Yes, we love our hot peppers. Personally, my favorite way to enjoy hot peppers is in sauce form, however, there’s nothing like a nice hot pickle-y bite of jalapeno layered on top of your burger, in a quesadilla or sprinkled on top of a pile of nachos. Honestly, until I tried a side-by-side comparison of my pickled hot peppers up against a “leading store brand” I was convinced that the best way to enjoy one is to make my own.
Sources say, that the origin of chilies is believed to be as old as 7000 B.C. used in Mexico. Chilies were grown and cultivated from 3500 BC. Mexicans used it to spice up their food. Chili was brought to the rest of the world by Christopher Columbus who discovered America in 1493. (chilly.in, 2017) So, to say they’ve been around for a while is an understatement. The peppers we pick from our local CSA fly out of the ground in record numbers. Every week we went by to grab our produce, we acquired another pound or two! As you have already seen by this blog, I have found many ways to preserve the pepper season.
There are a couple reasons I love to use the pickling method to preserve a few of our glut of these spicy little suckers. You can’t imagine an easier pickle and, well, its cheap. A little salt, a lot of white vinegar and maybe a clove of garlic or two and you’re done. You can do one jar and toss them in the fridge, or you can fill up a few dozen canning jars and store them in your pantry for a few months.
Of course, researching for this blog post, I found that the Jalapeno we know and love originated in Veracruz, Mexico. We, generally, pick them when they are green, but they can ripen to red or yellow. We shouldn’t confuse the jalapeno, however, with the red Fresno chilies, which are a little hotter. When they grow, they grow point up instead of point down like the jalapeno. Either way, if you have these in your garden or find a bunch at your local farmers market, this pickling method will work.
The only thing I came across was the issue with texture. My first batch came out a little too soft for my liking. The hot vinegar cooked the peppers to a soft stage. I combated that by adding a little pickle crisp to each jar of the next round and that pretty much solved my issue. Either way, the flavors are amazing and fresh.
Another great thing about pickling hot peppers is that we can eat them all year round in all sorts of things. Of course, we toss them on top of quesadillas, inside tacos and wrapped within fat burritos. The liquid is awesome inside vinaigrette’s, slaw and cocktails, believe it or not.
Check out this simple recipe. You can substitute any number of different peppers, hot or sweet, this simple pickle will kick start your preservation hobby.