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Ripening Anaheim chiles

Ripening Anaheim chiles

OUR LONG, WARM SUMMER TRAIPSED RIGHT INTO OCTOBER. That meant that the Anaheim peppers that rarely ripen around here did so–more than half of them turned red. I ended up with about seven pounds of them to put away for later use. Several years ago when I had a bumper crop, the thought of placing lots of peppers on the gas burners in my kitchen seemed daunting until I had a bit of a brainstorm!

One batch roasting on the BBQ.

All four pounds roasting on the BBQ.

How about utilizing the gas grill/bbq? I can roast/blister/char all of them at one time, outside instead of in the house, with no smoky odors lingering for hours. To roast all of the peppers this way takes about seven-twelve minutes! On Monday I dispatched 4 1⁄2 pounds of peppers, from roasting to in-the-jar-and-finished in just about two hours.

Make a small slit in the shoulder of the  pepper so the peppers don't steam from the inside.

Make a small slit in the shoulder of the pepper (so the peppers don’t steam from the inside) before roasting.

Charred and ready to rest

Once charred, place in a large bowl, cover and rest about 15 minutes.

Easy peeling.

Easy peeling.

Once the peppers have rested and steamed a bit they are ready to peel. The more mature the pepper, the thicker the flesh and skin; steam is created between the skin and flesh and the skin separates easily. Thinner walled peppers have thinner skins and need scraping in my experience.

Four pounds of peppers ready for canning.

Four pounds of peppers ready for canning.

Well Preserved by Eugenia Bone

Well Preserved by Eugenia Bone.

In her book Well Preserved, Eugenia Bone has a recipe that she attributes to Michigan State Extension, for Marinated Peppers. She call for red bell peppers but I have found it works just as well for Anaheim and other home grown sweet/hot peppers. (Since I do not have permission to reprint the recipe here I will leave it to you to find it online; like here for example.)

The finished product.

The finished product.

I choose to put up my peppers in half-pint jars as there are only two of us in this household, so more convenient for me. I also add just a bit more garlic than called for, leave the peppers whole (to use for chiles rellenos should the urge strike); using four pounds as called for in the recipe, I usually end up with about half of the brine left over. These are really delicious in the middle of winter, when like tomatoes, the taste of good summer produce is hard to come by. The total yield for seven pounds of peppers was twelve half-pints.

Happy canning!

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