Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hot (Pepper) Mess

Porch peppers beckon, even when you're not feeling well. When they're ripe, they're ripe and you gotta use them or they'll rot. So this weekend was time to make hot pepper relish. Only the red hot peppers were ready; in a week or so, the scotch bonnets will be ready. Those are a whole nother level of hot. I didn't use gloves this time and my hands are burning right now. I can't neglect to use them for the scotch bonnets.

I scavenged all of the old jars that people returned to me after our wedding (jars of hot pepper relish were the wedding favors), washed them in steaming hot water and got started. I rarely write down my relish recipes, but this time I did.

Hot Pepper Relish

One dozen hot red peppers
2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 large white onion
6 tomatillos
1 tbsp kosher or canning salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup cider vinegar
large saucepan
hot boiling water

Carefully handle the red peppers to cut off the stems and de-seed them.

Chop the vegetables in manageable pieces and in thirds, distribute the veggies & peppers into the food processor. Process until finely chopped. Place in a large saucepot. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp kosher/canning salt and then pour boiling water on top. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes is up, drain the water from the peppers and place back on the stove. Pour in cider vinegar and sugar, and bring to a boil again. Turn the heat off after the boil begins, then spoon the finished relish into jars and quickly secure the lids.

They should indicate that they're sealed if they pop within an hour or so. If they don't pop, you'll have to refrigerate them. They'll be ready to use in 2-3 weeks.

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