Friday, March 20, 2015

Every year throughout the warmer months we always have a few chilli plants on the go. It amazing how many chilli's can grow on the one plant throughout the season!

The ones that I find grow the easiest and are the most eaten in our household are the jalapeno variety. I find them just the right amount of heat (call me a wuss!) and they have that lovely chilli flavour and smell.

These warmer months, however don't last forever, so for the last few years I've found myself pickling and jarring them to keep in the pantry to use through the year without having to buy them.

Here is my simple recipe to have you growing, pickling and enjoying your home-grown chilli's long after the growing season has passed.

These also make great gifts, and alot of people love the effort that goes into homemade products.

1 Cup White vinegar
1 Cup Water
1.5 TBSP salt and sugar
1 TBSP whole peppercorns
5-6 Whole cloves
2 Garlic cloves
1 Star anise
2 Cups Jalapeno chilli's

Wash your preserving jars and lids then bring them to the boil in a large soup/preserving pot for 5 minutes. Set aside until filling stage.

Simmer all the ingredients, except chilli's for 2-3 minutes until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add chilli's (you can chop them up, like I have, or leave them whole) and simmer for 10 minutes.

Turn off heat and set side for 10 minutes.

Using tongs, drain jars and lids and carefully ladle or spoon chillies into the jars and well as the liquid. Be sure to add the peppercorns and spices as these will only add flavour as they develop.

Fill to 1cm below the top and screw the lid on and invert. It pays to use good thick oven mitts doing this process as the jars and liquid are very hot! Always make sure the jars are just as hot as the contents going in or else this will result in the jars cracking.

Leave the jars upside down until they're completely cool. The lids should have sealed and you can now store these in your pantry or give out as little gifts.

This recipe has enough liquid for 3-4 250ml preserving jars.

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