Here’s another way to preserve the jalapeños that are taking over my rooftop. If you don’t have this problem, its worth buying a whole bunch of hot peppers so you can make your own spicy sauce, which is much better than anything you can buy in the store. I only slightly modified yet another incredible recipe from Karen Solomon’s Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It.
This recipe makes about 3 cups and the sauce will last in the fridge for 6 months.
Warning: Wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when working with jalapeños.
20-25 jalapeño peppers
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
1.5 T kosher salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 T sugar
- Wash and dry the peppers and cut off the stems. Slice them in half lengthwise. Broil, outside skin near flame, until black and charred. Check the every few minutes as once they start charring, they turn black pretty quick.
- In a food processor or blender, puree the garlic until minced. Add the peppers, salt, vinegar, and sugar and puree for about 3 minutes. If you have a high power blender, just run all the ingredients together for 1 minute.
- Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate.
This recipe came from Cooking Light magazine. It’s a perfect addition to a fall meal. It brightens up the plate and has a great flavor.
All of the herbs came from my garden. However, the cilantro was special. A few months ago in the heat of summer, I was frustrated that my cilantro kept bolting. I decided to let it flower and turn to seed so I could make my very own coriander seed. Once the plants got to the right point (for us, the right point was when we were sick of the constant swarm of bees who adored our cilantro flowers), I cut and then dried the plants in a paper bag. Then, I hung the bag inside for a few weeks. After a few weeks, I gave the bag a few shakes. Amazingly, there were some coriander seeds at the bottom of my bag. However, the yield was less than I hoped for: just a few tablespoons. I think I should have waited a bit longer to chop down the flowering cilantro before letting it dry.
Rather than save the coriander, I continued on with my experiment. I planted the coriander a few inches deep in the empty pot that used to house the cilantro. A few week later….little baby cilantro plants started popping up. I watered them gently at first. A few weeks later than that…carrot salad with a hit of heat features my very own “circle of life” cilantro. I know this is basic stuff to some people, but I was amazed that this process actually works.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
- 4 cups coarsely grated carrot (about 1 pound)
- 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives (optional)
- Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add carrot and salt; toss to coat. Let stand 30 minutes. Just before serving, add cilantro, mint, and chives, if desired; toss to combine.
Cue the old school Zelda theme song, because I’m on a quest: make a canning salsa that is spicy enough for my husband to enjoy the heat all winter long. This recipe came from the Food Channel. The result is a salsa with a decent amount of spice (but my quest is not over yet). I know that I can just add some habaneros for some serious heat, and that would be great for a salsa to stick in the fridge and eat within the week. However, whenever I want to put tomatoes in the cabinet for a year, I am wary of playing with the ingredients. That’s because I know that it has to have the correct level of acidity, etc. in order to avoid spoiling the food. Does anyone out there know of a tested recipe for a spicy canning tomato salsa? I think there are a still a few weeks left of tomato season, and I would like to give it one more try.
That being said, this salsa is fairly easy and pretty delicious. Adjust the number of jalapeños, or take out some seeds if that’s your preference. This recipe could also use a bit more salt, but I would taste it first and decide what you want to do. These tomatoes came from a farm stand in Amagansett, and the jalapeños came from the rooftop garden.
One more note: My makeshift canner holds 4 pint jars at a time. I only processed 4 jars and put the other two directly in the fridge. Then when I noticed how the salsa wasn’t salty, I started to doubt that it would stay good in the cabinet. The next day, I noticed some air bubbles in a few of the jars, so I decided put three more in the fridge. I didn’t want to take any chances. I only have one jar left in the cabinet. I will open that one in a few months and let you know if it worked.
For more information about canning, you can check out my other experiments:
Peach Salsa (this one has details about how to can)
- 6 pounds of tomatoes
- 10 jalapeños, chopped (seeds included)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 9 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 3 onions (preferably 1 white, 1 yellow, 1 red)
- 6 pint jars (either small mouth or wide mouth is fine)
- Lids and rings
- Water bath with rack
- Sterilize jars and seals. (I did this by putting them in my dishwasher which gets super hot. Some dishwashers have a sterilize cycle, and that would work, too.)
- Start heating up your water for your water bath, if canning
- Put clean tomatoes in boiling water for 30-45 seconds, and then plunge them into ice water. The tomatoes will be easy to peel as a result.
- Peel tomatoes and cut out cores or bad spots. Chop the tomatoes to desired size (they will cook down so leave them slightly larger than you want them to be in the salsa).
- Mix tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, salt, and cumin and bring to a boil.
- Add onion, peppers, and cilantro. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 7-10 minutes.
- Remove 1 cup of liquid (to thicken the salsa).
- Put salsa in sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch of headroom. (Stop here and put lids on if you are not canning)
- I did not do this, but I will next time: Use a chopstick or knife to slide around the jar to get rid of air bubbles.
- Wipe the rim of the jar, place sterilized seal on jar, and tighten the ring.
- Place jars in water bath for 15 minutes (time depends on altitude – more time for higher altitudes).
- Remove jars and let stand for at least 24 hours. Remove rings (optional) and store. If the jar did not seal, place it in refrigerator and use within a week.
Here is Part 2 of my preserving projects from yesterday. This jam is an addicting combination of spicy and sweet. We had it with crackers and cheese last night, and a lot of people recommend serving it with cream cheese. Do you have any other good ways to serve jalapeño jam?
This recipe came from the Pick Your Own site. It is such a detailed recipe, including the canning method, that I am not going to attempt to repost it. Just check out the link. It’s an extensive site if you are interested in other preserving projects.
A few notes about my own experience with this recipe: I only had 12 peppers from the garden ready to go, so I halved the recipe. Also, I did NOT use food coloring, but I love the amber color that naturally came through. Finally, I did not use gloves. Big mistake. Big. Huge. Putting my contact lenses in this morning was torture. I recommend gloves when dealing with this many hot peppers.