Hot peppers in oil is a typical Calabrian recipe, simple and within everyone’s reach. We have already extensively discussed the proper cultivation of this spicy fruit in the previous article “How to grow organic peppers”. It is needless to say that to preserve the peppers by immersing them in oil, you should use berries from plants not treated with pesticides and completely organic. If managed correctly, the collection of this fiery spice can extend into the autumn period.
To present today’s recipe, we will use a photographic timeline, covering all the necessary steps. We start from harvesting the peppers and proceed step by step to preparing the jars.
Harvesting the hot peppers
To preserve peppers in oil, the fruits must be harvested when they have reached full ripeness on the plant. They should have a beautiful bright red color and a firm texture.
We also reveal a little trick that will surely be useful: when deciding to pick the peppers, refrain from watering them for a few days.
This is for two reasons. First, the pepper will become spicier, and second, it will not be very rich in vegetative water.
In any case, once harvested, let the berries rest for at least two days before starting the oil preservation process. During this waiting period, store the berries in a cool and dark place.
Cleaning the chili peppers
After at least two days, the peppers are ready for the preservation process that will keep them in oil. This begins with cleaning the fruits.
The peppers must be separated not only from the remains of the plant but also from the stems.
After this separation, quickly rinse the peppers under running water to remove dust and dirt residues.
At this point, it is essential to thoroughly dry the peppers with a kitchen towel. Before proceeding with the next steps, they must be perfectly dry.
The recipe for chili peppers in oil
After these preparatory stages, we move on to the actual recipe for peppers in oil. Let’s start with the ingredients.
- 1 kg of hot peppers
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 50 gr. of fine salt
- Vinegar as needed
For the recipe of peppers in oil, you should start with clean and dry berries. Once ready, cut them into pieces about half a centimeter in size, using kitchen scissors.
Then place the pieces in a colander inside a larger bowl.
Be sure to wear latex gloves during cutting and, most importantly, do not touch your face for any reason.
After cutting all the berries, prepare the ingredients for the first part of the recipe, namely the salt and vinegar.
The first part of the recipe for hot chili peppers in oil: salt and vinegar
Sprinkle the peppers with salt and add a few splashes of vinegar, but don’t overdo it. Vinegar aids in preservation, but excessive use could diminish the spiciness.
Stir the pieces of pepper repeatedly with a wooden spoon until the salt has dissolved completely.
The salt helps eliminate the water naturally present in vegetables. Without this essential step, it is not possible to put the peppers in oil. They would only last a few days before developing mold. After this salting operation, let the peppers rest for 24 hours. During this period, check them occasionally and stir with a spoon to facilitate the expulsion of water.
For this reason, we had you put the peppers in a colander inside another container.
The water expelled by the peppers during these 24 hours is significant. One of the main properties of salt, as well-known as preservation, is dehydration.
The second part of the recipe for hot chili peppers in oil: oil and filling the jars
Now let’s move on to the second part of the recipe for peppers in oil. After 24 hours, clean the bowl, dry it thoroughly, and pour the peppers into it. At this stage, it is advisable to add a little olive oil and mix well so that the pieces of spicy berry begin to absorb the oil.
Then take the jars, of course, clean and sterilized, and proceed with filling them. However, start by adding a finger of oil to the bottom of the jar.
Gradually add the peppers, using a spoon. Then press them lightly, continuing the filling operation until reaching the jar’s mouth. Finally, cover with oil.
Set aside your jars, leaving them open for a couple of days. This operation serves to check if the oil does not absorb too much over time and, therefore, needs a refill.
For proper preservation, it is crucial that the peppers are well covered with oil.
After conducting the necessary checks, seal the jars securely, possibly adding a small press, and store them in a cool and dry place.
After completion, let at least 15 days pass before tasting them so that the oil also becomes spicy.
Jars of peppers in oil can be not only a tasty preserve for the winter but also an excellent gift idea for your friends, especially during the Christmas season.
In this second case, the use of these uniquely shaped jars could enhance the thoughtfulness.
- Food Science and Nutrition: “Development of a database of capsaicinoid contents in foods commonly consumed in Korea” by Hoyoun Cho and Youngjoo Kwon. This study discusses the development of a database for capsaicinoid contents in foods commonly consumed in Korea, which includes red pepper.
- Journal of Food Science and Technology: “The effect of different drying techniques and microwave finish drying on the powder properties of the red pepper powder (Capsicum annuum L.)” by Gülşah Çalışkan Koç. This article explores the effect of different drying techniques on the properties of red pepper powder.
- Poultry Science: “Hot red pepper powder as a safe alternative to antibiotics in organic poultry feed: an updated review”. This review discusses the potential of hot red pepper powder as a safe alternative to antibiotics in organic poultry feed.
- Sensors: “Design and Fabrication of a Real-Time Measurement System for the Capsaicinoid Content of Korean Red Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Powder” by Jongguk Lim et al. This study discusses the design and fabrication of a real-time measurement system for the capsaicinoid content of Korean red pepper powder.
- ScienceDirect: “Capsaicinoids and capsinoids. A potential role for weight management? A systematic review of the evidence”. This article reviews the potential role of capsaicinoids and capsinoids, compounds found in hot red peppers, in weight management.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: “Capsaicinoids supplementation decreases percent body fat and fat mass: adjustment using covariates in a post hoc analysis”. This study discusses the potential benefits of Capsaicinoids on body fat and fat mass.
- PubMed: “Acute effects of capsaicin on energy expenditure and fat oxidation in negative energy balance”. This study discusses the effects of capsaicin, a compound found in hot red peppers, on energy expenditure and fat oxidation.