Pickled Jalapeno Chillies

I absolutely love pickled Jalapeno Chillies, I think I could eat a whole jar in one go... 

I've been harvesting the last of the chillies this week, and am very pleased with the Jalapeno harvest. I actually planted extra jalapeno chilli plants with pickled chillies in mind. So, finally, after the first seed was sown back in September last year I've made my pickles.

My recipe is for a relatively large amount of chillies but it can be scaled down with ease if you forgot to plant extra chilli plants last spring...

There are all kinds of recipes out there, often involving herbs and spices, but I really love the flavour of jalapenos so I pickled them with nothing but vinegar, sugar and salt.

Jalapenos are a medium sized chilli, shaped a bit like a squat carrot, with thick flesh of moderate heat and they're great pickled or raw. They are generally used green, but will ripen to red if left long enough (on or off the plant), though this won't make them spicier.

PICKLED JALAPENO CHILLIES

2 kg jalapeno chillis

4 tablespoons of salt (for salting)

3 cups white wine vinegar

2 cups water

6 tablespoons salt (for the brine)

3 tablespoons sugar

8 300ml jars

It's essential to wear rubber gloves when chopping lots of chillies. It's easy to give yourself a chemical burn due to the capsaicin in the chillies.

Slice the jalapenos into thick slices (about 1cm thick), mix throughly with the salt (for salting), place in a plastic colander and leave for 24 hours. This will help the chillies retain some of their crispiness, which is VERY important.

Rinse the chillies thoroughly and leave to drain. In the meantime, wash and sterilise the jars. 

Make the brine by combining the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a pot and bring to boil. Pack the chillies into the sterilised jars (using sterilised tongs) and pour in the boiling brine. Seal immediately.

It's best to wait at least 3 weeks before tasting your pickles, though I can tell you that mine already tasted pretty good the following day...