You’re still with me the peppers!
If you read the past few days you know I came into 15 pounds of assorted hot peppers. I found something for them all to do. The final-preserving round was a colorful tray of long, thin hot peppers drying on a tray. All was fine in the world of pepper processing.
But then… a few days later the beginning-to-dry peppers were calling to me to do something more with them. A ferment. A pickle. Something sassy.
Re-enter Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Pickling (again!):
(Not Green) Chile Pickle
yield: about 1 pint
Disclaimer: This is the recipe I followed, but the result is a very loose interpretation. I call it Sassy Lemon, a Fiery Red Pickle.
- ½ pound small hot green peppers, sliced thin (I used a random combination of mostly red and orange thin peppers)
- 2 TBSP pickling salt
- 1 pint water
- ¼ cup whole black mustard seeds, ground (I couldn’t find mine at finishing time so skipped it. I don’t like mustard anyhow so don’t feel I’m missing out)
- one 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced (I used 1 ½- inch piece)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 3 TBSP lime juice
- 2 TBSP mustard oil or other vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
- I finely chopped a preserved lemon on a whim at the end and added it
- Put the peppers and 1 TBSP salt in a bowl and mix. Pack peppers into a quart jar.
- Dissolve remaining salt in the water. Push a quart size freezer bag into the top of the jar and add enough brine to weight the peppers and seal out air. Seal bag. Let stand at room temperature.
- Start tasting the peppers after 3 weeks. When they are as sour as you would like, transfer them to a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.
- Repack mixture into a pint jar and store in the fridge.
The recipe did not go as planned because I had already started drying peppers a few days earlier and they were already getting wrinkled and a bit dry. Therefore lacking a lot of moisture needed. There was also a somewhat questionable looking area in the mix that I wasn’t sure if was a product of fermentation or spoilage. Kate was in town and suggested adding more salt. Great suggestion! More salt in! It did release some more fluids, but after a few days I decided to remove the bag again and add a bit more water and replace the bag. The spot I was concerned about disappeared so I decided it was likely just a fermentation thing.
I also didn’t taste as I went along because, seriously, the peppers I used were insanely hot. I just trusted the 3 weeks mentioned and went with that. I decided to run the mixture (including the random preserved lemon) through a round in the food processor before placing it in the jar.
Verdict: Oh yum. Oh me, oh my. I can’t wait to use this. It is packed with flavor and I really think the lemon added another layer of interest to round out the intense heat.