I bought these amazing looking peppers at the farmer's market this morning. The farmer tells me they're hot, ranging from mildly to quite. What should I use them for? Add some kick to squash soup? Cauliflower mash? And could I preserve them for a few weeks, in a jar with evoo and salt?
(The farmer told me his wife trims the peppers and freezes them....)

  • Posted by: sarah56
  • October 2, 2010
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anyone October 12, 2010
Boociebear-F.Y.I. your method is called IQF-Individually quick freeze. Just in case you didn't know.
boociebear October 12, 2010
To keep peppers without pickling them I do the following:
Remove the cores, seeds and inner membranes.
Cut into strips 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide.
Drop the strips into boiling water for one minute.
Cool completely in ice water, drain and dry on paper towels.
Spread the strips evenly on a waxed paper covered cookie sheet and place the sheet
into the coldest part of your freezer.
When they are completely frozen you can transfer them to a freezer bag.
They won't be stuck together, so any time you need some its easy to grab as many as you need . They'll be easy to chop even when they're completely frozen.
Jon P. October 4, 2010
You could chop them up and stew them slowly over low heat, maybe adding a little vinegar or lemon juice for the acid, and then blend them and freeze them in plastic bags. The end product is a "pepper base" that's pretty versatile. Cutting a little chunk off the frozen block to add to a soup or a sauce gives just enough heat to heighten flavors.
Christina W. October 3, 2010
Here's the formula for pickling peppers with a little oil in a regular water canner. The trick is the ratio. I just did a batch of roasted red peppers yesterday morning. This recipe follows all accepted canning guidelines; the brine ratios are from Colorado State. (Most canning guidelines are tested and produced by state university agriculture departments.)

Clean the peppers and make sure you remove any damaged spots. (I'd remove the veins and seeds too. Some people keep them..too hot for us!)

Get your canner ready and on the heat. Must be at full rolling boil to process.

Roast the peppers in the oven.

Prepare a brine. You must NOT NOT NOT adjust the measurements here. Very critical. Here's the recipe for the brine:
5 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon canning salt
3/4 cup Olive Oil.

Heat until rolling boil, take off heat and use ASAP.

Prep your jars, then make the brine.
Clean, sanitize and prep jars & lids.

I would stuff a whole clove of garlic in each jar. For a more robust flavor you can add CLEANED fresh oregano, or cilantro, depending on which regional flavors inspire you.

Stuff the peppers into the jars. Stuff them tight, but leave the requisite head space. (Use the lip below the rim of the jar as a guide.) Add the brine. Use a butter knife to gently poke down the sides and remove the air bubbles. A small tap or two helps too.

CLEAN the rim of the jar with a paper towel. MUST be free of any residue. Place the lid and band on. Then into the canner for processing. Half pints go for 15; quarts for 20 minutes. If you're above 6000ft in elevation; add 5 minutes to the processing time.

Works great! And you can then use the peppers for anything! Eat them right out of the jar, or chop them up and use them in your recipes.
vvvanessa October 3, 2010
i'll echo the recommendations to pickle the peppers. i just bought a mix of new mexico, fresno, serrano, jalapeño, poblano, cayenne, and hungarian hots. i remove most of the seeds and ribs, chop the peppers quite small, and then pickle them with salt, sugar, water, and white wine vinegar.

i add them to scrambled eggs, fried rice, roasted veggies, pizza. i love the brine, which is a great booster for tomato juice.
betteirene October 3, 2010
Every agricultural extension service and every maker of canning jars and equipment issues this caution: Peppers in oil can be safely stored for up to two days only, even if they've been roasted. Long term storage of peppers in oil increases the risk of bacteria growth and foodborne illness. For long term storage of roasted peppers, freeze in freezer bags. Add oil and the remaining ingredients upon thawing.

Peppers are a low-acid food. They can be safely canned (jarred) in a pressure canner. If you don't want to go through all that trouble and expense for long-term storage, either freeze them the way the farmer's wife does; let them dry for a couple of weeks, crush them (seeds and all, but not the stems) and store in an airtight container; or pickle them with vinegar, salt and spices. If roasted peppers in oil could be safely stored by refrigeration only, we'd see them in the produce section in those little plastic tubs like salsa instead of in vacuum-sealed jars in the condiment aisle.

If you're going to mess with seeding them and removing the ribs, wear gloves. And even though your hands are protected, as soon as you take the gloves off, wash your hands in very warm water and a de-greasing dish detergent (like Dawn) before you rub your eyes or (for any men reading this) before you go to the bathroom.

Eat safe.

sarah56 October 2, 2010
Thanks everyone! I had another suggestion from a friend on Facebook and will reprint it here, so you can tell me what you think:
"If you slow roast them (split & remove seeds) with a little olive oil until they are the consistency of sundried tomatoes, then just store them in olive oil in the fridge, they'll last indefinitely. No need to salt. The oil becomes wonderfully spicy and is good to drizzle on stuff. We like spicy food and add fresh peppers like these just diced to lots of stuff -- not long-cooking, because the flavor of the peppers dissipates with long cooking, and you just get the 'hot' (maybe). If I'm seeing the peppers right, the smaller peppers are hotter than the larger ones. And I'm sure you know that the seeds & ribs are the hottest part and don't add to the flavor, so if you don't like spicy, start by removing them. ENJOY!"
tjioe_chi October 2, 2010
I like it hot, so I always end up chopping up peppers to put i just about anything. Love it in Asian stir frys, or any kind of chili/curry. It's getting cold here so heavy stuff like chili is appropriate.
anyone October 2, 2010
I would go with the types of cuisins from thier cultural background or origin. But I love the pickeling Idea. I grew up with a wonderful latino family as family friends and with breakfast, lunch and dinner they had a jar of home made home grown pickled peppers that also had onion, cauliflour, carrots as well as peppers. It was Very good with latin food.
Michael H. October 2, 2010
@pierino "Extra Virgin Olive Oil"
pierino October 2, 2010
What's evoo?
Michael H. October 2, 2010
How you use them is up to you (you seem to have some good ideas already!), but if you want to preserve them, may I suggest that you also consider pickling them? Pickled chilies are especially good with rich and fatty meats.
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