I was looking through the internet trying to find the difference between peppers for a recipe and found a couple of posting for Spicy Vinegar and Spicy Honey (hot honey just does not sound quite right). The recipes are simple. Thinking ahead to Christmas – what great gifts for you to give your friends/family that like to cook! The guy that posted the recipes was Mike…..so thanks Mike for the insight and since there are lots of peppers right now at the farmers market, I will definitely be trying out your recipes!
Spicy Vinegar – by Mike
Every year, I use a few dried peppers to make up a stock of hot vinegar. I use a good bit of vinegar for cooking, and hot vinegar is an easy way to add a bit of “bite” to a recipe. It is also particularly good on french fries and other types of prepared potatoes, as well as salads and cooked greens.
Hot vinegar is easy to make. I usually use white wine vinegar, but you can use pretty much any type of vinegar. The only restriction on the type of dried pepper that you use is that the peppers must fit into the vinegar bottle.
The acidity in vinegar may kill some types of pathogenic bacteria, but it won’t kill all of them, so I always pour the vinegar into a saucepan and boil the peppers in it for about five minutes to kill any bacteria on them. Since boiling vinegar can fill your kitchen with some really irritating fumes, I strongly recommend that you keep a lid on the saucepan. Once the boiling is done, allow the vinegar to cool, and then pour it back into the bottle, along with the peppers.
Cayennes are good for making hot vinegar.
Spicy Honey: by Mike
This is a quick, easy way to use up some of that bumper crop of Habanero. Get five or six one-pound bottles of honey (preferably a good local clover honey) and 20 to 25 fresh Habanero pods. Wash the pods well, and then, wearing gloves, slice four of the peppers into 1/2″ wide strips. Using tongs, put the strips into a one-pound jar of honey and use a butter knife to submerge them and to dislodge any air bubbles that have gotten trapped in the honey. Allow three to four weeks for the honey to extract the heat and flavor from the peppers. The result is well worth the wait: a hot honey flavored with that fruity Chinese flavor. Use liberally on toast and biscuits, in glazes and marinade.
NOTE: Remember you do not have to add quite as many peppers/pods as Mike did and you can still have that bit of spice that you like 🙂