Friday, 17 September 2010

Pickled chillies

500g chillies

80g/3oz coarse salt

750ml cold water

750ml bottle white vinegar

Extra 1 tablespoon coarse salt

1 tablespoons black peppercorns

1. Wash chillies thoroughly. Use rubber gloves to protect hands from burns when cutting chillies. Cut away any bruised or marked parts of chillies, do not remove seeds. 

2. Place chillies, salt and water in a bowl, stir until salt is dissolved. Cover, stand 24 hours. Drain and rinse chillies. 

3. Pack chillies into hot sterilised jars.

4. Combine vinegar, extra salt and peppercorns in a pan. Simmer gently for five minutes. Remove from heat and stand for five minutes. Pour over chillies, seal while hot. Store in a cool, dark place for six weeks before using.

TIP: Pierce the chillies before you put them into the jar. This will help to stop them floating in the jar.

Now that it is starting to turn chilly (pardon the pun), we have decided to reap our harvest of chillies. From as little as a pack and a half of seeds we have had a crop of an amazing amount of hot peppers (approximately 1.5 kilos). Pickling chillies is a good way of preserving a crop of this size. You can then add the chillies to anything you are making from spicy curries to a toasted cheese and chilly sandwich.

Another great way to use chillies is in a chilly sauce or to make a chilly jam. Any of these recipes can be made in small or large batches. They are great to have as a cupboard store item and they also make wonderfully coloured gifts.

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