Tag Archives: Datil

It’s summer – time to relish those peppers!

It’s the heat of the summer and if you’re into gardening and peppers are part of your bounty, relish is a great way to keep the flavor going throughout the year.  Several years ago, I found a great recipe from Putting Up More by  Steve Dowdney.  I’ve had several requests from friends for this recipe so it’s time to share!

If you follow me on Pudbudder, you know I always tweak with my own twists and special touches. So without further adieu, get on those kitchen gloves and start cleaning those peppers, it’s time to relish those peppers.

Note:  be sure to use kitchen gloves whenever handling hot peppers and seeds.  You’ll find disposable ones at discount stores like WalMart, Dollar General etc for a nominal cost.  These peppers contain oil that will definitely leave your hands wishing you had used gloves if you don’t. 

Datil Pepper Relish ready for the pantry shelf!

Datil Pepper Relish ready to turn right side up for the pantry shelf!

Hot Pepper Relish

Yield : 3 pints

4 cups diced bell peppers – varied colors
2 cups chopped onion (yellow and red)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp mustard seed

Hot Peppers to add

  • Mild: add ¼ cup finely chopped jalapeno, seeds and veins removed
  • Standard: ¼ cup finely chopped jalapeno, leave seeds & veins
  • Medium: ¼ cup finely chopped hotter pepper – datil or cowhorn
  • Hot – ¼ cup – ½ cup haberno peppers or ½ cup datil
  • Screaming: 1 cup finely chopped hot peppers of choice and reduce bell by ½ cup

Bring vegetables, vinegar, sugar, salt and mustard seed to boil; simmer 3 minutes.

Dowdney recommends to check the pH at this point in the recipe.  However, I have had no problem with simply canning the product as stated below by ladling into sterile jars (do make sure the jars, lids and bands are sterilized), sealing and inverting, then storing in a cool dry place.  Actually this relish disappears pretty fast at our house so not sure how long the shelf life would be for this product.  But use your best judgment – test pH or process for the desired result.

Optional for testing pH: Take pot off heat and allow temp to drop to 205 degrees; test pH. If below guidelines (pH higher than 4.2), drain vinegar and add another cup vinegar per recipe. Bring to boil again. When temp reaches 205degrees, test pH again.

Ladle into sterile jars; seal and invert for at least 2 minutes.

Here are the combinations I’ve tested and developed for taste:

Batch 1:

  • 4 cups mixture green and sweet banana peppers
  • 2 cups onion – red & white mixture
  • ¼ cup Datils, seeded and veins removed, finely chopped

This one is our favorite!

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Batch 2:

  • 1 each red and 1 green bell peppers, chopped
  • (1/2 batch) ½ cup banana peppers, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped jalapenos
  • 1 cup onion, red and yellow mix

This is our second favorite.

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Batch 3:

We liked this third version the least. Suggest skipping the pickling spice if you don’t like the stronger ginger flavor in this mixture.

  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, chopped (2 cups)
  • (1/2 batch) 1 cup onion, red and yellow mix
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsps chopped cowhorn  pepper*
  • 3/4 tsp pickling spice

Cowhorn is a pepper I have grown that is similar in heat to an Anaheim pepper. (3,000 – 5,000 on Scoville.)  But be CREATIVE – use your favorite pepper and don’t be afraid to add different flavors to your relish.  Try something new, but be sure to check out where your pepper rates on the Scoville Chart to make sure it’s your kind of pepper. For something hotter, try Serrano or Thai Chili peppers, depending on your tastes.  But our favorite will always be our beloved Datil!

Creativity makes it your own and adds to the fun!   Share your ideas with me and let me know what combination you try!

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Hot stuff from the garden….

Yesterday I shared some updates of “stuff” I’ve been up to through a slideshow.  One pic showed yesterday’s jalapeño pickings. I tried out a simple stuffed jalapeño appetizer and am sharing my version of the recipe here today (as promised in that photo’s caption.)scoville

Now to real fans of hot peppers, jalapeños don’t rate too high in heat. Scoville places it pretty much in the middle as you can see on the chart to the right — well below those really hot little guys in the 2M+ range — like the habaneros!

And while we’re on the subject of hot peppers, I’m always offended that many Scoville charts don’t include our beloved Datil pepper.  If you’re not in Florida, you may not have heard of this delightful hot sweet pepper.  Do a search and you will find lots of info and sources for seeds and plants. I’ve  made this pepper into hot sauce and added it to a wonderful peach/onion/pepper relish that I started making a few years ago.  I also use it in a relish blended with sweet banana peppers and sweet red peppers as well as in my pickled pepper strips.  I even submitted that flavor suggestion to the Lay’s Potato Chip Contest! And on top of that it produces such a beautiful bright orange fruit – but don’t let it’s “cuteness” fool you. It packs a punch!  And if you do order these plants or seeds, be aware that there is also a milder variety that produces a red fruit – so if hot is what you want, be sure to get the right variety.  This is an heirloom plant and is really quite interesting and fun to grow even if you don’t like hot peppers.  You’re sure to know someone who likes hot stuff!

I’ve gotten way off track here from the Stuffed Jalapeños so I’ll get to that and say “Adiós!”  Happy gardening, cooking and eating!

Christine‘s Stuffed Jalapeños

Start with 8 – 10 fresh jalapeño peppers, split and seeded (be sure to use gloves!)

For the filling, mix together:

  • 1/2 cup softened cream cheese  (to cut down on calories, use half lower fat cream cheese)
  • 1/8 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 5 or 6 slices of pepperoni, finely chopped – I turkey pepperoni as we always have it on-hand (A mini-blender works great for this step.  I finely chop the garlic and pepperoni together in the blender. You may also substitute crumbled bacon if you prefer)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of fresh squeezed lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro and or tomato for garnish  or additional chopped pepperoni

2014-05-29 17.02.42Stuff the pepper halves with the cheese mixture.  Coat a grill rack lightly with grapeseed oil or cooking spray. Grill over medium heat for 7 – 8 minutes.  You want to bottoms of the peppers to be charred and the cheeses to be melted.   Sprinkle with cilantro/tomato.

Enjoy and be sure to have a nice cool drink handy to calm the heat!

Note: You may also use this cheese filling with sweet mini-peppers for a milder appetizer.

Comments, suggestions?

 

 

 

Related articles:

Pickled Sweet Pepper Strips

Chicken Quesadillas from Pudbudder

Hot Peppers!

 

Pickled Sweet Pepper Strips – a vegan recipe

Today is the first ever Flagler Beach Vegan Fest. I’m not a vegan myself, but I’m finding myself eating this way more as I’ve been working with a great group of people to help them promote this event.  The excitement has been growing over the past few weeks. This is a passionate group who believe whole-heartedly in their commitment of creating a balance in the world that is the end result of eating vegan-style. Exactly what classifies a recipe as vegan? To be vegan, a recipe must exclude meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Check out Vegan by Choice for more information.

Bounty from our family garden
Photo Credit: Words Etc.

My husband and I often eat vegetarian meals and many of those meals and dishes end up being vegan.  What I’ve observed in recent weeks is that by “hanging out” with a few vegans while planning and promoting this event, I’ve started to analyze everything we cook and eat to see if it fits into the “vegan” category.

So it is in that spirit that I make my vegan recipe contribution today.

Communication with the earth by growing your own stuff is a favorite form of communicating for me.  Last year my yellow banana peppers just wouldn’t stop communicating with me!  We were overrun with Datil peppers as well as sweet yellow banana peppers.  The Datils have been turned into an amazing hot sauce, and I also developed a Datil Pepper Relish that has become very popular with friends and neighbors. But the real fun I had last summer was to perfect my version of a sweet pickled banana pepper. I am already anticipating what new creativity this summer’s garden will inspire!

I’ve finally got it down to science so here it is for all the world to see.  And to all my vegan friends in Flagler Beach and all around the area, Happy Vegan Fest Day!!

Christine’s Pickled Sweet Pepper Strips

Christine’s Pickled Pepper Strips
Photo credit: Words Etc.

Start with 2 pounds of yellow and red sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4 or 1/2 inch strips or rings (about 4 cups yellow banana and 4 cups of red bell)

Cover peppers with ice water, adding a few cloves of garlic and  1/3 cup pickling salt.  Mix well and allow to stand covered for about 3 hours. Drain the peppers well in a colander.

Pack 4 pint jars with peppers. Be sure to pack the peppers tightly.  Remember they are raw when you pack them and will shrink up a bit from the hot brine.  To each jar add:

½ tsp pickling salt

¼ tsp celery seed

1 tsp mustard seed

1 clove garlic

One Datil pepper or a few slices of jalapeno pepper for spicy jars.  I usually make a mild jar or too for those less adventurous!

Prepare the brine by mixing together:

 2 cups white wine or cider vinegar

1 ½ cup sugar

1 ¼ tsp turmeric

 Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes.  Pour brine over peppers. Leaving ½ inch headspace. Seal and process 10-15 minutes in boiling water bath. Let jars cool on a towel on counter top. Store the cooled, sealed jars in a cool, dark, dry place for at least 3 weeks before eating the peppers.

Be prepared to make more.  Everyone will love these peppers, and you can tell by the photo that they are beautiful!

Have some recipes that fit into the vegan category?  Please share with me!