Candied Red Pepper

So, as I am going through email after email and recipe after recipe, trying to sift through everything I’ve missed with my computer debacle I came across a recipe for Churasco Steak with Candied Red Pepper Chimichurri.

Now this is a dish right up my fella’s alley. What could possibly be better than a man, a steak and a grill? Especially when HE mans the grill!  Well, vino, definitely copious amounts of vino.  Add to that combination, this recipe for Candied Red Pepper Chimichurri, grilled potato planks and a big tomato and arugula salad, and you have the makings of a lovely evening. You can find the compete recipe HERE.

When I saw the full recipe on Kitchen Daily, there was no recipe for the candied red peppers, nor did anyone from Kitchen Daily answer my email or my request on Facebook (can you say disappointing?). I turned to my From the Bookshelf buddies on Facebook and Angie from Angie’s Big Love of Food found this recipe for me! I am forever in her debt!

After a little research, and it turns out, this entire recipe, steak and all, is included in Lorena Garcia’s great book New Latin Classics.

I must admit, I was nervous about this recipe while the peppers were cooking. The smell of boiling vinegar and sugar, the spices didn’t seem too appetizing, and this was confirmed by a wrinkled nose and the question, “What smells funny?’ 

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 large red bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise

Cutting peppers

Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a medium pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Everything into the pot

Add the bell peppers, garlic, cinnamon stick, and star anise and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the bell pepper strips are glazed, candied, and somewhat transparent, about 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

Transfer the bell peppers and liquid to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a month.

Makes 1/2 cup.

Pickled Peppers

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, this would be the pickled peppers Peter Piper would pick!

Tommy is addicted to – YES, addicted to – pickled peppers on his sandwiches. He goes through at least a jar a week. That really adds up after a while!

I have been dying to try my hand at pickles, pickled beets, dilly beans, SOMETHING! I want to can and preserve and see jars lining my pantry shelves.

The problem? I AM A CHICKEN! What if I get too overwhelmed? What if the jars EXPLODE in the water bath? What if after the water bath the tops don’t vacuum close? What if, after all of this work and horrors, whatever I put up tastes YUCKY!?

This sort of stuff keeps me up nights.

And then I happened upon the wonderful blog Seasoned to Taste! What did she make? Pickled peppers! It was fate!  Come on, girl, put on your big girl pants and give it a try! What’s the worst that happens? They’re terrible and you throw them out!

So off I went  – I bought peppers. I bought jars. Shaking in my boots, I started -

  • 3 C sliced peppers
  • 3 C white vinegar
  • 1 C water
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

 

NOTE: I used Italian frying peppers. And, although Seasoned to Taste used hot peppers, for my first try I decided to stay sweet.

Sanitize jars and lids. Once clean, remove without touching insides to cool on a clean towel.

NOTE: Okay. I am a canning dunce. I washed the jars and lids in my dishwasher – which doesn’t have a sanitize button, but does have a super hot wash and dry cycle. Also, I waited to begin the dishwasher until I was absolutely ready to start. I cut up the pepper first, started the wash, put the water up to boil for the water bath.

Set two large stainless steel (or non-aluminum) pots on the stove, one filled with enough water to submerge jars. Heat water-filled pot.

In second pot, combine vinegar, water and garlic. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil for 5 min. Discard garlic.

Pack peppers into sanitized jars and ladle hot pickling liquid in, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Tap to remove air bubbles, wipe rim. Center lid on jar and tighten.

NOTE: This centering and tightening had me completely a little nuts. Is the lid on straight? Wait, that rim feels crooked.  

Place jars in canning pot of water, bring to a boil, cover and process 10 min. Remove lid, wait 5 min. then remove jars and cool. Once cooled, you will feel that the seal has snapped shut. Store, or open and eat!

NOTE: I placed a dishcloth on the bottom of the pot so the jars wouldn’t clank around as much. Of course, I didn’t read the directions properly and put the jars in water already boiling! My second batch I re-read and slapped myself in the forehead and did it the right way! Now, my question is: “Remove lid and wait 5 minutes.”  Is that 5 minutes lid off, heat on or 5 minutes lid off, heat off? See why pickling drives me insane!?

I have now done this twice. Once totally sweet, the second with a hot chili involved. They’re sitting on a shelf. The boy walks by and stares at them. A few more days and he can have at ‘em!

By the way, when you first take them out of the water, the lids are tight. Then suddenly they are loose! Then I go in a panic and walk away disgusted. Then I come back when the jars are much cooler and like magic the lids are tight and sealed!

Now, how easy was that? What were you all so worried about?

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