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Quick Pickle I: Jalapenos

Jalapenos 1

In order to capture more dollars from the discount-savvy shopper the Loblaws grocery stores that we shop at have started making “not so fresh” produce available at 50% of the original price.  This has become less of a great deal than when it first strated because they have begun packaging in larger quantities that usually include at least a couple specimens that I wouldn’t buy individually.  Also, certain items just aren’t practical in large quantities because we don’t use them often enough to keep a big bagful in the fridge.

Jalapenos are a great example.  Half-off is great but what is one to do with a bag of twenty jalapenos when most recipes call for one or maybe two?  Simple: Make pickles.

I’ve done this before with jalapenos and my only complaint was that they lost their bright green colour and faded to a dull brownish olive green.  I thought I might be able to counter this by quickly boiling (3 minutes) the peppers before they went into the jar.  At first it looked liked I had struck gold but after a night in the fridge (and more to the point the vinegar brine) they had faded considerably.

Many recipes call for leaving the peppers whole but I don’t want to bother with the mess of cutting them and remembering not to touch my eyes every time I want to quickly garnish some leftover soup or add some spice to a grilled cheese sandwich so I sliced them before the brine went on.

The spice blend for the pickled jalapenos

The spice blend for the pickled jalapenos

The brine extras were a teaspoon or so of coriander seeds, a whole clove of garlic, a tablespoon of sugar and a few allspice berries.  Kind of random and may not be noticeable with the stronger jalapeno flavour.

This is a quick pickle that is not meant for long storage but will last a couple of weeks (at least–I’ll push it longer but don’t eat anything that looks or smells past due) in the fridge.

Pickling is also a good way to take advantage of on-sale or in-season red peppers that can be had for a small fraction of their 3.99/lb winter price.  I roast a big batch of these in August or September and then “put-up” the peeled slices for later enjoyment.

Pickled Jalapenos

Bright and green but they lost a bit of their lustre after the first night in the fridge

Bright and green but they lost a bit of their lustre after the first night in the fridge

  • 10 jalapenos, washed
  • 1 TB pickling spices or improvised blend
  • 2 TB white sugar
  • 1 – 2 cups white vinegar
  1. Immerse jalapenos in strongly boiling water for three minutes.  Remove from water and allow to cool slightly on counter.  When they have cool enough to be manageable slice about a cm thick.
  2. Put spices in the bottom of a 500 ml Mason jar.  Pack jalapenos slices into jar.  Bring vinegar to a boil and pour enough over slices to cover.
  3. Allow to cool on the counter for a couple of hours.  As the jalapenos slices settle the vinegar may need to be topped up in order to keep them covered.

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2 Comments

  1. Kat says:

    I LOVE these!

  2. [...] can be a year-round activity even here in Canada.  Last winter I pickled jalapenos, preserved ginger and limes (separately), and made marmalade.  Truthfully though, the preserving [...]

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