Sunday, June 16, 2013

Homemade Candied Jalapenos

Homemade Candied Jalapenos
Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful dad's out there!! I hope y'all are celebratin' the men in your life by cooking them some good 'ole grub. My dad is personally a meat guy, so we're grillin' out some burgers and serving them with corn on the cob, caprese pasta salad with spicy Italian dressing, and brownie pudding a la mode. While we're cooking, we will be snacking on candied jalapeno dip. This dish makes an appearance at almost every party, holiday, tailgate, or cookout we have. That's saying a lot since it's really nothin' that special... softened cream cheese topped with sweet + spicy candied jalapenos. Until today when I decided to mix it up a bit and put my own little twist on it by revamping the idea into a "gourmet" version. I'll get to posting that next, but I suddenly realized that I had never given y'all a recipe for homemade candied jalapenos. In the South, most farmer's markets or road side stands have mason jars of candied jalapenos during the hot summer months. But, why spend five bucks on a jar, when you can make a big batch at home? That's just plain silly. So, just sit a spell and read this recipe because you'll make it until the sun don't come up no more. Now honestly, all candied jalapenos are, are some fresh jalapenos cooked in a spiced vinegar syrup until slightly softened. Then, you just preserve them and let 'em mellow for two weeks before you can enjoy them. I don't want to break your heart, but waiting is certainly the hardest part. But afterwards, you'll be so happy that you have these at your disposal, it won't even matter that you hide them in the pantry. I put these in homemade sauces/mayos, coleslaw, dips, etc. The uses are endless. I'll post the recipe for my Whipped Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese with Candied Jalapenos + Red Onion Marmalade Dip tomorrow!! Enjoy :)
Fresh Rainbow Jalapenos
Candied Rainbow Jalapenos
For the Homemade Candied Jalapenos:
3lbs Fresh Jalapenos, Thinly Sliced (about ¼inch)
Peeled, Fresh Garlic Cloves (about 4-6 per jar)
2C Apple Cider Vinegar
6C Sugar
½t Turmeric + Celery Seed
1T Garlic Powder
1t Cayenne + Paprika
2 Cinnamon Sticks

1. Thinly slice the jalapeno peppers. In a large pot, bring the cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within 1/4 inch of the upper rim of the jar. Top with some peeled garlic cloves to each jar. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.
2. Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.
3. Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints. When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.
4. Allow the candied jalapenos to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating!!

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