This is a recipe that I first used in a book called HOT! The Cookbook for Passionate Devotees Who Go Bonkers Over The Incendiary Pleasures of Food That Never Stops Whamming, Popping, or Zapping. And, no I didn’t come up with that title! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen another recipe quite like it. I learned my earlier version from a friend who had learned it from her Sicilian grandfather. For years, I used the hot Anaheim chiles that the original called for but I now use sweet little multi-colored peppers which make the end result far easier to eat with on a more frequent basis. You do need some type of closed crock and patience as it will take about 3 months for the peppers to be ready for eating. They do, however, keep for quite a long time – even without refrigeration – as long as they are kept covered and in a cool place. I will give you the original recipe but you can, of course, cut the ingredients to a more manageable amount or use the sweet little peppers that I now use as seen in the accompanying photos.
The finished chiles or peppers make a wonderful addition to an antipasto or meze platter or are a great component to a stacked sandwich.
When I put this together the other day, I just made a small crock’s worth so I threw the remaining peppers in a pan with some olive oil and garlic. I covered the pan and placed it over medium-low heat long enough to extract a lot of the water – about 20 minutes or so. Then, I transferred it to a very hot oven and roasted the peppers for about 10 minutes or so which caramelized the sugars and charred the edges a bit. They were sweet and yummy delicious!
½ bushel hot Anaheim chiles or other long, green hot chiles (or small sweet
peppers), washed, stemmed, and split, lengthwise, down one side
2 anchovy fillets per chile (approximately 250)
Approximately 6 cups coarse salt
Working with one chile (or pepper) at a time, place 2 achovy fillets into the opening in each chile.
As stuffed, carefully place the chiles in a neat layer in the bottom of a ceramic crock. Cover the layer with about ½ cup of salt. Continue making layers and salting them until all chiles have been used and crock is full.
Place a wooden block or heavy plate on top of the final layer of salted chiles. Top with a brick or heavy stone to push the chiles down as they exude their liquid as the salt will extract water. This extraction of liquid is one way that the chiles will be preserved. As the liquid comes to the surface, pour it off daily. It will take approximately 2 weeks for all of the liquid to be extracted from the chiles.
When no liquid can be poured off, cover the chiles will enough olive oil to cover by about ½-inch. Again cover the crock with a wooden block or heavy plate. Store in a cool, dark spot for at least 3 months before eating.
After 3 months, the chiles can be removed from the crock and placed in sterilized jars. Cover with the marinating olive oil, adding additional, if necessary. Cover and store in a cool, dark spot or the refrigerator for up to 6 months.