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Homemade Pickled Jalapenos

28 Jan

I make a batch of these every couple of weeks. They’re so awesome you’ll never go back to the store-bought stuff again. These are pickled in the refrigerator, so they are NOT shelf-stable. Keep them in the fridge and they’ll last as long as you’ll need them to. While they’re awesome right away, I recommend that you let them hang out in the fridge for a week or two before eating. They just get better with time.

Ingredients:
– 16 medium-to-large fresh jalapenos
– 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
– 1 1/4 cups filtered or distilled water
– 4 large garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
– 4 TBSP granulated sugar
– 2 TBSP kosher salt

Yield: Two pint jars

Wash the jalapenos and cut into “bottle caps”, or rings. Discard stems.

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Fill a large bowl with very warm water. Remove the lids from two pint jars (mine are purple!), and submerge them in the water. This will bring the jars up to temperature prior to filling them with hot jalapenos and liquid.

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Combine water, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved, and bring to a boil. Add the jalapenos, pushing them down to submerge them in the liquid. Remove them from the heat and allow to sit, uncovered, for fifteen minutes. You’ll notice that the color will go from bright green to a duller green color.

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Remove the jars from the warm water. Using tongs, transfer the jalapenos from the saucepan into the jars, evenly distributing them between the two. I usually start by digging out the four cloves of garlic and making sure each jar gets two apiece.

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Next, ladle the liquid into each jar until the liquid reaches near the top of the jar. Attach the lids and bands and allow to sit on the counter until completely cooled. Store in the refrigerator – the jalapenos can be eaten right away but we’ve found that they taste best after sitting in the refrigerator for a week.

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We use these in and on everything. Omelettes, cheeseburgers, salads, crackers and cheese, marinades, deviled eggs, tuna salad, sandwiches, soups and stews, baked salmon, pretty much anything going in the crock pot… we’re a little obsessed.

Enjoy!

Bleu Cheese Spread

25 Jan

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
6 oz. bleu cheese
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated onion
1-2 tbsp. mayonnaise (to taste)

Mix all ingredients together, adding the mayo 1/2 tbsp at a time until mixture is creamy. Serve over crackers or use to stuff celery stalks.

This stuff was a fixture during holidays at Grandma’s. I will be the only person in my household who will eat it, and I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER.

Refried Bean Dip

25 Jan

1 32 oz can of refried beans (or two 16 oz cans! Woo! I am a Math Goddess!)
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 lb prepared taco meat (browned hamburger with taco seasoning)
jalapeno slices to taste (I usually put about 8 in)
3 tbsp. of the jalapeno “juice” from the jar
two big handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese, or a jack/cheddar combo
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Heat in microwave until warm (about 5 minutes on High, stir halfway). Serve with tortilla chips, beer, and a football game or sporting event of choice. The beer is very important. Sporting event optional.