Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Orange Relish

~~~Slingshot's Pickled Pepper Relish~~~
4 large yellow onions
8 pods of garlic
4 red bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
1 green bell pepper
2 lbs. japaleno peppers, sorta deseeded
2 lbs. serrano peppers
4 carrots
chipotle chili powder
4 peppercorn mix, coarse ground
2 fingers unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar per jar

this recipe fills eight and a half quart mason jars

clean all jars and lids, you're gonna ferment in them, so you need to insure that your vinegar culture doesn't have any competitors. The fermentation will prevent spoilage by excluding bad bacteria, as well as add nutrients and digestive aids.
clean the produce and chop into bits easily processed by your machine.
process everything in a quisinart or similar machine. The Vitamix leaves a saucier consistency unless you're very patient and quick on the buttons
add the vinegar to each jar and then fill w/ the processed mix. leave an inch of room from the top of each jar and clean the glass inside down to the waterline. Gently shake each jar to level the top of the mix.
float a layer of olive oil gently onto the surface to seal, making sure all the veggies are completely submerged, and seal the lids. The oil prevents oxidation, which is an enemy of fermentation, and is easily mixed in later.
leave the sealed jars in a calm spot no cooler than 69 degrees F for four to eight days. Look for fine, well-distributed bubbles to indicate CO2 production- that shows fermentation. Also look for a sediment (harmless) of dead lactobacilla bacteria in the bottom of the jars. Refrigerate after fermentation. They'll last six months or more unopened, developing a finer flavor profile as they age.

Option: use whey instead of ACVinegar but consume faster- ACV seems to preserve the pickles longer.

vary the coarseness of the cut to suit your cooking styles- coarser is easier to make stay in place until you close the sandwich and it leaves more juices for flavoring or juicing (pickle juice shots!), where the Vitamix leaves a saucy consistency that's good in a squeeze bottle.

Uses: use as a base for salsa (add tomatoes, cilantro & lime, carrots, etc), use on sandwiches, omelettes, in soups, as sauce base or add-in, anywhere you'd like a shot of power-flavor with lots of vitamins, minerals, and home-grown cultures. When cooking, add the relish at the table, to keep from killing the active and beneficial cultures with heat. Sick folks love this stuff in their broth, vitamin rich!

Note: Most of the heat in this relish comes from the japs and serranos. Deseeding most of the japs keeps this under control. Ratio of sweet to hot peppers is important, too. The carrots add a bit of body and help round out the flavor profile. This is a concentrated recipe on purpose and will produce a rowdy relish!

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