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Tuesday’s Tidbits (& Sips): pickled jalapeños

Sorry about the delay in posting this.  At long last, it’s time for some pickled jalapeños!

At our local Korean market, where Andrew and I get most of our produce, you can’t buy one or two chili peppers; you have to buy a huge package.  While I love to cook dishes that include chili peppers, we typically only cook for two, meaning that I have a lot of chili peppers left over, unless they’re the dish’s main ingredient.  This is most often not the case.

In typical fashion, after making mul kimchi, I was stuck with a ton of jalapeños.  I really did not want to let them go to waste.  Then I thought: “Why not pickle them?!”

So, I began the search for a good recipe or two that could be tweaked to my liking.  During my internet searching, most of the recipes that I encountered called for making a brine using the brine ratios presented in Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, which we conveniently have on hand at home (since I purchased it as a gift for Andrew last year…).  Using this ratio as a starting point I forged a recipe that I though would produce great tasting pickled jalapeños.

I absolutely love how these turned out.  So far, I’ve been enjoying my pickled jalapeños on egg salad wraps but I’m sure they’d be just as tasty in other applications such as tuna salad, quesadillas, tacos and nachos.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Here is what I came up with:

Pickled Jalapeños

Pickled Jalapeño

750 gr. jalapeño
30 oz. water*
30 oz. white distilled vinegar*
3 oz. coarse salt
3 oz. sugar
5 cloves garlic
2 tbs. red peppercorns**
1 tbs. black peppercorns**
1 tbs. crushed bay leaves or 4 whole bay leaves
1/2 tbs. fennel seeds

  1. Clean 4 pint-sized mason jars, lids and bands with soap and hot water.  Rinse thoroughly.
  2. Place jars in a water-bath canner with enough water to cover about 3/4 of the jar.  Don’t forget to fill the jars about 3/4 full of water as well.  Cover and bring to a boil then reduce to low heat.
  3. Place lids in a smaller pot of water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low heat.
  4. Slice jalapeños into half inch slices, discarding the stem end.  Set aside.
  5. Peel garlic.  Set aside.
  6. Weigh out your water, vinegar, salt and sugar into a large pot.
  7. Heat brine over high heat, stirring constantly, until salt and sugar are dissolved.
  8. Add peppercorns, bay leaves, fennel seeds and garlic and bring brine to a boil.
  9. Keep mixture at a rolling boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  10. Processing one jar at a time, remove a jar from the canner using a jar lifter or pair of tongs, pouring the water from inside the jar back into the canner.
  11. Carefully fill the jar with jalapeños to the start of the threads on the neck of the jar (about 1/2 to 1 inch below the rim of the jar).
  12. Add brine over the jalapeños, leaving 1/4 inch of space between the contents of the jar and the rim of the jar.  Make sure to get some of the spices in each jar as you fill them.
  13. Clean the rim of the jar and the threads with a damp kitchen towel.
  14. Remove a lid from the small pot and place on jar.  Screw on band until just tightened; do not overtighten.
  15. Place jar back in canner.
  16. Once all jars are filled, add water to the canner until water line is at least 1 inch above the jars.  Cover and bring to a rolling boil over high heat.***
  17. Boil jars for 10 minutes.
  18. Remove jars from canner and let rest at room temperature to cool completely.  Do not disturb the jars during this time in order to allow the seal to form.
  19. Check the jars for proper seals.  Treat any unsealed jars as a refrigerator pickle as described below.
  20. Allow at least one week at room temperature (75 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler) before enjoying.  Refrigerate any unused pickles after opening.

Although I have given directions above on how to can these pickles, if you lack the necessary equipment, don’t feel comfortable canning or simply don’t feel like canning, you can treat these as refrigerator pickles.  Simply prepare the peppers and brine and place in washed and rinsed jars as outlined above.  Instead of boiling them in a water-bath canner, leave jars at room temperature (75 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler) for a week to allow for proper fermentation, then place in refrigerator.  Use within 4 to 6 weeks.

Like last time, here are some photos from the prep session for you to enjoy (click any photo to embiggen):

Pickled Jalapeño: jar prep Pickled Jalapeño: spice prep
Pickled Jalapeño: pepper prep
Pickled Jalapeño: setting the stage Pickled Jalapeño: can, can, can

*  Please note that this measurement is by weight, not volume. Yes; you should weigh the liquids.
**  If you don’t have or cannot find red peppercorns, feel free to substitute any other whole peppercorns of your liking.
***  If you don’t have enough
jalapeños to fill the last jar, just treat the final jar as a refrigerator pickle as described in the paragraph after the recipe.  This is what I had to do.  You can see the jar in the recipe photo; it’s the one with the jalapeños that are still bright green!