Pickled Pequin Peppers and Hot Sauce

2013 1010 IMG_2812 Pequin peppers for picklingThese little pequins are hot hot hot.  They grow abundantly on two small bushes that I am about to bring inside for the winter. It’s a trick I learned a couple of years ago, that peppers grown in pots survive the winter indoors and actually continue to flower and bear fruit.  However, before I cart them indoors, as the sere autumn weather is starting to dry everything out, I decided to harvest a jarful of pequins and pickle them. While my first inclination was to made a standard pickling liquid of equal parts water and vinegar, and add sliced garlic and a sprig of oregano or marjoram, I realized that the heat of these tiny peppers might make them nearly inedible. Remember, the smaller the pepper, the hotter, and these don’t get less deadly when they’re dried.

2013 1010 IMG_2811 Pequin peppers in sieveInstead, I decided to use white wine vinegar straight. The result, after two weeks of steeping the pequins in the liquid is a peppery vinegar that can be used as hot sauce, even without the peppers. What a find! Now I wonder if I can top off the jar with additional vinegar as I use it in the hope that the peppers will continue to produce heat for a while.

2013 1010 IMG_2806 Pequin pepper bush

Pickled Pequin Peppers and Hot Sauce

12-oz canning jar with plastic lid (or similar container)

½ c red pequin peppers, washed and dried

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1-2 sprigs fresh oregano or marjoram, rinsed and dried

About 1½ c white wine vinegar

Scald the jar by pouring boiling water into it. Pour out the water and let the jar air-dry.

Make a little vertical slit in each pepper and place them in the clean jar, interspersing the garlic and herbs as you go.

Fill the jar with white wine vinegar. Using a chopstick or similar implement, release any trapped air bubbles. Cap the jar and set aside for about 2 weeks until the vinegar is hot and the peppers are slightly soft. Store in the refrigerator.

Categories: Peppers, PreservingTags: ,

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