And so, again I find myself, for the fourth time since last December, making a batch of Sherry Peppers Sauce, which, I totally do add to every single savory dish I make.
A good friend adds a splash of good vinegar to most every sauce, soup, and stew that she makes, maintaining that it helps to balance out all of the flavors.
And it does, I now do that as well, but, I am firmly of the belief that Sherry Peppers Sauce at the beginning starts the whole
thing off properly.
The recipe – which I based off of a sauce featured in a cookbook from Bermuda that I picked up at an antique store – is notable for the fact that all of the ingredients are easily available from most markets…
the most notable possible issue being the deli-sliced hot cherry peppers. I have two rather well-stocked supermarkets that carry this brand – from California – but if you have a decent Italian deli/food shop in the neighborhood, they (or Amazon) should also be able to set you up.
Now, you might think that the tamarind nectar would be a touch exotic, as my Indiana mom-in-law sometimes (lovingly) refers to my foodstuffs – but in fact, if you check the Hispanic section of your supermarket, you will more than likely find it, and usually at a pretty decent price.
All the hard stuff taken care of, let’s make us some Sherry Peppers!
Note: this recipe does involve canning – processing jars of comestibles in boiling water until sealed and shelf stable. Do not freak, it is really pretty simple and basic.
•32 oz sliced hot cherry peppers, drained
•1/2 cup juice from the peppers
•2 (11.3 oz) cans tamarind nectar
•2 jalapeños, quartered and sliced
•3 cups water
•2 cups white vinegar
•3-3/4 cups sugar
•4 tsp pickling salt
•1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
•2 tbsp hot sauce
•1-1/4 cup sherry
•1 (3 oz) pouch liquid pectin or 6 tbsp powdered pectin
A note on the pectin: add powdered pectin in the beginning, before boiling; add liquid after boiling.
Drain the cherry peppers, reserving 1/2 cup of the juice from the jars, and add to a large, nonreactive pot.
Wearing protective gloves, slice the jalapeños and add to the pot with the cherry peppers and the 1/2 cup liquid for the cherry pepper jars.
Add the remaining ingredients (unless you are using liquid pectin) and bring to a boil, stirring often, for three minutes.
If you are using liquid pectin, stir it in now.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
And here, folk, for the second time just this week – a prime reason to have an immersion blender in one of your kitchen drawers…
with the sauce simmering, run the immersion blender through it, nicely chopping the peppers into small bits with minimal muss and fuss – the blade part of the blender is dishwasher safe.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the sauce in batches to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth-ish (a few pepper strips are not a bad thing) and then return to the pot.
Once the sauce is blended to your preference, ladle into prepared canning jars, I normally use half-pint jars for this recipe, apply lids and bands, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Note: you can sterilize canning jars in the dishwasher, if it has a “sanitize” setting, or by arranging the clean jars on a rack in a hot 225º oven for 20 minutes. Lids can be boiled for ten minutes, or placed in a single layer in the 225º oven along with the jars.
Remove the jars from the boiling water and let rest on a rack.
You should hear a “pop” from each jar – that is the lid sealing itself. Check this by pressing lightly down in the center of each lid. If it is down – or presses and then stays down – your jar is sealed. If it does not stay down, try re-processing in the boiling water; that will usually do the trick.
If it doesn’t, your biggest issue will be that, once the jar that didn’t seal has cooled, it will need to be stored in the fridge.
All of the sealed jars are shelf-stable until opened, and then should be stored in the fridge until needed.
Which, if you’re like me, will be a lot.