Monday, September 16, 2013

Pickled Jalapenos

This recipe comes from Massachusetts author Sherry Vinton's wonderful preserving book Put 'Em Up. You can use it for any kind of chili peppers. The pickling process mellows their heat considerably, but they still retain a little kick. The hotter the pepper you start with, the more kick retained. I like to use jalapenos and Hungarian hot wax or banana peppers. If you like the pickled flavor but not the heat, try sweet peppers. Once opened, a jar of these will keep for ages in the fridge.  Great for nachos, tacos or quesadillas, scrambled eggs, homemade salsa, etc.

If you want to make more or less than this recipe calls for, just keep in mind that each pound of fresh peppers equals roughly one quart (or equivalent) of pickled peppers.

2 lbs jalapenos or other chili peppers
3 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar

Stem the peppers and slice them into rounds. You may want to use rubber gloves for this. If you opt to use your bare hands, be sure to scrub them very thoroughly with soap afterwards to avoid unpleasantness the next time you rub your eyes or some other sensitive area.

Prepare the brine by bringing the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar just to a boil then turning off the heat.

Pack the peppers tightly into jars (I like to do this in half pint jars but you can do pints as well). Using a funnel, ladle the brine over the peppers, leaving about a quarter inch of head space at the top. Wipe the rims clean, then place the lids on and add the rings, screwing them until until just 'fingertip tight'.

Process the jars in a boiling water bath, 10 minutes for half pints or 15 minutes for pints. Remove from the water and let cool for 24 hours. If any jars fail to seal, put them in the fridge and use them soon.

Makes 4 to 4 1/2 pints.

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