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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday Recipe - Nacho Jalapeño Rings

I've got a great neighbor who gave me a pile of fresh jalapeño peppers from her garden. These dark green beauties are now in bottles, waiting to top piles of corn chips smothered in melted cheese. Bottling them was super easy and didn't take long at all.

A couple of tips to make life easier when working with spicy peppers: USE GLOVES. Seriously. Get some disposable food handling gloves and USE GLOVES. Then, don't touch your face with the gloves or your hands until after you discard the gloves and WASH YOUR HANDS. Even then, my skin was burning for several hours after doing the peppers. The capsaicin in the peppers is what makes them spicy and since it's oil based, it lingers. For a long time. So be careful when working with fresh hot peppers.

(This is my take on a recipe I found on food.com)

Small-Batch Pickled Jalapeños

Makes 1 pint

10-12 fresh jalapeño peppers, or about 2 c. of sliced pepper rings
Tip: If you want them milder, take the time to remove and discard the seeds
1 1/4 c. white vinegar (5% acidity if you're planning on canning these)
1/2 t. pickling salt (this is un-iodized salt, regular table salt has iodine added and it will discolor the pickles)
1 t. white sugar

Pack jalapeño slices into a clean and hot pint glass jar. (Or use 2 1/2 pint jars, or 4 half-cup jars, or an old mayonnaise jar if you aren't going to seal it).

Bring vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour carefully over the pepper rings, leaving 1/2 headspace (basically room for the filling to expand while processing, I usually fill the jar to about 1/2 inch below the rim).

If you are not canning the peppers, cover and refrigerate for up to a month. Let sit for at least 2 days before eating so they can pickle.

If you are canning, clean the rim of the jar and cover with a clean lid and ring. Process in a water bath for ten minutes at sea level, twenty minutes where I live at 5500 feet above sea level. Remove from the boiling water bath and let cool completely. Check the seal before storing.

If you want tips on how to can, this is a great site.