Need Hot Pepper Info.

Tremont, IL(Zone 5b)

My DH wanted me to plant some hot peppers this summer so he could make salsa. Now, I have some nice looking slender peppers (look like the Jalapena), how do I preserve them? Do you string them up & let them dry? Use a low temp on the oven & dehydrate them? Help.
The Tomatoes aren't ready yet, so need to preserve the peppers until the tomatoes are ripe.
Thanks,
Jan

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I wash mine, cut off the stem part, and throw them in a ziplock baggie and freeze them.

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

Jan,

It's probably too humid by you to string them, especially a thick walled pepper like Jalapeno. If you have a dehydrator, that would work best.

You can dry them in the oven, but work at the lowest possible setting. You want to dry them, but not cook them. So set it to where it is just producing heat (usually that means below the "warm" setting). And leave the door slightly ajar, so that moisture can escape. Otherwise you might wind up steaming them.

For salsas and the like, Joan's approach really is best. If you have room, just freeze them.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

For salsa,I do just what joan does.I dry tons in my dehydrator for seasoning soups,chili,etc.

If you keep picking them,they will keep producing.I have peppers till frost kills them every year.

Camilla, GA(Zone 8a)

For salsa, just stick the peppers in vinegar, don't heat or anything, and use as you need them.. The peppers will retain their heat and also the vinegar is good to use as a pepper sauce..I found these are better for salsa and things that usually have the fresh peppers in them.. I also freeze mine like Joan, to use in cooking..
Larkie

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

Larkie, no boiling? put them in fridge??

Camilla, GA(Zone 8a)

Tig,
Don't need to put in fridg.. Vinegar will preserve them forever, you can add salt if you like..
Larkie

Lancaster, CA

It really depends on what you and your DH want as an end result. Freezing peppers will leave them a little soft but they work just fine in salsa and cooked dishes. I've even used them on a salad or sandwich when I really wanted "fresh" peppers and there weren't any.

If you pickle them (Larkie's technique) they will maintain their firmness but will have the vinegar flavor. If you use some sort of acid in your salsa (lemon juice, vinegar whatever) you will need to adjust your recipe a bit.

I make my day in day out salsa with tomato, pepper, cilantro and tiny bit of onion and lime juice. You can get really creative and add more and more stuff, fresh corn, beans etc

Have fun with it and don't worry about "the right way"
Chris

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

would love to have your salsa recipe!

Lancaster, CA

See Tig, That's the thing. I don't really have a set recipe.

Here's the basic idea.

-A couple/few ripe tomatoes seeded and diced
-1-8 peppers. diced small I like a few that are tasty but mild as well as hot ones so they could be Mulato Isleno, Chilhuacle negro, New Mexico along with a couple jalapenos
-1/4-1/2 c small diced sweet onion
-lime juice (a few spoons)
-salt and pepper (sometimes)
-cilantro

chop the maters and put in a bowl, dice the peppers (after a nibble to decide how hot they are) and add. Add the chopped onion, spoon the lime juice over and stir. Taste. Add salt and pepper if necessary and some chopped cilantro to taste (I have family members who can't stand it)

Allow to stand 10-30 minutes and eat up. I like to add fresh sweet corn and black beans. Maybe 1/2C each to 1C of salsa. That's a meal for me with corn chips.

Chris

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

sounds wonderful. can you believe my family doesn't like fresh salsa? they like it cooked and canned. I love the fresh stuff and your recipe will help me get started when I want some just for me. thanks!

Lancaster, CA

I'm glad you like it. My family likes all of em. The canned kind is more saucy than the fresh. I like the chunks myself

My SIL sent me a recipe for canning salsa. It wasn't bad. I'll try to find it for you.

Chris

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

some of the links i gave above has recipes, specially the last one.

Tremont, IL(Zone 5b)

Thanks everyone, they all sound great. Now for my maters to ripen. Peppers will have to hold until then. Will keep them picked though.

Hi MaVieRose! Good to see you on here. I sure enjoyed meeting you in March, when I was out there visiting my mom & daughter.
Jan

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

Same here Jan. too much happen since then like the scary fires on Cajon Pass. today we max the temperature to 110 deg. at noon. as we speak now, it is 107 degs. i've already watered my plants 5 times. the brugs u saw before are mostly now 3-4' tall. been busy growing the veggies. tomatoes should be ready for picking in another week or so. it is awfully hot! talk again sometime.

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

Chris, you're so right about recipes. Exact quantities, especially for something like salsa, are rough. But, unfortunately, to communicate with most people, nowadays, that's what's needed. Folks just aren't as, shall we say, adventureous as they used to be.

Anyway, for those who like fresh salsa, a nice change of pace is to use fruits like peaches and tropicals. Here's my recipe (adapted to quantities) for Mango Salsa:

1 large mango
3 tbls minced red onion or shallot
3 tbls diced green bell peper
3 tbls diced red bell pepper
1 medium tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 tbls cilantro, chopped
2-3 hot chilis, minced.

Peel, pit, and dice the mango. Combine all ingredients. Chill in fridge at least three hours.

Enjoy!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

mmmmmmm....sounds good!

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