We recently enjoyed a brunch at Dirty Food in Toronto. I had their hamburger. I don’t think I’ve ever met a burger I didn’t like or want to eat. And Dirty Food didn’t disappoint. They also happen to make superb home fries, which I love, but are so many times disappointing. But, I digress. Back to the burger….one of the items available to top my burger—candied jalapeños! Why don’t I know about these? They were wonderful…a little hot, a little sweet and totally delicious. Well now, The Goddess had to reproduce them. This is what I came up with. I read some recipes on the “inter-webs”. None of those recipes seemed to be anything like what I ate, so I thought about it and this is what I decided to do.
This recipe is simple. It’s pretty much three ingredients—jalapeños, water and sugar. Four, if you count a good healthy sprinkle of kosher salt.
Before we go any further, I had decided I didn’t want all the seeds. I “cored” the pepper and removed most of the seeds, but left as much of the membranes intact as I could. As I described in Hot Peppers Rings in Olive Oil with Garlic, roll the chiles back and forth, to loosen the seeds. Remember to use gloves when handling chiles!! I know, The Goddess doesn’t have gloves on here, but I was careful to just touch the very outside of the chile, not the cut edge. So far, so good. When I was slicing the peppers, I had gloves on. I promise.
This recipe is really more about technique. I decided to make a simply syrup, sugar-centric. I brought the syrup to the boil and boiled it for 5 minutes, until the bubbles went from finer to larger bubbles. I don’t think that Dirty Food’s jalapeños had garlic, but you know The Goddess and her inordinate affection for garlic. So, I added 4 cloves, which I thinly sliced, after 2 minutes of boiling, then continued to boil for 3 more minutes (5 minutes in total). I dumped all the jalapeño slices into the pot, stirred them and continued to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir them a couple of times, just to make certain they cook evenly. The peppers themselves will release some liquid as they boil. I scooped out the slices, spread them out on a cooling rack, set over a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet, to drain while I boiled down the syrup. I reduced by almost half. I stopped when the bubbles got large again. Then, I just put the slices in a pint jar, sprinkled the salt over the little ringlets of deliciousness and poured the thickened syrup over the chiles, popped the cover on and into the fridge. They turned out a nice bright green and the syrup is going to be so very nice to add to vinaigrettes or whatever little treat I can think of—maybe ice cream! These are hot, but not too hot…you know, a little sweet, a little hot. We all know people like that, don’t we? These keep pretty well, but don’t worry. They’ll be gone in no time.
Candied Jalapeño Peppers
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 cups thinly sliced jalapeño peppers, including some seeds (about 12)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Place the water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to the boil; boil for 3 minutes. Add the garlic slices; continue to cook for 2 minutes more, a total of 5 minutes. The mixture will be slightly thickened; the bubbles become larger as the mixture thickens.
Dump the peppers slices into the syrup; stir. Let the mixture cooks for 5 minutes, stir at least 2-3 times. Remove from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, place the slices on a cooling rack set over a foil-lined cookie sheet.
Return the liquid to the heat and simmer until the mixture is reduced slightly, about 3-4 minutes. Cool slightly.
Place the candied slices in a clean jar; sprinkle the coarse kosher salt over the top, pour on the syrup, cover and refrigerate.
Use as you wish, but they are delicious on burgers or any sandwich (like a grilled cheese!). They are good served with a nice slice of cheese, and a good cracker or slice of bread.
Candied Jalapeño Peppers Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.
So the ringlets-of-wonder graced my chicken sandwich for lunch today. Very nice. They still have a little bit of tooth to them. They will be wonderful on a fried eggs sandwich, a fence post, a slice of cheese and cracker, an old shoe…you get the picture. Now, make these yourself so you can enjoy them, too.