This year, I started container gardening. I was brought up on a self-sufficient farm and gardening is kind of in my blood. But I haven’t had the room, nor the time, until now to grow my own garden over the past 5 or so years. I was bound and determined to make that change this year and I started with just a few plants on my large back porch. Basically, I’m growing salsa. Tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapenos. I use the cilantro almost daily in my family meals. The tomatoes? Well, those aren’t doing as well as I had hoped and they are SO slow to ripen. So I’m left with jalapenos. And lots of them. We chop them (and let me tell you, these jokers are HOT, just like we like them) and top some of our favorite foods, but I’ve had an abundance. Good and bad.
I don’t like to waste food and wasting something I’ve grown is even less acceptable than wasting something I bought. We buy canned jalapenos often, and that seemed silly considering I had a whole baggy full of fresh jalapenos in my refrigerator. I Googled “canned pickled jalapenos” and oh.my.goodness…what a hassle that whole canning process is. I make all of my sauces from scratch, I cook every night, but canning? A simple Google search told me I’m too lazy for that. So why not figure a way to whip up a quick batch of these beauties, without all of that shelf-stable fuss, because we pretty much go through a jar a week. I couldn’t find anything that was exactly what I was looking for, especially considering the low sodium thing, so I started mixing and matching and came up with this awesome, easy recipe. And OH.EM.GEE…this is a keeper.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup fresh, sliced jalapenos (actually, I wish I had about 1 1/2 cups because as you can see above, this didn’t fully fill my jar)
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 tbsp garlic (I just use the organic canned variety but you can use fresh if you’d like)
- 1 cup vinegar, balsamic or white, depending on your taste preference
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp No Salt (obviously to lower the sodium but you need it for flavor)
- 1 mason jar (no they aren’t just for salads, desserts, or drinks for pretty pictures anymore)
What you’ll do:
- In a medium saucepan, combine all of the above ingredients (not the mason jar, the food stuff) except for the jalapenos and onion, and bring those to a boil, stirring to dissolve the No Salt and sugar.
- Add the jalapeno slices and onions to the brine, stirring frequently, and boil for about 8 to 10 minutes, until they turn that pea soup color. The color you’re accustomed to seeing in canned jalapenos.
- Once they are the right color/consistency, remove from heat, cover, and allow to soak for about 10 minutes.
- Carefully transfer jalapenos into mason jar and funnel brine into the jar. Leave uncovered and let it cool to room temperature before covering.
- Once jar is at room temperature, cover and place in the refrigerator.
- Store in refrigerator for about 12 hours before serving (OK, I did eat some right away and they were AH-MAZING, but they were even better the next day).
- Since these aren’t “canned”, you’ll need to make small batches and store them in the refrigerator, but they will last quite some time this way. It takes about 30 minutes total to make them so it’s just easier (and so much more gratifying) for me.
Tonight? We had taco salads. Guess what graced my plate? MMMMM…delicious. I just love how simple these are, how tasty they are, and the fact that they are lower in sodium is a definite plus in my book. Ditch the canning fuss. This method right here? It’s the wave of the future. For me anyway. I dig shortcuts and I’m glad I’ve stumbled upon this one.