With all the rain we’ve been receiving lately, I was getting worried about my jalapeno peppers literally drowning. I decided to harvest the big beautiful ones but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them? I wanted to make a batch of Jalapeno Pepper jelly, but I didn’t have any pectin on hand, so the next best thing was to pickle them……
Here’s a bit of trivia for you: The seeds in a jalapeno are NOT the HOTTEST part of the pepper…..
For years cookbooks have been telling home culinarians to remove the seeds from their jalapenos if they want to reduce the heat. Capsaicin, the chemical that causes the burning sensation on your tongue, stimulates the same nerve endings as heat from temperature. This is why you mouth perceives it as hot. The seeds actually have the smallest concentration of capsaicin in the entire pepper.
The truth behind it: The highest concentration is actually found in the white pith that holds the seeds to the inside of the pepper. For example, if the pith contained 100 parts of capsaicin, the flesh of the pepper would contain 6 parts. The seeds? Get rid of the white pith, and eliminate the heat.
Here’s a recipe that I used to pickle my peppers:
3 – 4 lbs. Fresh Jalapenos, washed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 1/2 cups White vinegar (5% acidity)
4 1/2 cups Water
3 teaspoons Pickling salt
4 large cloves Garlic, whole
4 Bay leaves
Sterilize 4 pint jars and lids according to the manufacturers instructions. While the jars are boiling, cut the peppers into 1/4-inch pieces, discarding the stems; making sure to never touch your eyes! In a saucepan, combine vinegar, salt, and water; bring this mixture to a boil.
Remove jars from boiling water and place a garlic clove into each jar and 1 bay leaf. Pack the jars tightly with the peppers, leaving about 1/2-inch headspace. Cover the peppers with the hot vinegar/water solution, again leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal with lids and process jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Remove jars from the water bath and allow to stand, undisturbed at room temperature for 24 hours. Check the seals by removing the screwed on bands, and press down on the center of each lid. If the lid doesn’t move, the jar is sealed! If the lid depresses and pops up again, the jar IS NOT sealed. Store properly sealed jars in a cool dark place up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.