14 February 2007

Have a hot and spicy Valentine!

So... how are you spending your Valentine's? Want to know how I'm spending it? Well... we are going to be at this IT event in EDSA Shangri-La on the 15th and 16th. The ingress is -- you guessed it -- on the 14th! We'll be there practically the entire afternoon and probably most of the night if the set-up doesn't work as planned. Oh well.

But here's a hot and spicy Valentine's to you ... courtesy of my pickled peppers recipe ... version 2!

I have blogged about a pickled pepper recipe last 2005 (wow! time flies!). Check it out here and the result here. The first version involved a fair amount of chopping and cooking. Well, here's another recipe that's simpler to make!

You'll need:
Peppers (used for sinigang)
lasona (small, red onions)
vinegar (preferably cane vinegar)
whole black pepper
sugar
hot water
cold water
And before I forget... when we bought the peppers in Baguio, the first vendor we were going to buy from said "hindi maanghang yan" (my peppers are not the hot variety). We asked if this would be good for pickling, and she said it's better if it gives a little bite. So we got the kind that's on the spicy side. You can't tell the difference straight away between the hot and the regular kind, but the hot one has a darker shade of green.

So here's the way to pickle your pepper...

Wash the sinigang peppers clean.

Remove the stem and slice it into two. Remove the seeds. Is there a way to remove the seeds without touching a lot of them? My fingers are still burning 24 hours after we did this! Plastic gloves, perhaps?
Oh yes. Be careful where you place your hands after removing the seeds. Even after a couple of thorough hand washing, it can still sting! I learned this the hard way.

Guess what I did that made me wary of the power of this pepper.

Remove the skin of the onions. Slicing not needed if they're small.

Submerge the pepper in hot water (preferably freshly-boiled) in 3 to 5 seconds, then remove and pour cold water over it. We were told it's supposed to keep the crispiness of the pepper intact.

Now get the bottles and it's time to stuff in the peppers and the onions! For a regular jam bottle, we added three teaspoonfuls of sugar and around 2 tablespoons of black pepper.

Pour the vinegar and seal it up.
It's recommended that you store the pickles at room temperature for 7 days or more. If you're sure the jam bottles are sealed tight, it's also recommended to keep the bottles upside-down for a couple of days so the pepper at the top will be "cooked". Then bring it back to its right position for the remaining days.

I can't wait to try this out. When it's time to savour the pickled peppers, better have some fried fish handy! Yum yum!

A Hot and Spicy Happy Valentine's, everyone!
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