The challenge for this month’s First on the First event was pickles.
But…I don’t like pickles. I don’t think I’ve ever had or seen or smelled pickled anything that appealed to me.
Having said that, I’m pretty sure that puts me in the minority. So I’m thrilled to participate in a round-about kind of way with a cookbook review and tested and true recipe for Pickled Roasted Red Peppers from the Ball/Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving!
I’ve tried other recipes from this book, including the Red Pepper Jelly, and the detailed instructions and information about every step involved in the preserving process make me confident anytime I pull out this book. It isn’t a book full of pictures, so if you like a picture of every recipe this doesn’t deliver, but it is a perfect cookbook for a reader. I love to read and learn the logic behind what’s happening in the kitchen – oh, you leave the jars in 5 minutes after processing to allow the pressure to stabilize before moving the jars, decreasing the risk of faulty seals? Good to know!
This book covers all the basics of canning, along with explanations of all the required equipment and how to prep and use it properly. It definitely doesn’t stop at basics though, with loads of creative recipes for delicious-sounding things like Mango-Raspberry Jam and Brandied Apple Rings.
This book is jam-packed (no pun intended) with recipes for preserving just about anything you can think of. Each recipe has specific tips and cautions, and in case something does go wrong, the troubleshooting section covers all the bases of what possibly could have gone wrong so you can adjust for next time. This book has quick become a trusted resource – with the Ball/Bernardin names behind it you know it’s going to be good.
I can see this book being pulled off my shelf over and over again, to make everything from summer salsa to cranberry chutney to spaghetti sauce. And if I ever DO get on the pickles bandwagon, this book has me more than covered, from traditional dill pickles to pickled mixed vegetables to these pickled roasted red peppers.
If I was going to pickle something, it would be these peppers. Because, just like Peter Piper, I would like to pick a peck of pickled peppers. What would you pickle first?
- 4 large cloves garlic, roasted, removed from skin and mashed (see note)
- 11⁄2 cups white vinegar
- 11⁄2 cups cider vinegar
- 11⁄2 cups dry white wine
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 4 tsp pickling or canning salt
- 20 medium sweet red peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined and cut lengthwise into serving-size pieces (see note)
- Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
- In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine roasted garlic, white vinegar, cider vinegar, white wine, water, onion, sugar, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes, until garlic and oregano flavors have infused the liquid.
- Pack room temperature peppers into hot jars to within a generous 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar. Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover peppers, leaving 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) headspace. Remove air bubbles by sliding a non-metal spatula down the inside edge of each jar and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
- Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
Excerpted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry and Lauren Divine © 2012 www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.
*I received a copy of this cookbook from the publisher for review. I was not otherwise compensated for this post and all opinions are, as always, 100% my own. I really do think I’ll be using this book over and over again! Images and recipe used here with permission.
Want to join us in our first of the month challenges? We’d love to have you :) Check out the other pickling that went on this month below!