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Sunday, July 25, 2010

This one is in the Top 5.

  It's the weekend and that means canning time here in the Harris house,enjoy this quick pickle.
      Pickled Peppers with Shallots and Thyme...what a tasty condiment.I made this tasty condiment of sorts last fall and was a big hit among my friends. The previous summer my husband and I decided to grow tomatoes and hot peppers. Truth be told,he wanted to grow tomatoes as did I,hot peppers he was not so keen on. It wasn't the growing of the peppers,it was the hotness of the peppers he wasn't so fond of (clever thought,he didn't have to eat them). So here we go,summer moves into "fall" and that's Memphis fall folks. Memphis fall is still 80 degrees and that feels like a dream compared to the 95 degree days we had a month earlier. Memphis hot is a different kind of hot. It's humid,don't-plan-on-a-good-hair day humid. It's the-shade-under-that-huge-tree-over-there,yep it's hot. I was born in September,on a lovely hot day back in 1980 and there was a delightful heat wave going on throughout the Memphis area. My mom told me the day I was born the heat wave broke and it rained. I'm not saying anything,just was a good day (INSERT:sheepish smile).
            So,I digress...Peppers love hot weather...and water. You have to keep them watered and cared for and they will grow you some peppers. We grew poblano peppers ,and jalapeno peppers . The poblano peppers were a little slow-go but once they caught up,honey we had some peppers. The jalapenos were a hit from the beginning. They produced lots of peppers and I was a happy camper. I also grew herbs that summer and had some thyme that was just hanging out doing it's thing. I get my September issue of Bon Appetit in the mail mid-August. I'm flipping threw it and lo and behold there it is, Molly Wizenberg's witty musings and her recipe for Pickled Peppers with Shallots and Thyme . The picture alone got me,vibrant oranges and yellows and greens and then a happy little sprig of thyme just floating there in the sweet and tart vinegar river. I had two thoughts: 1. "Way to go food photographer you've pulled me in!" 2. I have to make these and ha! I have the peppers to do it. So I gathered my peppers and bought some mason jars and went to town. I made this recipe twice that fall and it was a hit. I gave some to my taste-tester friends and then when they approved,I gave some to my in-laws (and bless their hearts,they kept that jar in the fridge just barely full until Christmas so we could enjoy them with the turkey served at about flattery) .
          I have made this recipe twice now this summer.I am growing long thin, red cayenne peppers and some pepper called "Holy Mole." They haven't grown enough yet to include in this recipe,BUT! there is hope. The discovery of the farmers market here in town has provided me with a wide variety of peppers to choose from and our Costco membership has provided me with the mini bell peppers called for in the recipe (if you can't find mini bell peppers,you can do one of two things: 1. we can hop in the car and go to Costco together,my mom loves that place or 2. you can buy a whole bunch of regular size bell peppers,core and seed them and slice them into matchsticks and they will be just as tasty). I am totally hooked on these peppers and I think you will be too. Go ahead make room on your Top 5 list,it's totally worth it.

Pickled Peppers with Shallots and Thyme
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg (discover this website,it's a keeper)
1 lb sweet or mild mini bell peppers,sliced into rings
2 lg shallots,thinly sliced
2 cups white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3 TBL water
5 fresh thyme sprigs
2 large garlic cloves,thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
pinch of kosher salt
1. Place the peppers and shallots in a large bowl.
2. Mix vinegar and the next 6 ingredients in a medium saucepan.Bring to a boil over medium heat,stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove brine from heat,carefully pour over peppers and shallots.Cover bowl and let stand for 5 minutes,
3. Uncover,cool to room temperature ,transfer to a quart size jar,pressing down the peppers into the brine (I pack the jar first with pepper then pour the brine over,whatever works for you). Cover and chill for at least 4 hours up to 10 days.
**These will last a while in the least until Christmas. Enjoy.**

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