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Monday, December 14, 2009

Pickled peppers for Christmas...

Here in Arizona, we like things hot! I enjoy making these as Christmas gifts because they are unique and amazingly colorful.
Pickled jalapeños have so many uses! Even if you think you do not like hot things, you really can use them in many dishes.
Get a good selection of peppers at an ethnic grocery. In my town, there are many hispanic groceries. If you cannot source jalapeños , use an italian sweet pepper, or mini-bell peppers.

Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 whole clove of garlic per jar
  • 6 or more glass jars. Pack into ½ pint jars (you will need about 4-6 peppers per jar)
  • 30 or so fresh jalapeños 
  • 10-15 baby carrots
  • Small onion, sliced in thin wedges
  • 4 tbs pickling spice (optional)
Make the brine: bring vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil 1-2 minutes.
Meanwhile divide and pack the peppers, carrots, onions, spices, and garlic between all the jars. You should be able to fit about 4 to 6 peppers in each jar. If your peppers are too big, use larger jars, or halve them to fit.
Using a canning funnel, or a large measure with a spout, carefully pour hot brine mixture over peppers in the jars filling to within ½ from the top. Carefully lid the hot jars.
Let cool on counter overnight. The peppers should stay in the refrigerator for at least a day to pickle. These peppers, if unopened will last a year in the fridge.

Label these and give as gifts at Christmas. They are a very affordable homemade gift. But you should include a label on how to use it. Here are some of my favorite ways.
  • Some will eat this straight out of the jar
  • Add one pepper and 2 tbs of the brine in the jar to 1 large can of tomato puree and blend in the blender for an instant taco sauce
  • Add 1 tbs of the brine to a glass of tomato juice to add a zing
  • Mince a pepper and add it to any stir fry for a little warmth
  • Add one pepper into the roasting pan with roasted potatoes or root vegetables
  • Puree in the food processor with softened cream cheese and sour cream for a pepper dip
  • Slice them and put them on sandwiches
  • Add 1 tbs of brine to anything you want to add a little warmth and tangy flavor too. It really brightens a dish!

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