Pepper time

Now that summer is in full swing the garden is too. We always dedicate at least 2 of our raised beds to pepper varieties. Hot, mild, sweet - we love cooking and using them all. In addition to using them fresh we make a few different pepper sauces, both hot and sweet, and pickled peppers.

Our favorite for pickling are the sweet varieties, banana peppers and corno di toro peppers. We do usually add a hot pepper or two to each batch just to amp the flavor a bit.

For the not stuff we blend habanero, jalepeno and vietnamese tear-jerkers plus a few sweet peppers for the reverse balance mentioned above. All of these also get a bit of garlic, salt and sugar.

We also do a couple varieties of these sweet or hot varieties as well - adding regular yeast to the mix and a bit more sugar. It ferments on the counter top in crocks we have for making this, kimchee, kraut and other fermented foods. They ferment for a month or two then be bottle them in jars to use year round. The fermentation really brings out a lot of unique flavors, smokey and firey, plus helps them last even longer. It reminds me of a lot of the fermented Asian sauces we get table top at the Korean, Pho and other restaurants nearby.

We also do a few hot vinegar sauces. We love those with cayenne and vietnamese tear-jerkers. We dry the peppers and leave them aging (dried) for at least 4 weeks. They are then added to a jar filled with vinegar, a pinch of salt and two of sugar plus a clove or two of garlic. We let this stand for at least 2 - 3 months then strain out the solids. Below is a jar of our fermented hot paste / sauce from last year and the last little bit of vietnamese tear-jerker vinegar. Glad we are getting all of this replaced now - it's great for spicing everything up in the kitchen!

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