I spent my Saturday attacking the monster level of grass and weeds in my yard with a weed eater and my gloved hands. I woke up almost unable to get out of bed this morning. Enough with the yard for the weekend! Forget the raking that needs to be done - it can wait. Time to pickle some things instead!
But, I live 2 weeks of every month alone, and the other 2 with my girls, who eat like birds, so there was no way I was going to be able to use all of this abundance up with conventional every day cooking either, so I decided it was time to get the canning equipment out. Time to PICKLE!
I started with the serrano's. I found this great recipe from Rob Walsh's blog Texas Eats. Normally I fool around with peoples recipes and make them my own, but this just sounded too good to mess with. The only difference is my serrano's weren't red. I have to say, the smell in my kitchen while I was putting this together was spectacular. I love the smell of chili's! The serrano's I had were pretty mild, so they didn't overwhelm like pepper's usually do, they just made the house smell delicious, homey, pleasant. Perfect for what felt like a summer day here in Humboldt.
1 lb of serrano's, 1 lb of carrots, 1/2 lb onion, 1 1/4 cup white vinegar, 5 cloves of garlic peeled and quartered, t tbs olive oil, 1 tbsp Mexican oregano, 1 tbsp pickling salt, and 4 bay leaves - click on the Texas Eats link above for all of the instructions.
Now for the garlic! Man! Even with blanching garlic is a challenge. The pickling is easy, but it takes a lot of patience peeling all those cloves. This would be a good thing to do with a friend or two. It would go a little faster with extra hands, plus it would just be a nice way to sit and chat while you make it happen.
I found this recipe at this awesome site called Gourmet Garlic Gardens. This site has a lot of great information on garlic, you should check it out.
Once I got my 10 heads of garlic separated, I blanched the cloves for 30 seconds in boiling water then threw them into some ice cold water to keep them from cooking any more. This made it a lot easier to get the peel off of the cloves.
I then combined 2 1/2 cups vinegar, 1 cup of white wine (can't help but wonder how red wine would do in this),1 tbsp pickling salt, 1 tbsp sugar 1 1/2 tbsp Mexican oregano and boiled that for 1 minute. Removed it from the heat and added the peeled garlic and stirred for one minute.
I then packed the garlic into 3 hot, sterilized pint jars, added one dried chili to each jar, then the hot liquid up to within 1 cm of the top of the jar. I knocked the air bubbles out with a rubber spatula, wiped the rims clean, put the lids on and then processed them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. If you're at an elevation over 1000 ft increase the time by 5 minutes, 10 minutes if you're over 3000 ft and 15 if you're over 6000 ft.