So, my husband loves pickled jalapeños. He puts them on everything, or just snacks on them alone. This is something we don't have to buy, and can make quite easily. By making them ourselves, we can control the sodium, sugar, spices used and preservatives.
So we bought the jalapeños. The store I went to only had them packaged like this:
I was not at all impressed by the polystyrene and shrink wrap. The price spoke to me this time. I also have no idea where they were grown, under what conditions. I only thought about it after getting them home.
I used this recipe:
330g whole or sliced jalapeños
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp peppercorns
2 bay leaves ( I didn't have them on hand, so omitted them)
3 cloves of garlic lightly pounded
2 Tbsp coarse sea salt
1 Tbsp sugar
First I cut the jalapenos into 1/4 inch pieces.
I wasn't sure how much brine I would need, so here is what I did:
I placed the peppers in the jar, then filled the jar with water to submerse the peppers. Then I poured the water into a measuring cup. Since the recipe was for 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar I poured out 1/2 of the water, then added the vinegar. It turns out the recipe made the proper amount that I needed.
I prepared the rest of the ingredients. The garlic is to be lightly pounded. Anyway, I crushed it with the side of my knife.
I then placed all of the ingredients (except for the peppers) in a saucepan to simmer for five minutes. I assume this it so the flavours blend, and the sugar and salt dissolve.
When I did this I realized that having jalapeño pepper seeds in the saucepan was probably a bad idea, since it made me start coughing. It was either that, or the peppercorns themselves. Whatever it was, the family started asking about "that smell". So I don't know whether it was 5 minutes or not, but I was in a hurry to get that off of the stove and into the jar.
Here's what we ended up with. Next time I would like to try adjust the salt or use a less refined type of sugar with a lower glycemic index such as sucanat or agave nectar. I wouldn't recommend decreasing salt or sugar if these are going to be canned, because they can play a role in preserving. If you want to can them long term, make sure the jars are sterilized ahead of time and then processed after filling. Without processing, they will keep in the fridge up to two months, however in my house, they'll be lucky to last a week.
Update: I have since tried using organic palm sugar in this recipe, and they turned out wonderfully. My husband actually prefers them with the taste of palm sugar. Check out my research on sugars.
After being in the fridge for a bit, I asked for the hubby taste test. He pulled them out and asked why the garlic was blue. I have no idea, but it is indeed blue. Anyway, they passed the hubby test and he says he'll take them to work for snacks.
Another Update: My husband convinced me to make a batch of pickled red bell peppers for myself. They are also very yummy. My daughter agrees.