Canning and pickling are not in my wheelhouse. My sister seems to have inherited those abilities, and spends nights and weekends filling her pantry (and possibly under her bed!) with all sorts of canned goods. I just can’t be bothered with all that boiling and worrying about top popping failures. I got sh*t to do. But when the end of a season comes for certain vegetables, something inside of me still wants to buy massive amounts of veggies and save them. So I’ve since found a happy medium. Easy refrigerator pickles are my answer to canning. I get the pretty jar, and the goodies inside for a few weeks, and I feel like I have accomplished something. Ok, so I don’t have a stocked pantry, but that is what sisters are for, right?
So while at the farmers market recently, I had in mind to buy some cute patty pan squash and pickle them, but since I know nothing about seasons, they didn’t have any. I then saw a full basket of assorted of hot peppers – jalapeños, Habanero, Thai chile peppers – you name it. They were calling me. Some people may call it a twisted sense of joy, but I wanted to buy them all. I refrained, but only because I knew I was just going to try making one jar of this vinegar recipe. The big question loomed if the vinegar would truly be tasty, or would turn out to be liquid fire. I was pleasantly surprised. I think adding in some milder chiles helped, plus I didn’t slice into the Habanero (I don’t know what came over me?). Since making them, I’ve made a quick vinaigrette, tossed the diced peppers into meals, and of course daring my kids to eat them like pickles.
hot pepper vinegar (adapted from Cooking Light June 2013)
4 cups hot chile peppers
4 garlic cloves, halved
1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
2 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
get started on the vinegar:
Slice 6-8 peppers in half lengthwise. Layer and arrange the peppers and garlic in a 1-quart glass jar. Combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Do not let mixture evaporate too much. Pour vinegar mixture over peppers. Cool to room temperature (so jar doesn’t break). Cover and refrigerate at least 1 week.