Bread & Butter Jalapenos with smoked salmon and cream cheese.
It’s pickling time! (Oh, who am I kidding, it’s always pickling time, if you’re me.) Today’s cunning culinary adventure in canning was brought to me by a post that My friend Susan posted about “Candied Jalapenos.” The very thought of them distracted me for the week that it took me to get around to making them – tangy, spicy, sweet! They’d be good on everything except maybe cake.
I read and re-read the recipe, and made a few changes before making them, including the name. Candied, to me, made me think of candied orange peels (which I made a few times in the last week, since that idea got stuck in my head and it’s much easier….) But these are more of a condiment, and aren’t actually sweet. They are, in fact, Bread & Butter Pickles that happen to use jalapenos instead of cucumbers. That simple.
I also made one significant modification in the recipe. The original recipe that Susan posted added cayenne pepper. To me, that didn’t seem right. Cooking is about balancing the various flavors that your taste buds perceive. Jalapeno and Cayenne seemed competitive and redundant to me. But I agreed that it needed another layer of “tang” and “pow,” so I replaced the cayenne with ground mustard. Oh sweet mother of savory sensations, these things are nirvana.
Evenly slice 3 pounds of fresh jalapeno peppers
3 pounds of fresh, firm jalapeno peppers
2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard powder
3 teaspoons garlic powder
You’ll need about 9 half-pint jars, processed with lids. (I used a mix of half-pint and quarter-pint jars, for little hostess gifts and quick snacks.)
Cooking up the goodness....
Process your jars and lids in boiling water and leave them submerged until you’re ready to use them. DO NOT THROW OUT THE WATER, you’ll use it for processing the jars.
Slice all the peppers, and wash your hands before you rub your eyes or pet the cat. (Not that I’ve done that. Many times.)
Put all the other ingredients in a large stock pot and cook until it’s all blended into a thick liquid.
Add all the peppers and cook them, stirring regularly (or constantly if you’re a little OCD and ADHD) for 4 minutes – and not one minute longer!
Using a slotted spoon, pack them into your sterile jars, about 1/4 inch from the top. Pack them a little fuller than you think you should, and a little tighter, because they will all float to the top and look like there aren’t many in there, which is really lame looking. (Not that I’ve done that. Many times.)
Turn the heat up on the syrup in the pot and bring it to a full rolling boil. Pour the heated syrup over the peppers in the jars until just shy of the rim.
Wipe the rims clean and put the lids and bands on the jars as tightly as you can.
Pickled, canned and ready for prime time! A perfect hostess gift, or snack. Even my 13 year-old daughter loves them!
PROCESSING THE JARS
Put the jars back into the HOT water – you’ll have to remove some of the water using a pot, but don’t throw it out, in case you need it. Make sure they are covered by about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Then remove them and let them rest undisturbed until they’re cooled off.
You’ll know they’re safe as you start hearing that magical “ping” sound that means the seal is secure. If you don’t hear it, you can tell by eye-balling them, the lid will be SLIGHTLY concave and tight, there won’t be a trampoline like give in it. But really, if you did it for 10 minutes, they’re good, even if you don’t have enough experience to know the tell-tale signs.
These are just delicious. They could easily replace pickles, relish, even kraut in some of your favorite ways. Personally, I think that I need to make some more bratwurst, because these are just begging to cozy up between the buns with all that hot sausage!