Saturday, August 8, 2009

Garden Abundance: Jalapeño Peppers

One of the vegetables people often find in abundance and don't know how to deal with them is Jalapeño peppers. You only use a few in salsas and beyond that, most people aren't sure what to do with them. One of our favorite condiments is a recipe that I adapted from a banana pepper recipe years ago. My aunt met a guy that did the banana peppers this way and I decided that it made perfect sense to handle my jalapenos the same way as well. While I can't guarantee that these meet USDA canning standards, I can tell you that I make them and they last years without any visible signs of problems and we finished of a two year old jar just last week without any ill effects. The thing I like the most about this recipe is that you can make one jar or 20. It's totally based on how many peppers you have. My most favorite way to eat them is atop a slice of cheese pizza, fresh from the oven. We dice them and sprinkle on top of it after baking. They are also good on Thai foods(the classic sweet/hot taste) and I like them on nachos as well. If you make these and come up with another way to enjoy them, please let me know!

Sweet n' Hot Peppers (Hungarian, banana, chile, jalapeno-any kind)

* All the jalapeno peppers you want to fix
* Equal amounts of brown sugar and apple cider vinegar

To avoid severe burns, wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers. After handling peppers, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face.

Wash peppers. Remove tops and any bad spots. Slice in 1/8-1/4" slices. We keep the seeds in so its extra hot, but you can remove them if you like. Once you have an idea of how many jars your peppers will fill, prepare enough of the syrup mixture to fill your pint or half pint jars.

Put the clean jars in your canner full of water to get them hot, bringing this water to a boil. Measure out your brown sugar and vinegar in a non-reactive sauce pan and bring that to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and heat for about 5-10 minutes so all the sugar is dissolved. When everything is ready, fill the hot jars to with pepper slices-don't pack them, but you can shake them down to within 1/2" of rim. Ladle hot syrup mixture over the peppers leaving 1/2-inch head space.

Adjust lids

Recommended processing times for hot peppers in a boiling-water canner
Raw pack

* Process 1/2 pint or pint jars
o 10 minutes at 0 to 1,000 feet in altitude
o 15 minutes at 1001 to 6,000 feet in altitude

No comments: