Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Candied Jalapenos

Stop the presses! Hold the phone! Shut the front door and get clean out of town! Immediately stop what you are doing, go out into your garden or to your nearest farmer's market, and get some jalapenos... then make these - Candied Jalapenos, or Cowboy Candy. I am not kidding.

 Yay peppers! The ones that weren't perfect were just chopped and put in the freezer.

Normally I'm abivelent about spicy peppers and usually I'm a "one star" or at the most, "two star" girl. So I'm not interested in mean food that makes your eyes water. Thankfully these candied jalapenos aren't that. They are like ... like... I dunno... the best combination of spicy sweet that you could ever imagine.

I love when the jalapenos get to the red stage.

I first saw this recipe over on my friend, D's website, The Gastronomic Gardener. He has some great recipes but I shrugged this one off because I didn't think it was my thing. But then I ended up with way too many jalapenos this year so I thought I'd give it a try. Holy guacamole. I am not kidding - don't even bother to process them. I finished off half pint of them before the recommended "wait a couple days to a week." Yesterday I made my second batch.

The recipe D uses is located here. 

I tell you the truth. I was very skeptical at first. And I nearly didn't make them when I saw how much sugar is used. In fact, I didn't have that much sugar in the house and was going to have to get more.  But then I heard my friend, Bourbon Red's voice admonishing me "Do NOT cut the sugar! You always cut the sugar and don't do that!" Because.. I do..and he always tells me not to (sometimes I listen). So against all my better judgement I pressed on.

It was so worth it.
Wear gloves!

A couple things. First, make sure you wear heavy kitchen gloves when you go and pick the peppers and while you are handling them And for heavens sakes, if you have bouncy dogs don't poke anyone in the eye with the hotsy-totsy peppers. You might want to put that cutting board, with your gloves still on, directly into the dishwasher so you don't use it later and get pepper transfer onto whatever you are chopping up next. And don't touch your face with the gloves.

Lean back!

Also, open all the windows.  Once you have the vinegar-sugar syrup going and you are to the point where you put all the peppers into the pot - LEAN BACK. Don't be sticking your face over that boiling cauldron of pepper spray. Word to the wise.

Then, once you have all that peppery sweet goodness in jars.... what do you use it for? You mean aside from standing over the sink eating them with a fork out of the jar? So many things:

* On crackers with goat cheese (or cream cheese).
* On sandwiches, burgers, or sausages (like these Bahama Mamas)
* Stir a few peppers and some syrup into your chicken and pepper filling for quesadillas.
* As a dipping sauce for eggrolls or potstickers (you could jazz it up with some soy sauce).
* As part of your sauce for a spicy sweet riff on General Tso's chicken (or pork).
* Brushed on just about any kind of meat for grilling
* Anything else that needs a little spice.

Seriously. It's hard to explain what is so captivating but give these a try. You'll probably have left over syrup but you can use that or lots of things too. Or just go and find every pepper you have the garden and make another batch. Today I'm going to go and find all of my hot Hungarian Wax peppers and make those with my leftover syrup.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Have you made candied jalapenos? Don't you love them?


Weekend Cowgirl said...

Not sure about this one. I imagine if I just ventured out I would like them...

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I made some similar to those last year and I included some red ones. The green ones are pleasant but the red will light you up and yet are sweet. They do go great with cheese.

Traci Sumner said...

I'm sure my husband would love them, but making them would put me in the hospital. I can wear gloves, cut up a jalapeno, scrub my hands, and still feel the burn in my fingers two days later and will actually get a chemical burn on my skin if the juice gets on me. That much capsaicin in the air from cooking them would probably kill me.

Unknown said...

Do you think banana peppers would work instead of the jalapenos?

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