I'm on a canning kick, so yesterday I tried a new recipe from Tasty Kitchen:http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/canning/pickled-jalapeno-peppers-blue-ribbon-winner-texas-state-fair/
Hot pepper plants (at least for me) grow like weeds and cost like $5 total to get hundreds of peppers.. this whole recipe cost me something like $8 (vinegar and coriander seeds). If you tell people you've started canning, you'll be amazed how many people try to give you Ball jars, then just buy new lids! Anyway, here's the process:
About 100 peppers (my extension office said you can sub hotter or milder peppers for recipes, so I did Hungarian wax and regular Jalapeno). Basically, a large mixing bowl full (sink for scale):
Equal parts water and vinegar (for 6 pts, I did 4 cups white 5% vinegar and 4 cups water)
6 pt jars with rings and NEW lids
Spices of your choice (again, the extension office said you could sub in spices as long as you don't mess with the percentage of vinegar). I used a half teas. peppercorns, 4 bay leaves, and half teas. coriander seeds.
1/2 teas. of canning salt per jar
Start by scrubbing out the jars in hot soapy water in a clean kitchen (trust me, it all works better if you start with a clean space):
Next, fill your hot water bath canner and get it on High heat. On my range it takes like an hour to come to a rolling boil, so I start it early.
While the canner heats up, add the cleaned and rinsed jars and the rings, and let them come to a boil:
Let them boil for 15 minutes. If the water level drops enough that the jars aren't totally submerged, add water and reset the clock:
In the mean time (not pictured, sorry), simmer the jar lids in a small pan. Also, combine all brine ingredients except the salt, and bring it to a boil in a non-reactive pan (so stainless or enamel). After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer.
Ok, now we're ready for peppers! Try not to let the peppers contact your skin too much or you'll burn the crap out of yourself later
I didn't wear gloves, but I probably should have hehe
Wash the peppers (even if you grow your own like I did, you still want to get the dirt off). Slice them all in about 1/2 inch rings. I tried 1/8 in. rings a while ago and they were too small and shriveled during canning. The recipe recommended 1/4 inch but I got lazy and I think 1/2 inch looks rustic anyway:
You can process them whole by just putting a little slit in each pepper, but I removed the stems and sliced them.
Once the jars have boiled for 15 minutes, dump out the water, and put them on a towel on the counter. Pack your jars REALLY full! Otherwise when you add the brine, you'll have a weird floaty space with just brine in it:
Add 1/2 teas. of salt on top of each jar and dump in the brine. You want to fill the jars so that there's about a 1/2 inch of space at the top. so basically fill them until the contents of each jar is level with the threads on the top of the jars. Run a knife or a chopstick around the inside of the jars just to check for air bubbles and add more brine and peppers to the jar if you need to.
Use a clean wash cloth to wipe off the thread and top of the jar, put on the lids, and screw on the rings to finger tight (which means you can use your fingers to tighten it, not the palm of your hand).
When the canner comes back up to crazy hot rolling boil, put all the jars in the canner, and set the clock for 10 minutes. If you have to add hot water or it comes below a boil, reset the clock. They need to be boiling for ten minutes.
After ten minutes, turn off the canner and let the jars sit in the hot water for five minutes more. After that, take them out and let them sit on the counter for 12 hours undisturbed. And the result!
See the weird floaty space :-/ I thought I filled it way full, really pack the peppers in there.
You can see a few peppercorns floating around in there. I tried to strain out the bay leaves, but I let the spices join the party if they wanted to
Peppers left after like a billion of them:
and just for the curious, this is the actual amount of dishes from the entire process:
So not that bad really...
Anyway, they have to cure for 6 weeks, hopefully they'll taste as good as they look!