Tag Archives: jalapeno

what to do with all of those pretty red jalapenos from the garden – hot red pepper jelly

It has been both a quiet and frantic week around my house. With the dark arriving early and staying later in the mornings and school and hockey starting, we are all adjusting to new routines and entering seasonal slow-down. Nights are quieter when we are actually at home (though possibly a little more frenzy would be helpful to get things done). The small squeaky kid is now practicing with a league hockey team (as is the tall kid) as well as her Initiation Program group, so that has meant 3 days of hockey every week for us. Add in caring for the animals at night, practicing piano and homework, and we have a new busy-ness to get used to.

I had a few people ask about the recipe for the pepper jelly, so here is my version. I have lots of jalapenos turning red in the garden, so I thought I’d give this a try this year. My grandma used to make this jelly and I always loved it. I used this recipe, but made a few of my own adjustments. I didn’t use as much pepper as the original recipe called for – I wanted mine to be more jelly-like, the original called for so much pepper that it would have been more of a jam. You can judge the heat of the jalapenos and use the amount that suits your level of heat. Last year I would have used all 6 peppers that are called for in the recipe – this year I used 3 because they are much hotter. You can also use green jalapenos, I just used red to keep everything pretty and red.

The resulting jelly is really nice on crackers with some cream cheese or brie – we’ve been enjoying it at work this week. I am also looking forward to trying it on a grilled cheese made with aged cheddar and as a stir fry sauce with veggies and chicken or pork.

 Hot Red Pepper Jelly (makes 6 half pint jars)

  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded, finely minced (~ 1 cup)
  • 3-6 red jalapeño peppers, seeded finely minced (depending on heat of peppers)
  • 1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 6-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 pouch fruit pectin (I use Certo powdered pectin)

Wash and sterilize your jars and lids. I do mine in the dishwasher on the extra heat setting and don’t start the jelly making process until it has hit the drying stage – that way I know the jars and lids will be hot when I need them.

Have a canning pot ready at a boil to process the jars after they are filled. The water should be deep enough to cover the jars by at least an inch. You can use a canning rack or just a towel on the bottom of the pot to keep the jars from rattling.

Throw the seeded red peppers and jalapenos into a food processor or finely mince by hand. Use gloves to seed the jalapenos so you don’t get oil on your hands or it will burn. If you are using the food processor, open a window – you’ll thank me later. Breathing in the oil hurts, too.

I drain off the extra juice from the food processor before I put the peppers into to sauce pan. The extra juice could inhibit the gelling process. Put the minced pepper in a sauce pot and add vinegar and butter. Stir in sugar and bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. I let it boil for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the pectin. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. This part is kind of tricky. If it still looks runny at this stage, let it boil a titch longer until it starts to thicken. You don’t want it completely thickened at this point though – it really starts to gel as it cools after processing.

Ladle immediately into the sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Wipe the jar rims and threads and add the lids, screw bands on finger tight but not over tight. Place jars in canner (use tongs) and boil for 10 min. Remove the jars and place upright on towel or rack to cool completely. You should be able to hear the lids pinging as they seal. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If any lids don’t seal, you can either refrigerate that jar or open, re-seal and reprocess it for 10 minutes.

And this is for my husband – do NOT be tempted to jiggle the jars to see if they are setting. They need to sit still in order to gel. Leave them alone for at least 24 hours. If they don’t set up, there are instructions here to redo the recipe – or you can use it as a glaze on meats, vegetables and stirfry.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, Gastronomical Sovereignty, GNOWFGLINS

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easy fermented jalapeno hot sauce

We planted peppers in the same style that we plant tomatos. Go big or stay home. There are two rows of pepper plants in the garden, and about half of the plants are jalapenos. They are just now starting to turn red, so I will probably be making this sauce again with the red jalapenos, but since there is a 2 week lead time for the fermentation process, I will post what I have so far. Our peppers are a little hotter this year than last year, but I like the bite of this sauce. It hits hard up front, but doesn’t leave a huge burn and tastes quite good. Next time I might also throw in a couple of onion halves on top to help keep the peppers in the brine and add a little extra something to the flavour.

The process is really simple; it requires 2 weeks to ferment and then you can make it into a sauce. I followed the recipe found here, and the only change was the kind and colour of pepper that I used. I used what I had on hand. Next year I would like to try growing some cayennes too and will make the sauce again with the cayennes.

You’ll need a pint jar or two, depending on how much you’d like to make – I filled 2 jars and it gave me just over a whole pint jar of sauce once it was processed.

Fermented Jalapeno Hot Sauce

  • jalapenos peppers, enough to fill two pint jars
  • garlic, 4 or 5 cloves per jar
  • 2 1/2 tsp sea salt per jar
  • water

Wash pepper and cut off stem end. Stuff peppers and garlic in the jars as tightly as possible. Add 2 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per jar, fill up remaining space with water and screw on lids. Give it a shake and place it someplace cool and dark for 2 weeks. Once the two weeks are up, waz it up (my own technical term) in blender or food processor. It should keep well in the fridge for up to 1 year.

Leave the lid on for the two weeks – don’t take it off, you want the fermentation process to take place. You can keep an eye on it though – if a moldy looking scum seems to form on top, skim it off and carry on. I didn’t have any scum, but when I did open it after two weeks it fizzed like champagne, which is normal. Depending on your blending method, this will be a slightly pulpy sauce.

Linking to Frugally Sustainable, A Delightful Home, Simple Lives Thursdays, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Mind Body and Sole, Foy Update, A Delightful Home, Like a Mustard Seed, An Oregon Cottage

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3 day pickles (old fashioned crock pickles/refrigerator pickles)

We’ve had such a dry summer this year that our garden isn’t doing much of anything right now. We have cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and onions at the moment, but that is about it. Our potato plants have died off and we’re not sure if the other five rows that we planted will go anywhere without some rain soon. The peas are done and the late peas might not show up. Same with the beans and our carrots never even germinated.

So, I decided to take what I could get out of it now and get to work. I managed to pick enough pickling cucumbers, jalapeno peppers and even a red pepper to start some 3 day pickles. Our dill plant was struggling anyway; now it’s been put to a peaceful end.

I’ve been sorting through recipes for 3 day brine pickles and came upon this one at Frugally Sustainable. A few modifications were made (mainly because I didn’t have any pickling spice and I wanted to put some red pepper flakes in there), but it seems to be a winner. There is definitely a little heat to these pickles. I liked her suggestion to cut a small onion in half and jam it into the tops of the jars in order to keep the pickles submerged in the brine. It worked! And like old-fashioned crock pickles, these are based on fermentation, so can be kept in cold storage (refrigerator or root cellar) without canning for 6-12 months. I doubt these will make it past the end of the summer, but it’s nice to know that they could.

The small squeaky kid said something about me being pickled. I had to ask her not to go around telling people that mommy was pickled and explain to her what that meant.

3 Day Pickles (Refrigerator Pickles)

makes 4 quarts
  • 20 pickling cucumbers (mine were a little big, so I used less)
  • jalapeno peppers/sliced red or green peppers
  • head of garlic
  • fresh dill
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • celery seed, to taste
  • black peppercorns
  • 2 medium yellow onions, optional

Brine:

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (raw, organic)
  • 1/3 cup sea salt
  1.  Mix all of the ingredients of the brine together in a pitcher and stir until salt is dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Wash your cucumbers, slice into quarters lengthwise. Wash and prepare pepper by cutting into strips. Leave the jalapenos whole.
  3. In each quart-sized glass canning jar, place enough dill heads to cover the bottom of the jar (I packed in a lot of dill), 4-6 cloves of garlic (depending on taste), a pinch of pepper flakes and celery seed, a few peppercorns and sliced cucumbers, tightly packed. Pierce the skin of the jalapenos slightly and shove into any spaces between the cucumbers. Pack strips of red or green peppers into the remaining spaces.
  4. Pour the brine over the cucumbers and spices in each of the jars. Be sure that the cucumbers are covered with the liquid. Optional: Use 1/2 an onion to weight down and keep cucumbers submerged in the brine. 
  5. Cover the jars with either a small piece of cheesecloth or lightly screw on the lids (don’t tighten the lids – the fermentation process might make them blow their tops). Put them away in a dark spot (I put mine in a storage room in the basement) for 2-3 days. Once they taste like pickles, tighten the lids on the jars and transfer to cold storage (i.e. refrigerator or root cellar). These will keep for up to 6-12 months.

Note: the brine may appear a little cloudy, but it is fine – it’s just a normal part of the fermentation process. Also, occasionally people will encounter their garlic turning blue – this is due to copper or another chemical in the water that the garlic is reacting to – it’s still completely safe to eat, it just looks weird. My water doesn’t create this problem, but if you aren’t using a well or have hard water or city water, filtered water might be best.

Linking to Frugally Sustainable, Homestead Simple, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Eat, Make, Grow, This Chick Cooks

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