Being a California girl, I wasn't really sure what pepper vinegar was when I first stumbled upon a recipe for it.
How did I stumble across a recipe for pepper vinegar? Well, in anticipation of planting a variety of hot pepper plants, I began searching for recipes to utilize them. Why grow 6 different hot peppers with no plans to USE any of them?
When I first found this recipe I was intrigued, to say the least. I looked up other versions of pepper vinegar. I remembered going to St. Louis for a couson's wedding and seeing a bottle of what must have been -pepper vinegar- in a Steak and Shake. Hmm...so these people were onto something that I wasn't.
These pepper recipes were part of why I started blogging when I did. I wanted to document recipes that I tried and made up. Some have been good, some have been not so good. But this pepper vinegar has been great.
Of course, you could just go to the grocery store and grab some peppers there. Bring the bottle you plan to use (empty!) so you can get an idea of how many peppers you'll need.
Onto the recipe...
Wash, and sterilize in a hot water bath if you so desire, the bottles and lids (and a funnel).
Wash the peppers and let dry, or gently dry with a towel. Cut off the stem and slice in half (or in quarters if a half is too big to fit through the neck of the bottle).
Stuff the peppers into the bottle. You want them to all fit in nicely, but not too snug because otherwise, the vinegar won't be able to get around all of them. You can get creative here and put the peppers in different orders to make fun patterns. I found a chopstick was very handy in getting the peppers right where I wanted them. Make sure there is empty space in the neck above the peppers. This ensures they can all be covered completely with vinegar.
Warm up some vinegar. You have to estimate how much you'll need. If you are making several bottles, I recommend following the directions here on how he heated up the vinegar. Since I did one or 2 small bottles at a time, I put some vinegar in a glass liquid measuring cup and popped in in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds.
Pour the vinegar into the bottles with the help of a funnel. Once the tops of the peppers are covered, oh so gently shake the bottle to release any air pockets. Fill up some more, but make sure to leave some head space in the top.
These little beauties need to sit away from direct sunlight for at least 2 weeks. Put them in a cupboard or in your fridge. I'm making some for Christmas gifts. Yum!
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