I found which was great for a quick small batch. Store in the fridge. Small batch pickled jalapenos .
Then of course there is salsa. We tend to make fresh salsa batches from tomatoes and don’t generally can it. But that is another option.
How do you preserve hot peppers for later? I love seeing new ideas.