Preserving the Harvest – Jalapeños

I picked a peck of peppers and pickled them.

This weekend I harvested the bulk of my jalapeño peppers – the actual amount was more like a half a peck.  I understand that a peck is equivalent to 8 dry quarts.  I pickled 2 quarts (4 pints) and froze another pint and with the remaining 3 pints created into the most delicious Jalapeño Popper Thingy’s – (see recipe below)  and froze for future use.

For the Pickled Jalapeños I used for the first time a recipe from Nourished Kitchen.  In the past my husband has done more of a canning method, so we shall see how the traditional fermentation method works out for our family.

As for the rest of the jalapeños I halved, deseeded and deveined them all.  I highly recommend wearing gloves for this process – my fingers were burning all day!  I had one more news flash the next day too:  Gloves are a must if you wear contacts as you will get the capsicum into your lenses with just the slightest touch.

I must give credit where credit is due.  I googled for some jalapeño popper recipes – one’s without any breading – when I came across this recipe from the Pioneer Woman for Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Thingies .  Now if you know me, everything tastes better with bacon.  Add bacon to any recipe and it really pops.  Well as the bacon I get from my local farmer tends to be on the thick side compared to most store bought bacon, I knew I had to adapt the recipe a bit.  Here is what I created:

Jalapeño Popper Thingy’s

30 jalapeños

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

1-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 tbsp minced cilantro

1 tsp ground cumin

1 package bacon

Halve the jalapeños lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes.  Note: wearing of gloves recommended. Cream together the cheeses, cilantro and cumin.  Fill jalapeño halves with the cheese mixture.  Cook the bacon partially.  I placed on a pan and baked for about 10 minutes just so it wouldn’t be completely raw and need to cook longer than the pepper and thus melt all the cheese.  Once bacon cooled, cut into 1 to 1-1/2″ strips and place atop the cheese filled peppers.  Hold in place with a toothpick cut in half.  Place in single layers and freeze.

To serve: take desired amount of frozen peppers out of freezer and place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 375- 425°F for 7-10 minutes.  We did ours on the grill using indirect heat.  Don’t let them get too hot for too long or the cheese will all melt away.

As for any peppers left after making the Popper Thingy’s, I took the halved, deseeded and deveined peppers and made sure they were dry.  Then I placed them on a plate in a single layer and placed them in the freezer.  Once frozen, I then put them into a container or Ziploc for use in recipes all winter.  By freezing the peppers first, they will not all stick together.  This works will with all pepper types.  I have been told that green peppers will transfer their flavor to other items in the freezer so it is best to place them in a glass container, not plastic.

One Comment on “Preserving the Harvest – Jalapeños”

  1. I just saw this pepper corer in the Lem catalog This is going on my wish list for next years harvest. No more burning hands or trying to work wearing gloves.

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