Marinated Roasted Red Peppers - storage time?
I would like to send some home made marinated roasted red peppers (long a signature dish!) to a family member who now lives three time zones away (but still in the country). I can pack them in a vacuum sealed bag and thence in a bubble enveloped but I'm just wondering...in the uncertain conditions, without any air getting at them, how long do you think they would keep? It's prohibitively expensive to send them via overnight or even two day service, regular parcel post would make it much easier for me to do it on a regular basis, but for that we're looking at up to five business days.
Any feedback? Needless to say I use no preservatives in my home cooking!
I find they only keep about 2 weeks in the fridge, so I would be leery of 5 days without refridgeration. I haven't tried marinated peppers, but a sandwich I made of cheese and roasted peppers had mold on the 5th day w/o the fridge. You *might* get more time if they are in vinegar.
In my experience marinated items like peppers or gardinieri salad last up to a month in the fridge. I don't know if they would last longer because they always get consumed by then. The good thing about marinated veggies is you can tell they've gone bad if they have mold growing on them, so all you are risking is shelf life.
Try this. Get one of those freezer gel packs and freeze it solid. Bundle the chilled jars of peppers and the gel pack together in lots of newspaper, and put the bundle in a cardboard box with more crumpled newspaper to take up any extra space. This works surprisingly well. A friend sent me some shrimp (from Louisiana to SF) and after 3 days the shrimp were still frozen (mostly--some were soft on the edges, but none were completely thawed).
I don't think you'll gain much by vacuum sealing the peppers. But boil the containers before filling, or at least put them through a cycle in the dishwasher if you have one.
Thanks for the input both. Zeldog, I hadn't intended on jarring them (again to keep mailing costs down), rather just vac sealing them in a plastic pouch. But your ice pack idea is a good one, I wonder how heavy they are...hmmm *ponders*...and for bonus points they would be flat so I could still just throw the whole thing into a bubble envelope!
DCT, my method entails cooking the peppers first, then marinating and yes the marinade includes vinegar.