Fresh and tasty ways to make every meal special for your family and yourself.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Jalapeno Dill Pickles
Don't be afraid by canning! Seriously, pickling is so easy and fun. It is self-rewarding too. Not only are you saving money hand over fist by making your own, but you are also getting it the way you want it because you make it the way you like it. I have never ever ever seen a jar of Jalapeno Dill Pickles on the shelf at any market-and I go to different one's all the time (variety is the spice of life). Not only that, but I am sure I wouldn't find them with the pickled garlic, whole jalapeno pepper and mustard seeds still in the jar. And I think those are one of the best parts. I like to take that jalapeno and slice it up to use it on our tacos, or burritos. Or enchiladas, or fajitas, or ....... I think you get the point. Fresh and cheap is the motto for today's world.
6 lbs. of fresh crisp cucumbers (try to choose similar sized one's)
7 1/2 cups of water
7 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of pickling salt
24 heads of fresh dill -or- 12 T. of dried dill weed
6 tsp. of mustard seeds
12 whole jalapenos (stems and all)
12 garlic cloves (peeled and cracked open a little)
-Wash jars, lids and rings in hot soapy water and rinse well (12 of each). Get a large canning stock pot going set to boil with your clean jars in it; once boiling, boil jars for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, for your brine, bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil in a large stockpot (if you don't have one large enough, do this recipe in 2 batches by splitting the ingredients in 1/2-I have to). DO NOT USE A METAL SPOON TO STIR THE BRINE-use a wooden one. While the brine is heating to a boil, you can get the cucumbers started. Cut about 1/2" or so off each end, these ends are called the blossom ends. Keep in mind that you want the pickles to be only as tall as the bottom of the rim on the mason jar. So, with that in mind, go ahead and start cutting them into spears or in thin slices for chips. Remove your jars once they have processed for 10 minutes in the boiling water and place on towels. Start filling them one at a time with 2 sprigs of dill heads -or- 1 T. of dried dill weed, 1 jalapeno, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 tsp. of mustard seeds and enough pickles to keep it loosely packed (the brine needs to get in b/t them). Remember to leave the 1/2" of head space (distance b/t substance and top rim) by keeping everything to the height of the bottom rim. Now, your brine should be boiling and combined, go ahead and ladle it into each jar-again keeping it below the bottom rim for that 1/2" of head space allowance (if you fill them too high-they can burst during the process!). Lid and ring them tightly; wipe off any drips and transfer them back to your boiling canning stockpot, upright, to process again for 10 minutes. Processing time begins once the water returns back to a boil. Remove and place upside down on a towel lined counter to cool. The lids will "pop" or dimple-in while they cool. Once cooled, flip them back upright. Test each lid by pressing in the center, if it dimples-in then they are not correctly processed and must be refrigerated and eaten within 2-3 weeks. If the lids are hard and solidly in place, then you did it! They can then be stored in a cool, dark, dry place for up to 1 year. Once they are opened and the seal has been broken, they are good for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. Technically you should put them in the pantry for the first week before you eat them, but mine never make it to the pantry...... Makes 12 pint mason jars. Enjoy!