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Monday, July 15, 2013

For whom the bell peppers toll

One of the biggest gritches I have heard over the years is that bell peppers are not only prolific, but that they arrive earlier than tomatoes. Thus causing concern on what to do with them until one can make salsa.

Well if you don't mind snagging some of your tomatoes before they have ripened, I have a wonderfully warm picante sauce here.

Two of the easiest ways to use up your peppers are, grilling them and stir fry. Hey, it's summer and we cook out a lot. Brush some olive oil over your bell, toss it on the grill along side your hamburgers, and once the outsides have blistered, the skin peels right off, then core and cut to add to your diner.  Stuffing them before grilling them makes a delicious main course. Olives, cheeses, bread crumbs, apples, Italian sausage, what to stuff them with is limited only to your imagination and pantry.

Another way is a slow stir fry. As your bells and other stir fry ingredients are harvested, slice into stir fry size and freeze in small bags. Once harvest season is over, you just grab your different ingredients, place them in warm water to thaw, then flash cook in sunflower or peanut oil. Taste the awesome.

But if you are looking for something a bit different, might I suggest Lemonhead pepper jelly. I find this makes a great hostess gift, as you can tell from my meetings with Small Farm Girl, Sandy and Scifi chick

2 1/4 pounds bell peppers (about 5)

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon butter

1 box Sure-Jell pectin

7 1/2 cups sugar

Core (seed) and finely chop peppers. Mix all ingredients, except sugar, together in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil over a high heat, be sure to stir it often. Slowly add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return to a hard boil and stir constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim any foam off, and allow to sit for five minutes. Stir occasionally.

Pour into your sterile jars, and hot water bath for 10 mins. (Allowing the jelly to sit in your pantry for a few weeks before eating helps enhance the flavors.)

Don't want to use sugar? Cool. Substitute the sugar with honey, adding 2/3 cup honey for every 1 cup sugar. In this recipe you would use 4 2/3 cups honey.

Other things I do with bell peppers? Potatoes o'Brian, dehydrate to add to soups later, dehydrate then powder to add an extra something something to my dredging flour, coresly chopping and freezing to add to anything I feel the need to add them to.

What do you do with your sweet bells?


Soapbox Girl said...

Bell peppers are prolific? That make the outrageous price you pay at the grocery store even more outrageous.

Phelan said...

Very, and the hotter it is the more peppers you get. There are a lot of veggies out there that are ridiculously priced.

Sandy Livesay said...

Thanks for the recipe my friend.

kristine barr said...

Bah! My one pepper plant has 4 peppers on it all with blossom end rot! I'm not happy.

Phelan said...

Kristine, I don't blame you, I wouldn't be thrilled either. I know it can clear up, as long as moisture levels stay consistent. I wish you luck.

You are welcome Sandy.

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