Arizona Homestead Heat: Preserving Peppers


| 9/7/2011 6:22:20 PM


Tags: peppers, spicy, preserving peppers, roasted peppers, pickled peppers, ristra, canning, canning kettle, Dave Larson,

Dave L HeadshotHere at the Bear Cave, we like our food spicy. During the summer and early fall, we love to overdo on fresh peppers in spicy salsa, pimento and cheese sandwiches, stuffed bell peppers and many other pepper dishes. Once in a while, when the poblanos are big enough, Barbara treats us to a great dish of chili relleno, peppers stuffed with a great cheese, breaded, and fried in hot neutral oil. I can’t resist them and have to say it’s a good thing she makes them on special occasions only.

By the way, anchos and poblanos are the same pepper.  Down here in the southwest, we refer to the Capsicum annuum as a poblano when it’s fresh and an ancho when its dried.

     Large Peppers in a Basket

We've grown four kinds of peppers this year at the Bear Cave: bells, jalapenos, anchos/poblanos, and pimentos. We find that the sweet, heavy bells and pimentos are delicious if we allow them to ripen, then roast and pickle them. Many cooks recommend roasting peppers under the broiler or over the direct flame of a gas range in the kitchen, but around here it's still WAY too hot for that. We prefer to keep the heat outside by using the gas barbecue. The peppers acquire a rich, smoky flavor and the kitchen stays cool.

     Roasting Peppers
 

So it's pepper harvest and time to crank up the barbecue and roast those babies! Some peppers, especially pimentos and red bells, are perfect candidates for this treatment. They are thick-walled and sturdy, which makes them easy to peel once they're roasted. Besides being much easier to peel prior to pickling when roasted, we enjoy the flavor of a smoky pepper.

janie
9/24/2011 6:36:05 PM

Has anyone tried this with Italian Peppers? I have them coming out my ears!!!


dave larson
9/20/2011 6:09:53 PM

Hey Margie, Great Idea! Thanks for visiting and the suggestion. Love to have you contribute that idea on our web site at www.grow-cook-eat-beans.com We are always looking for good ideas on uses for our "Bean Friends".


dave larson
9/20/2011 6:06:54 PM

Hi Emily, sounds like you live in some cold country. Might I suggest a pepper plant or two in a couple large pots. I know a Minnesotan that plants them in pots and puts them on an old child's coaster wagon and brings them in and out of the garage. You might also consider a cold frame to accelerate the start. Check our site at www.grow-cook-eat-beans.com for some suggestions on building and using a cold frame. Good luck and keep on trying!!


dave larson
9/20/2011 6:03:07 PM

Hi Paula, Thanks for visiting and for your comments. We have used plastic bags as well and agree that they work well. However, I sometimes take them off the grill a bit hot and have melted a few bags. With care, plastic bags work very well indeed. Enjoy those peppers!!!


dave larson
9/20/2011 6:02:26 PM

Hi Paula, Thanks for visiting and for your comments. We have used plastic bags as well and agree that they work well. However, I sometimes take them off the grill a bit hot and have melted a few bags. With care, plastic bags work very well indeed. Enjoy those peppers!!!


dave larson
9/20/2011 5:19:08 PM

Hey N Dave, It sounds like you are getting really serious about gardening. Are you thinking of the additional space as a community garden activity. In any event, growing food is one of the best activities I can think of. Keep me posted on the expanded garden. Enjoy your fall day in Nebraska.


margie hazelwood
9/16/2011 10:46:13 AM

We love spicy foods and have found a new trick! We take our surplus peppers..clean and seed them...put them in the dehydrator and dry 24 hrs......we then put in a blender and grind to powder and shake out for extra boost to all our foods...spagetti, chili, sandwiches, eggs, etc. Salt free and flavorful!!!


emily matthews
9/16/2011 8:27:33 AM

'Sigh' ; if only I could grow peppers! Some years we never can get any, and it looks as if this might be one of them. A cold June so they didn't grow even though they'd been started end of January, and 2 days ago we had our first frost. Oh well.


paula ebert
9/12/2011 11:58:06 AM

Dave: I roast peppers in a similar way, but then pop them into a plastic bag. I know it sounds like they would stick, but they don't, and they are steamed and ready to peel. I usually do enough for batches of salsa, but canning them is a good idea too!


nebraska dave
9/9/2011 8:52:39 PM

Dave, you sure love your peppers. Apparently they grow well in the Arizonia high plains desert. I do like a little salsa now and then but easy on the hot scale. I'm not a sissy mild kind of guy and do like quite a zip but nothing that would have me guzzling the milk jug. I'm in process of buying an in town foreclosed property to grow more gardens instead of filling up my backyard with garden beds. It would be for the bigger space stuff like melons, squash, corn, and possibly some fruit trees and berry bushes. Actually there are a couple connected properties that would be just 200 square feet shy of being an acre smack dab in the middle of town. Yet it kind of in secluded area because of where it sets. Not all of the property is good for gardening but it would be plenty for me. I would definitely keep me busy for the rest of my life. Have a great pepper pickling and preserving day.





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