Tag Archives: peppers

oven roasting red peppers

Continuing on the theme of using up garden produce while it’s ready, I wanted to try roasting some red peppers and jalapenos to use on sandwiches and for pizza toppings. I hadn’t tried it before, but it turned out to be relatively easy and extremely tasty. I was roasting these just before I started dinner and a few of them went straight onto our plates. It turns out they go very well with bangers and mash and green beans.

There seem to be many different ways to roast peppers – over an open flame, on the bbq, broiled in the oven or roasted in the oven. Since I’m lazy and a little absent-minded, I chose the roasting in the oven method. Me and open flames and broilers are a recipe for disaster. I’d get distracted by something shiny and before you know it the smoke alarm would be screaming. My husband says the smoke alarm should not be used as a kitchen timer.

Most people seem to roast their peppers whole, turning them during the roasting process, but I cut them in half and seeded them before putting them on the roasting pan. It’s got to be a lot easier to do it at this stage than it is when they are wet and slippery. You’ll see in the picture that I also tried roasting some jalapenos, thinking that it would mellow them somewhat (mine are blisteringly hot this year – possibly because of the drought in the early summer?). I was wrong. I took one teeny bite of the roasted red japapeno and did the snoopy dance around the kitchen, drank a gallon of milk and finally stuffed a frozen doughnut in my mouth, hoping for relief. It’s still burning. I officially declare our jalapenos Greg Kelly hot (Greg is a friend of ours that likes the hot sauce that they use on fencerows in Thailand to keep the elephants out – or so the story goes). I didn’t keep those ones. Our jalapenos are best suited for the hot sauce I made last week, and even then in small doses (though it is very good).

These will keep in the fridge for a week or two, but the chances of them lasting that long are slim. I’m going to keep making these and will store them (sliced into strips) in the freezer for future pizza nights.

Oven Roasted Red Peppers

  • red peppers
  • olive oil
  • foil wrap or a silpat
  • bowl and plastic wrap to cover (or you could just use a baggie)

Heat oven to 450F. Cut the peppers in half and seed them, then arrange on a cookie sheet lined with foil or a silpat (this will make peeling them up afterwards much easier). Lightly spray with a mister filled with olive oil – this step isn’t absolutely necessary, but I read that it makes peeling the skins off later much easier. Roast until skins blister and blacken – mine took about ½ hour.

Remove them from the oven and put them in a bowl covered in plastic wrap and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. They will steam and continue to cook for a bit. Peel the skins off with your fingers while the peppers are still slightly warm (it’s easier, and less gross than dealing with cold slimy peppers).

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, Growing Home, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Mind, Body and Sole, A Delightful Home, GNOWFGLINS, Foy Update

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easy fermented jalapeno hot sauce

We planted peppers in the same style that we plant tomatos. Go big or stay home. There are two rows of pepper plants in the garden, and about half of the plants are jalapenos. They are just now starting to turn red, so I will probably be making this sauce again with the red jalapenos, but since there is a 2 week lead time for the fermentation process, I will post what I have so far. Our peppers are a little hotter this year than last year, but I like the bite of this sauce. It hits hard up front, but doesn’t leave a huge burn and tastes quite good. Next time I might also throw in a couple of onion halves on top to help keep the peppers in the brine and add a little extra something to the flavour.

The process is really simple; it requires 2 weeks to ferment and then you can make it into a sauce. I followed the recipe found here, and the only change was the kind and colour of pepper that I used. I used what I had on hand. Next year I would like to try growing some cayennes too and will make the sauce again with the cayennes.

You’ll need a pint jar or two, depending on how much you’d like to make – I filled 2 jars and it gave me just over a whole pint jar of sauce once it was processed.

Fermented Jalapeno Hot Sauce

  • jalapenos peppers, enough to fill two pint jars
  • garlic, 4 or 5 cloves per jar
  • 2 1/2 tsp sea salt per jar
  • water

Wash pepper and cut off stem end. Stuff peppers and garlic in the jars as tightly as possible. Add 2 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per jar, fill up remaining space with water and screw on lids. Give it a shake and place it someplace cool and dark for 2 weeks. Once the two weeks are up, waz it up (my own technical term) in blender or food processor. It should keep well in the fridge for up to 1 year.

Leave the lid on for the two weeks – don’t take it off, you want the fermentation process to take place. You can keep an eye on it though – if a moldy looking scum seems to form on top, skim it off and carry on. I didn’t have any scum, but when I did open it after two weeks it fizzed like champagne, which is normal. Depending on your blending method, this will be a slightly pulpy sauce.

Linking to Frugally Sustainable, A Delightful Home, Simple Lives Thursdays, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Mind Body and Sole, Foy Update, A Delightful Home, Like a Mustard Seed, An Oregon Cottage

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3 day pickles (old fashioned crock pickles/refrigerator pickles)

We’ve had such a dry summer this year that our garden isn’t doing much of anything right now. We have cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and onions at the moment, but that is about it. Our potato plants have died off and we’re not sure if the other five rows that we planted will go anywhere without some rain soon. The peas are done and the late peas might not show up. Same with the beans and our carrots never even germinated.

So, I decided to take what I could get out of it now and get to work. I managed to pick enough pickling cucumbers, jalapeno peppers and even a red pepper to start some 3 day pickles. Our dill plant was struggling anyway; now it’s been put to a peaceful end.

I’ve been sorting through recipes for 3 day brine pickles and came upon this one at Frugally Sustainable. A few modifications were made (mainly because I didn’t have any pickling spice and I wanted to put some red pepper flakes in there), but it seems to be a winner. There is definitely a little heat to these pickles. I liked her suggestion to cut a small onion in half and jam it into the tops of the jars in order to keep the pickles submerged in the brine. It worked! And like old-fashioned crock pickles, these are based on fermentation, so can be kept in cold storage (refrigerator or root cellar) without canning for 6-12 months. I doubt these will make it past the end of the summer, but it’s nice to know that they could.

The small squeaky kid said something about me being pickled. I had to ask her not to go around telling people that mommy was pickled and explain to her what that meant.

3 Day Pickles (Refrigerator Pickles)

makes 4 quarts
  • 20 pickling cucumbers (mine were a little big, so I used less)
  • jalapeno peppers/sliced red or green peppers
  • head of garlic
  • fresh dill
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • celery seed, to taste
  • black peppercorns
  • 2 medium yellow onions, optional

Brine:

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (raw, organic)
  • 1/3 cup sea salt
  1.  Mix all of the ingredients of the brine together in a pitcher and stir until salt is dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Wash your cucumbers, slice into quarters lengthwise. Wash and prepare pepper by cutting into strips. Leave the jalapenos whole.
  3. In each quart-sized glass canning jar, place enough dill heads to cover the bottom of the jar (I packed in a lot of dill), 4-6 cloves of garlic (depending on taste), a pinch of pepper flakes and celery seed, a few peppercorns and sliced cucumbers, tightly packed. Pierce the skin of the jalapenos slightly and shove into any spaces between the cucumbers. Pack strips of red or green peppers into the remaining spaces.
  4. Pour the brine over the cucumbers and spices in each of the jars. Be sure that the cucumbers are covered with the liquid. Optional: Use 1/2 an onion to weight down and keep cucumbers submerged in the brine. 
  5. Cover the jars with either a small piece of cheesecloth or lightly screw on the lids (don’t tighten the lids – the fermentation process might make them blow their tops). Put them away in a dark spot (I put mine in a storage room in the basement) for 2-3 days. Once they taste like pickles, tighten the lids on the jars and transfer to cold storage (i.e. refrigerator or root cellar). These will keep for up to 6-12 months.

Note: the brine may appear a little cloudy, but it is fine – it’s just a normal part of the fermentation process. Also, occasionally people will encounter their garlic turning blue – this is due to copper or another chemical in the water that the garlic is reacting to – it’s still completely safe to eat, it just looks weird. My water doesn’t create this problem, but if you aren’t using a well or have hard water or city water, filtered water might be best.

Linking to Frugally Sustainable, Homestead Simple, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Eat, Make, Grow, This Chick Cooks

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