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Pick a parcel of peppers and put ‘em up

September 29th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Cooking tips, Food preparation, local food

What do you do when someone gives you nearly a peck of (unpickled) hot peppers like these? If you’re like me, you freeze them. (Of course, you could also pickle them.)

I no doubt harmed their quality by letting them sit in the fridge for a week, but then I dug in. I washed them, lopped off their tops, split them lengthwise and removed membranes and seeds with a quick flip of a paring knife. Then I filled two quart-size freezer bags with them and put them in the freezer. That was it.

Unlike most fruits and vegetables, you can freeze peppers—hot peppers or sweet (bell) peppers—without blanching. The University of Nebraska extension office says you don’t even need to cut your hot peppers. I did, though, because I wasn’t sure how hot these peppers might be. (They seemed too small for banana peppers, and I’m not sufficiently pepper-savvy to identify the type, but the friend who gave them to me said they were superhot. I finally tasted one about halfway through my exercise, and they weren’t all that hot.) No matter, they’re ready to go into soups, casseroles or wherever I want them. I can leave them halved or chop them later.

TIP: Don’t forget either to use fork and knife to hold and cut your hot peppers or to wear rubber gloves while you work unless you’re exceedingly tough like my brother-in-law. Hot pepper juice does burn—especially if you make the highly unfortunate mistake of getting it in any tender areas such as your eyes or nose.

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