Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Peck of Pickled Peppers

Everyone is prone to making silly mistakes now and then.  Right?  Well, my silliest mistake of the season was purchasing a tad entirely too many jalapeno peppers.  

This is just a very small portion of the peppers I bought.
As is the case with many mistakes, multiple contributing factors converged to create the big oops.  I could blame it on the fact that I read a recipe from a book in a store very quickly and totally overestimated the quantities needed later on or that I saw an outrageously good deal on jalapenos at the farmer's market, but why overanalyze things?  All that really matters is that the end result was me returning home with a quarter of a bushel box of peppers.  By the way, I am pretty sure that a quarter bushel actually is a peck, so the famous rhyme would be totally appropriate here.  I never thought I would recreate the situation that Peter Piper found himself in so many years ago.  I wonder if his spouse thought him as crazy as mine did!  Anyway...

What to do with a peck of peppers?  I saw lots of out-of-the-box ideas for them, but I wanted to use them in ways that would actually be beneficial to us throughout the year.  We use pickled jalapenos in nachos, salsas, corn, and mexican rice dishes, so I decided to use some of the peppers to make my own. 

This recipe is very simple, uses very few ingredients, and can be made quickly.  Please remember to use caution with the peppers.  They do burn the skin on your hands when you work with them in larger quantities, and the capsaicin remains on your skin for a long time (a peach I ate hours later tasted spicy after I held it with my hand to eat it). 

Pickled Jalapeno Slices- makes 4 to 5 pint jars

This recipe comes from Canning for a New Generation.  I have not changed it much except to use one of the book's secondary recommendations to use honey rather than sugar to add some sweetness.  I also went with the headspace recommendations from National Center for Home Food Preservation because the book's 1 inch headspace seemed like a lot and did not correspond to any other pickled pepper recipes I saw.  The recipe makes 4-5 pints depending upon how well you pack the jalapenos into the jars.  They are a little tricky to get in there snugly without breaking the rings.  A chopstick worked well to move them around in the jar. 

2 1/2 pounds jalapenos, cut in 1/8 in rounds and rinsed to remove loose seeds
4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
4-5 garlic cloves (one for each jar)

Prepare your canner, jars, and lids. 

In a nonreactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, honey, and salt until boiling.  Pack the pepper slices into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Fill each jar with the hot vinegar mixture, and place a garlic clove into each jar.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace.  Wipe the rims of the jars, and place a sterilized lid and ring on top of each one.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove jars to a towel to cool for 24 hours.  Check seals, label, and store. 


1 comment:

  1. Ooh, pickled jalapenos sound amazing! Delicious tacos all winter: yes please.