Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

I just got back from a week long vacation but before heading out I made this quick pickled jalapeno peppers. There’s always so much to do right before you leave on a trip! The night before I noticed a pound bag of ripening jalapenos peppers and there was no way I was letting them go to waste.

bag-of-jalapenos

If you harvested them or purchased make sure you give them a good wash.

washed-jalapenos

So in between some last minute packing and running after Diego (he always manages to jump in my suitcase and grab something), I made these spicy pickled jalapeno peppers. Pickling only takes about 10-15 minutes and can last up to a month if refrigerated. I used only the jalapeno peppers this time but check out another veggie pickle I made a while ago using a mix of carrots & daikon. If you’re growing chiles or find yourself with too many on your hand try this recipe, it’s really amazing on sandwiches, nachos, scrambled eggs, fish, chicken, well pretty much anything!

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Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp oregano
Instructions
  1. On medium heat bring to boil the vinegar and water. Turn off stove and remove mixture from heat. Add the sugar, salt until all is dissolved and let mixture cool completely.
  2. In a thoroughly washed 1 pint jar, add the sliced jalapeno, garlic, peppercorns and oregano. Shoved them all in if you must.
  3. Fill the jar to the top with cooled vinegar mixture making sure the jalapenos are covered. Secure lid tightly and let sit overnight. You can leave it on counter for a few days, the vinegar will preserve the jalapenos but after that you should refrigerate.

 

Homemade Bajan Style Pepper Sauce

I clearly remember the trip I took to Barbados about 10 years ago, and everyday woke to the sounds of the ocean, groggy with sleep from partying the night before and in desperate need of coffee and food. We stayed in a time share apartment right on the beach and although we had a kitchen I don’t think we ever turned the stove on! It was so much easier just going around the corner to this tiny convenient store that sold everything from toothpaste, beer, and band-aids to spicy egg sandwiches. I had an egg and cheese sandwich almost every morning, smothered of course in a homemade Bajan pepper sauce! Simple but so good I just had to have it. That was the first time I tried traditional hot sauce from Barbados. The island is gorgeous and the food and spices are pretty amazing, you should definitely visit!

bajan-hotsauce

Bajan pepper sauce is mustard based and pours thick and chunky with bits of carrots, red peppers, onions and lots of fiery scotch bonnet peppers! I remember buying a couple of bottles before I left for home. I needed that sauce, needed it like some addict. It’s amazing on eggs, and great on fish, chicken and all sorts of sandwiches. You can find Bajan hot pepper sauce pretty much in any neighborhood supermarket where there’s a large Caribbean population or you can get in online. I usually buy the Delish brand but nothing like having an authentic homemade Bajan hot sauce so I just had to try and make my own.

hotsauce-ingredients

I searched online for recipes to see which “tasted” best. You ever do that? Read a recipe or restaurant menu item and know exactly how it’s going to taste? I used this recipe as a base and added a few extra ingredients to round out the flavors. As you can see above, I swapped the scotch bonnet peppers for the super hot fatalii chile peppers.

chopped-chiles

I find the fatalii peppers to be very similar in flavor to the scotch bonnets, just more intense and hotter. Besides, I had about 1/2 lb of the fatalii peppers and needed to use them up!

hot-sauce

A few tips when making any type of hot sauce:

  • Open windows & turn ventilation on because the fumes from the peppers will burn your eyes and throat, and you don’t want that!
  • Use gloves when handling hot peppers, especially large quantities, the oils will stick to your fingers and burn the heck out of you
  • Wear a mask if you’re working with super hots, grab a bandana and wrap around your face, pretend you’re some warrior
  • Wash your chile peppers thoroughly to reduce chances of bacteria, you don’t want the cooties
  • Finally, taste your sauce before you bottle, tweak the recipe if needed and reheat, you don’t want to wind up with a sauce you won’t use! 🙂

 

Homemade Bajan Style Pepper Hot Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 12 Fatalii peppers, chopped
  • ¾ cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2-3 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Before you start making the sauce, make sure you have sterile glass bottles or jars ready to use. This recipes makes about 32 oz of sauce.
  2. In a food processor or blender add the chopped peppers, carrots, onion and the rest of the ingredients blend until chunky. You can add water a little at time to help blend ingredients more easily.
  3. Transfer the sauce mixture into a sauce pan and on medium heat bring the mixture to a boil and cook for at least 20 minutes. Do not cook less than this, its very important to maintain freshness and to ensure no bacteria forms.
  4. If sauce thickens up too much add more water to achieve desired consistency.
  5. Remove sauce from heat and immediately add the hot sauce into the sterile bottles or jars using a funnel. Be sure to leave about ½ in head space to rim of bottle/jar and secure cap.
  6. Process the hot sauce bottles using the hot bath method used for canning foods. This will help preserve the hot sauce for up to six months. Having a large pot with a canning rack will be very helpful, if not improvise to ensure jars are upright and submerged in water.
  7. Boil for at least 10 minutes then carefully remove each jar with tongs and place on top of a kitchen towel on the counter top and let cool completely.
  8. If you used canning jars you will hear a "popping" sound which is the jar sealing and ensuring preservation.

Hot and Spicy Red Savina Habanero Pepper Vinegar

Whether you’re growing chile peppers and yielded a plentiful harvest or you bought too many, here’s a quick and easy solution for using up some of those chiles. Make this hot and spicy red savina habanero pepper vinegar to drizzle on just about anything your heart desires. These red savina habanero peppers are super hot, about 6-8 times hotter than jalapenos but they have this sweet citrus flavor that I just love. Now that doesn’t mean I’ll bite into a whole one, I know my limits, but I do like using it sparingly so they enhance my food, not mask it!

red-habanero

I didn’t grow these peppers, I have been buying them once I knew my plants were ruined. This is the second time I tried growing habaneros and a few other super hots but the weather was too extreme here. Just when I thought the seedlings were strong enough to take outside I would have to bring them back in because of all the torrential downpours we got. It rained the whole entire month of May and part of June here and July was an inferno so that just destroyed my plants. I’m not giving up though, third time is a charm no?!

pepper-pickling

For this habanero pepper vinegar you’ll need an 8 or 10 oz glass bottle or jar. I like the bail lid lock bottles since it’s easier for drizzling and the bail lid keeps contents fresh…they look really pretty too. While in New Orleans, I saw these types of vinegars on most restaurant tables, apparently it’s the condiment of the South and one I like to keep in my frig!

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You can drizzle this hot and spicy habanero pepper vinegar over salad, french fries, pepper steak, sandwiches and chicken. Very versatile, spicy and delicious!

Red Savina Habanero Pepper Vinegar
Cuisine: Condiment
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 habanero chile peppers, sliced
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-5 cloves
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Bring the water and vinegar to a simmer. Add the sugar and salt and stir to dissolve.
  2. Let mixture boil and remove from heat. Add the peppers, cloves and peppercorns to mixture and let it cool completely.
  3. Pour mixture into a clean glass bottle, stuff the peppers in if needed.
  4. Refrigerate for up to a month.

 

Great Make-Ahead Spices: Seasoned Salts

A great way to save some time while cooking is to make your spice blends ahead of time. They’re so easy to mix up and can be stored in your cupboards for future use, especially when they are flavors you use often. Sure you can buy already prepared seasoning but making your own allows you to control the salt, which I like, and eliminate any chemicals or unnatural preservatives.

I made a trio that can be used on practically anything and also used pink Himalayan Sea salt which provides great health benefits. First off, the salt is millions of years old and its supposed to be the most purest on Earth. You’ll pay a bit more for it but a little goes a long way. Himalayan Sea salt is free of toxins and is loaded with minerals that aide in maintaining good blood sugar health, increasing bone strength, reducing muscle cramps, maintaining pH balance, and is even said to be anti-aging so I’m all for it! I’m not a physician or nutritionist so please do your own research. Honestly, the salt tastes so much better than regular table salt, you may never want to buy that stuff again after you’ve had Himalayan salt.

So when salt and heat is all you need, try this one…maybe even rim your margarita glass!

Chile Salt

2 tbsp Himalayan Sea salt
1 tbsp ground chile pepper

Use your favorite dried chile pepper, I used dried cayenne and added it to a spice grinder. Grind it up as fine as you like.

This seasoned salt is great on pasta dishes or saucy tomato based dishes. Flavored with with parsley, oregano, basil and perfect for any Italian dish.

Italian Seasoned Salt

1 tbsp Himalayan Sea Salt
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried garlic

Use this spicy adobo to kick up the flavor of fish, chicken, chili, stews, pretty much anything. Adobo is a spice blend used in Latin homes and you can buy it already blended or you can make your own. I made something similar but made it spicy which is not typical of adobo seasoning. This can be your everyday spice if you like it hot, just use a little, the flavor and salt goes a long way.

Spicy Adobo

1 tbsp Himalayan Sea salt
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp hot paprika
2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black ground pepper
1 tsp dried garlic