Tasty Tuesday, October 28

CANDIED JALAPENOS

It’s the end of October, so it’s time to do a final roundup in the garden and see what’s left from the summer. I usually have a bumper crop of jalapeños by this time and was musing on what I could do with them last year. I threw it out on Facebook and the Preacher sent me a link to this recipe. This is found at http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2010/05/23/candied-jalapenos/
I made them and they were gifts to a few people who like hot stuff and they were quite a hit. I think it’s about time to do it again. I think I will add more garlic this time. A note of warning: when you boil the vinegar and sugar, make sure the room is well ventilated or the fumes will make you cough and cry.

Yield: About 9 half-pint jars of Candied Jalapenos plus additional jalapeno syrup.

Ingredients:

3 pounds fresh, firm, jalapeno peppers, washed
2 cups cider vinegar
6 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
3 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem. Discard the stems.

Slice the peppers into uniform 1/8-1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper 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. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.

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.

*If you have leftover syrup, and it is likely that you will, you may can it in half-pint or pint jars, too. It’s wonderful brushed on meat on the grill or added to potato salad or, or, or… In short, don’t toss it out!

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.

Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating. Or don’t. I won’t tell!
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Tasty Tuesday, October 21

We are currently visiting my brother-in-law. On Sunday, he had a cookout in our honor and I ended up cooking a couple of things for dinner.
One of the things I like to do when cooking on the grill is to cook the vegetables over the fire too. This time, I chose zucchini with sweet peppers and mushrooms. If I were home, I would take some heavy duty foil, pull off 18 inches or so, and lightly oil one half with olive oil, sprinkle on a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Then chop your veggies and put them on the oiled half of the foil. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on top, maybe a little Italian seasoning also or whatever seasoning you like to use. Then put a little more oil and balsamic on the other half, smear it around until it’s an even coat, then fold that half over the veggies. Fold both side edges over a couple of times then fold the open edges a couple of times to seal the package.
While your coals are getting ready, put this packet over them. Turn every 5 minutes or so until the veggies are nearly done ( you can feel how soft they are by mashing on them through the foil). Pull them to the side to keep them warm until you have the meat done. If you want some smoke flavor, poke a small hole in the top of the packet.
When everything is cooked, take the packet off and unfold the last part you folded and dump them into a bowl, serve and enjoy.
I have also cooked new potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick with onion slices this way. You can actually get grill marks through the foil.