Hot-n-Sweet Red Pepper Pickled Eggs
Pickled Eggs? Did you say, "Pickled Eggs"?? Are you kidding???
Stop in any true southern country grocery or corner store and you're bound to see a big jar of pickled pigs feet or beet pickled eggs up on the counter. Trust me when I tell you... this ain't them!
These are not your typically "vinegary" pickled eggs, they are both sweet and spicy hot at the same time. In fact, many will argue that the real star of this recipe is not the eggs at all, but instead the delicious roasted red peppers and onions! To be sure, all of these are delicious alone and together, but they all also make great ingredients for a whole slew of other recipes you'll find here at Landia Hill Farm. I like to use the smallest eggs we get from our hens, they make for great "poppers" but any size eggs will work.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 weeks!
1 Cup White Vinegar
1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup Sugar
2 24oz. Mason Jar [or equiv. glass container of at least 28-30oz]
2 Roasted Red Peppers*
4 Cloves garlic
½ Onion [Vidalia]
1 Tbsp Black Peppercorns [whole]
2 Tbsp Magic Spice**
2 Tsp Chili Oil
14-16 Hard boiled Eggs
Perfect hard boiled eggs, every time? Magic or myth?
Having fresh eggs here on the farm I had to do a little digging to find the best way to boil them and avoid the "sticky shell" mess that you get with fresh eggs. Along with that, I hate chalky overcooked yolks so here are a few tips that I have found to make easy to peel eggs with lovely yellow yolks, almost every time.
1. Bring a pot of water to a full rolling boil. Add in a hefty dose of salt [2 tbsp.) and about a half cup of white vinegar. Keep at a rolling boil.
2. Gently spoon in your eggs with a large slotted spoon. Be careful not to crack them.
3. Cover the pot and keep on high heat for exactly one minute. This helps cook the whites properly as they take more heat to cook than the yolks
4. Keeping covered, reduce heat to as low as possible and let sit for 12-13 minutes.
5. When finished, dump the hot water and rinse quickly with cold water. Here in Vermont, the cold water is COLD so it works just fine. In warmer climates you might want to add some ice cubes. The key is you want to "shock" the shells to release them for easy peeling.
6. tap the egg ends first, then gentle crack the rest, start your peeling at whichever end of the egg releases first.
We first begin by preparing the brine. Add the vinegar(s) to a small saucepan. Warm to a low simmer, then add sugar to dissolve fully. Be careful not to let boil, low and slow i the name of the game here, you just need it warn enough to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, set aside but keep warm.
At the same time you can cook your hard boiled eggs. See the tips above if you find yourself struggling with how to cook them consistently.
While the eggs are boiling, lets prepare the veggies. With the onion you can either thin slice if you enjoy pickled onions, or you can chop just for the flavoring. Personally I like to slice them as thin as I possibly can right from the half onion as they can also be used in other dishes or eaten just as is.
For the Red Peppers, they come in a variety of sizes depending on your brand. If they are a “full pepper” brand, you will only need two. If they are a “pepper tip” brand, you may need 4-5. Personally, I love pickled red peppers [and onions!] as much as the eggs so you can again choose to either chop the peppers just for their delicious flavor, or you can cut them into manageable sized pieces or even use the entire tips as is. I do a combo. I like them sliced about 1 inch wide and however long they are.
Cut garlic cloves in half and crush. You can alternately use prepared minced garlic if you choose.
Get your other ingredients handy and lets assemble.
Place a small layer of onions at the bottom of your mason jar as a base, maybe just a quarter inch or less. Think of it as just enough for a soft 'nest' for your eggs. Now add a couple of red pepper slices.
With your hard boiled eggs now peeled, add 3 eggs to the jar and throw in a glove of garlic
Add another layer of onions, more peppers, 3 more eggs and another garlic clove
Repeat one more time with another layer of onions and peppers, and finally the last 3 eggs. [you may find only 2 eggs will fit all depending on the egg sizes].
Lastly add the black peppercorn kernels.
Now back to the brine. Add in your chili oil and Magic Spice** to the brine and stir gently. Don't worry if the spices don't want to fully mix, that's normal. With one last gentle stir, slowly pour in warm pickling brine into jar just below the brim of the jars. If the chili oil or spices don't want to stay mixed, no worries, just give it another gentle stir. Top up with brine until it’s full and seal with your lid, you really want enough brine to make sure you cover everything. If you find you're a little short on brine, just top the jars off with some white vinegar right out of the bottle. If you have plastic mason jar lids, they work better than the standard metal lids as they will not rust from the vinegar. Carefully turn jar to ensure a good mix of spices and brine. Let cool then refrigerate for a minimum of 7 days before eating, I find they really start to take on their best flavor after a full 2 weeks of soaking. Just give them a good spin in the fridge every couple of days. They will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator so no worries there.
Lastly, if you want to add a little fun, put a couple drops of red food coloring in the brine to watch them come out a beautiful bright pink!
Finally, here's a link to the "Magic Spice" mix. Make some, you'll find yourself using it for everything!.