Candied Chilies

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Candied Chilies
Candied Chilies

Recently, I visited a swap meet with a couple of friends. We had a lot of fun and wore ourselves out! My best purchase was at a produce shop. I discovered some lovely jalapeno chiles and tomatillos, a type of green fruit that makes our absolute favorite salsa. Yes, I have posted that recipe here, when we were living in Mexico. I have, sadly, had a very hard time finding them here in Florida. However, last weekend I found about 10 pounds and bought every single one! I also bought about five pounds of beautiful jalapeno chilies:

Jalapenos

Sunday, I canned up another of our favorites: Candied Chilies, also known as Cowboy Candy. Here is how I did mine: After washing and draining the Jalapenos, I sliced them crosswise into quarter inch rounds. I also sliced up a few bell type sweet peppers to add in because they will pick up the heat from the Jalapenos and they look pretty!.

Slicing chiles

I added quite a bit of fresh peeled garlic and set all of it aside.Oh, I weighed the combination of chiles and garlic and found that I had about four pounds net. Why is that important? Because that determines the amount of syrup I make.

Chilies1

Aren’t they beautiful?

After I weighed the chiles, I prepared the syrup. Most of the recipes seem to require an excess of syrup and say to can the extra. I don’t do that because I think it seems wasteful. If I want to use the syrup, I just use what is left after we have gobbled up finished the chiles from the jar.

My photo of the syrup:

pickling-syrup

And the half pint jars ready to fill:

jars

Yes, I used up all of my cute little half pint jars and had to make four additional pint jars. I really wanted to just put them up in half pints, since there are only the two of us. Pints are just so tempting. Trust me, when the jar is opened, they absolutely call to me from the fridge!

You can see the pint jars, as well as the little half pints mingling with all of the rest of the day’s cannning:

A-day's-work

Yes, some of those jars are labelled mushrooms, because Mr. M brought home 10 half pound packages of discounted mushrooms too. Mushroom juice, you ask? The stock from canning the mushrooms. When they have their mandatory precooking for canning they produce a LOT of delicious juice, so I save it for soups, or rice, or other stuff.

Here is my recipe for

Candied Chilies

4 pounds of prepared chiles, any combination of peppers, as long as Jalapenos predominate

1/4 cup peeled garlic cloves, about 1 tablespoon of granulated garlic can be substituted

3 cups of cider vinegar

6 cups of sugar

1 Tablespoon of canning salt

2 teaspoons whole mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1 Tablespoon whole coriander seed

1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine the vinegar, sugar and spices in a very large stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the chiles and fresh garlic, if used. Be very careful not to inhale the steam that rises or you will not forget it!. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Load jars with jalapenos first and add liquid. filling the jars and leaving a 1/4 inch head space. While filling the jars, leave the liquid simmering until the jars are filled. Clean the jar rims carefully and cap with 2 piece lids. There may be  a small amount of liquid leftover, but nothing excessive. Some of the liquid is from the chilies and will be quite spicy. Process jars in a water bath for 15 minutes. The most difficult part of this recipe is that you need to wait at least four weeks while these mature. The longer you can resist the better, but I will understand if you can’t! I won’t tell. This amount made the equivalent of 7 pints for me but your mileage may vary.

These chilies are very addictive! They are wonderful as an appetizer when serve with a bit of cream cheese on crackers, or in tacos, or a sandwich, on rice; well. hmmmm, they are just yummy! Try some and you will want to eat it!

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