Pickled Chilies, Fridge Chilies, Dried Chilies, Chilly Chilies

Can you guess what this post is about? There´s a small hint in the title…

Yes, I am a complete chili addict.  I love things hot and spicy, but I know that not everyone else does.  Big Man has gradually increased his “heat tolerance” over the last few years, but he´s still got a way to go before he catches up with me.  A way around this is to grow your own chilies and then use them as you like.  They´re hard to buy here, Spain is not typically a nation of spicy food lovers.

Most of the chilies ripen at around the same time.  We planted late this year, so ours are all starting to turn red or orange (some are picked green) in early September. When you have this glut of chilies, you have to do something with them to keep them for the year ahead.

Chili Heaven

The simplest methods are (apart from eating them fresh), to freeze them or dry them.  Last year I planted long thin green chilies, some stubby orange ones, and the fiery cayennes.  You can see them in the photo.  If anyone wants seeds, please let me know and I´d be happy to mail them to you…honestly, if you have the weather for growing them they should do well.

This year I also planted some that a neighbour gave me (I don´t have a photo as they are not ripe yet) of some super fiery pinky red chilies that look like little balls or rose hips when they are mature.  If anyone knows what they might be, I´d love to know.

Some of my chilies I pickle and I followed the guidelines in Olives and Artichokes post here.  I used mustard seeds and peppercorns in this particular jar, but am going to enjoy playing around with spices and pickles over the next few weeks.

And a final way, which may be new to you, is my mum´s refrigerator chili preserve (for want of a better name) which keeps for a month or two and is for dedicated chili lovers who enjoy spooning spicy fresh chilies over anything and everything.  Cut your chilies finely, scissors help with this as they help avoid nasty incidents with chili fingers in eyes.  Put them into a sterilised jar (recently out of the dishwasher is good). Cover the chilies with oil (I use olive oil but any oil will do) and soya sauce (about 8 oil to 1 soya).  Keep in the fridge, shake before serving, and enjoy the buzz!

We are off on holiday tomorrow (yay!) for a week – looking forward to catching up on all your posts and comments when we´re back.  ¡Hasta luego!

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