Sunday, October 9, 2011

My day indoors was happy and satisfying. Hot chilies from the farmers market, pickled tea eggs, and beets and eggs.

When I went to the last Farmer's Market in Alamosa of the season, I saw the most gorgeous red chilies. When I asked about them, he said that they were the "hot" ones. So I bought all he had (which was just one basket). I roasted them on my grill. I put them on the hot grill for a few minutes and turned them only once (twice would have been better). Then I turned off the grill and poured a cup of hot water on everything to let it steam a few minutes. Once I pulled them off the grill and put them under a moist towel they were almost ready to peel already. I peeled them (not using my head) with my bare hands. They were delicious but definitely hot. My hands burned for a day or two afterward, but now they're all bagged up with 3-4 chilies per bag for all my winter recipes.

I've been wanting to pickle eggs and beets since I found the recipe in one of my old cookbooks. They have to be refrigerated so I only did 4 quart sized jars. I tweaked the recipe just a bit. Sacrificing appearances for flavor, I added balsamic vinegar instead of cider vinegar. Balsamic has a way of bringing out the rich earth flavor in beets as well as making the sweet shine through. The recipe is now written inside my pickling book so that I'll remember the next time I make it.

The front batch of jars were supposed to be pickled Chinese tea eggs. However, my eggs were too fresh. So when I pealed them, I pulled off much of the lovely tea color I'd been working to achieve. I used 3 of the hot red chilies from the farmers market, various pickling spices, white wine, and vinegar to pickle them. Everything I've read says that they taste best if you wait at least two weeks before eating them.

I hate waiting.....

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