Monday, November 16, 2015

Potentially Irresponsible Hot Pickled Green Tomatoes

     It's the end of the season. That means I've got an assload of green tomatoes and I need to find ways to use them. Last year I made some chow-chow which I thought was absolutely nasty. Fortunately, a co-worker loved it so it all found a home. We really enjoyed the hot pickles we've made in the past, so we decided on hot pickled tomatoes. The irresponsible part came about when I decided I'd just chuck the bulk of my surplus peppers in with the tomatoes. I'm going to tell you right now, I haven't tasted these. They're canned and marinating for now. If I eat them, I'll update you. Just know that if you make these and they suck or make your asshole fall out, don't come crying to me. This recipe will yield a bit over six QUARTS of pickled excitement.

Potentially Irresponsible
Hot Pickled Green Tomatoes
based on a recipe from Southern Living Little Jars, Big Flavors

  • 5 pounds green tomatoes (cut medium ones into quarters, large into eights)
  • 2 red onions, halved and sliced
  • 2 pounds assorted banana peppers (sweet or hot, your choice) stemmed and sliced into 1/2" in rounds
  • 2 pounds assorted hot peppers (I went batshit crazy and did a mix of cayenne, jalapeno and Thai bird), stemmed and sliced into 1/2" rounds
  • 8 tsp canning and pickling salt, divided 
  • 8 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • garlic cloves
  • bay leaves
  1. Sterilize a half dozen quart jars. 
  2. Get a huge bowl, (I'm not kidding. The biggest you can find).
    That's right. We used a punch bowl. 
    Throw all the veggies in there with 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons of the salt). Toss all that to get the salt incorporated. Wait about half an hour then drain off all the water that built up in the bottom of the bowl. Toss the veggies again to make sure everything is evenly distributed. You don't want a jar of one tomato and the rest hot peppers (maybe you do. HILARIOUS!) Spill some. Make a mess. Swear a bunch and curse ever following my blog.
  3. In a nonreactive pan, add vinegar, water, sugar and remaining salt. Bring to a boil until sugar and salt have dissolved. Lower the heat to low. Just keep the liquid hot.
  4. In each quart jar add a bay leaf, a couple garlic cloves, a teaspoon of mustard seed and a teaspoon of pickling spice. Cram as much of the veggie mix into the jar as you can, keeping 1/2" headspace. Add hot liquid to jars until veggies are covered. Make sure to keep that 1/2" headspace.
  5. Seal jars and process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes (as always, double check with the National Center for Home Food Preservation to ensure you're not going to end up on the wrong side of a lawsuit)
  6. Set jars on a cooling rack and hope you hear the thunking noise that lets you know the jars sealed. If they didn't you can either try reboiling them or put all the jars in the fridge for later use (don't be a dummy and put super hot jars into the fridge unless you're a big fan of replacing your shelves).
Good times!

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