Habanero, Serrano and Scotch Bonnet peppers
Yesterday, my wife brought home a plastic bag full of peppers. I have quite a few serranos, some habaneros and a couple of scotch bonnet peppers. My question is what can I do with them to prepare and save for future use. I know I can add them to individual recipes (removing seeds and stems, etc), but what can I do to preserve them. Also, can I make some hot sauces easily?
i get tons of peppers in my csa as well and didn't know what to do with them since i don't really like sauteed or stuffed peppers. the giardiniera recipe below looks great, but i also recommend making your own fresh chilli/hot sauces. it's simple enough and you can do tons of experimentation.
a blender or food processor (i use my immersion blender)
sugar (or palm sugar, or whatever)
vinegar (white vinegar is fine)
any herbs/spices you might like (basil, cilantro), fish sauce for a little funk, toasted sesame oil for nuttiness
prep everything and then blend it all up. voilà! you have your own homemade hot sauce. you probably know this, but you may want to keep the seeds out depending on how hot you want it. (habaneros are hot, i'd make sure i had no cuts and didn't rub my eyes). you can serve it completely fresh, or heat it up a bit to change the flavors.
i'd recommend just doing the simple garlic, peppers, sugar and white vinegar first to see how you like it, then continue experimenting with other flavors. it's easy to make this too sweet depending on how sweet your peppers and vinegar is, so taste test!
i think fresh chilli/hot sauce is a treat: fruity and very easy to make. love it.
so, so true. I'd recommend tasting the sauce one day after preparing it because any dried spices or herbs will drastically change the flavor profile after being given the chance to rehydrate. I actually busted out my btl of hot sauce from last year last night for bowl of chicken soup.
I have the same basket - maybe on a bigger scale. About 20 lbs worth. My csa grower and I have worked out a deal. I make giardiniera for his customers, and I get a whole buncha freebies. his customers are drooling for this stuff at the end of the season:
The basic recipe is to brine the vegetables you are using at least overnight in a salt/water bath. I use cauliflower, celery (very limited amount,) a TON of pre-jarred chopped garlic, carrot, and hot peppers. I'll also use a good amount of dried basil. I use a food processor to chop everything to a medium sized dice.
Once brined, give them a quick rinse in cold water. Some folks just drain, but I like mine less salty. I usually wind up rinsing half of the amount quickly, and just draining the other half.
Fill a jar with the veg mixture, and cover 2/3 of the way with evoo, and the other 1/3 with plain old white vinegar. Common sense would say to make sure the jar was well cleaned before using it. Give it a shake, and keep refrigerated. Don't try it for at least two weeks. Once the flavors have melded, you will be hooked on this stuff for life.
I throw my over abundance of peppers of all varieties, both hot and sweet, into freezer bags and freeze. When I need one or two, I run hot tap water over each for a few seconds and proceed with the recipe.
Here's a site which will give some really good recipes by pepper: