Chicago’s fall came quick and is already on its way out. Naturally with cold weather moving in our garden has been fading away. A couple of weeks ago, Joe & I harvested all of our red chilies to make a garlic chili paste. This would be our first time making a chili paste and our first canning experience! Definitely not the last either! Although we only made a small batch to start, it was enough to get us excited for more canning. We used 37 red chilies to make 3 (4oz) jars of chili garlic paste.
ingredients : 37 red chilies, 4 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, & 2 tablespoons sugar,
Making the actual sauce was easy. We chopped off all of the stems from the chilies and sliced them a couple of times to no particular size. We peeled the garlic and measured out the other ingredients. Then combined everything in the magic bullet and pureed. We added about half of our chili pieces to start and then more as there was room in the bullet vessel, a blender would also work. Once all of the ingredients were combined, we poured them into a sauce pot and boiled for about 5 minutes. We reduced the boil to a simmer until the paste was fully cooked, about 15 additional minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare your jars and lids for canning. We used Ball Complete Book of Home Canning to guide us through the process. Start off by thoroughly cleaning your jars and lids with warm water and soap. In a pot large enough to submerge your jars with at least 1 inch of water over the jars, bring the jars to a simmer; do not boil. Prepare your lids by simmering in a smaller sauce pan until you are ready to use them. Once the sauce is done cooking, fill the jars one at a time. Use your canning tools to help carefully lift the jars from the pot to a work surface that can handle the heat. Ladle the sauce into the jars leaving about 1/4 inch from the top. Use a clean cloth to wipe around the jar rim. Remove your jar lid from the simmering sauce pan with your magnet wand and place onto the jar; tighten the screw band just enough, but avoid over tightening to achieve a proper seal. Place sealed jars back into the pot with a water level that is at least an inch over your jars, cover and bring to a rolling boil for at least 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, remove lid and let stand for another 5 minutes. Remove jars and leave them alone for about 24 hours, listen for the “pop” sound- this will indicate that your jars are properly sealed. To be sure they are sealed properly check after the 24 hours that the lids do not move when you press them, remove the screw band and lift the jar by the sealed lid. It should be firmly attached.
This was a pretty simple process and a great way for us to use so many chilies at once. We would have never been able to eat the 37 chilies before they went bad and now we can enjoy them all winter long.
–use our experience as a loose guide to the process. We’re just getting started and there is so much more to learn! Safety precautions must be taken when canning and preserving food (especially if you plan to share). Research further!