This past summer I wrote a simple recipe for candied jalapenos, alias ‘cowboy
candy’. They were extremely popular. Each time I demonstrated the recipe I
would rattle off 101 ways to use the candied jalapenos. Finally after the fact I
wrote a ‘real’ recipe using the cowboy candy. This week I am implementing them
into an appetizer/spread. But let’s not rule out placing these delights in potato
salad, deviled eggs, hamburgers and even jalapeno bread!
In this column I have provided the recipes for both the candied jalapenos and
the appetizer spread. If you don’t have time to do the jalapenos from scratch
you will certainly find many companies that sell them. In Kansas you will find
the ‘Campbell Garden Peppers’ and in Missouri I’ve located several, google them
on line and they will surface. In mid-Missouri check at Cockrill’s Mercantile,
in Columbia there’s a label called Papa Hart’s Pickles that produces the candy
jalapenos. In the Branson area visit Danna’s BBQ for candied jalapenos. It’s a
start at least!
Pile these yummies on a sandwich or on top of a bowl of chili for a swing of sweet
versus savory. As I stated earlier you are going to find a million uses for them. Oh
yes, be sure and choose the ‘heat’ level of preference. Jalapeno’s come in ‘hot’
and mild. I’m a weenie and I usually use mild. Have fun playing with the two
recipes and I’ll wrap up the column a bit early so we have plenty of space for the
two recipes together.
Don’t forget my culinary cruise in March 2015, visit the website www.
thecovereddish.com and look over all the details. I ‘promise’ you an exciting and
fun trip. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.
Candied Jalapeno/Bacon Spread on Pepper Sliders
1 1/2 (12 ounces total) cream cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup chopped candied jalapenos, measure before chopping
4 strips cooked bacon, drained and crumbled
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
Yellow, green, red or orange peppers cut into 8 squares each
Soften cream cheese and stir in all remaining ingredients. Allow to set overnight
in refrigerator. Set out a few minutes before serving to allow cheese to soften.
Using a tablespoon scoop or other similar tool place a scoop of the jalapeno/
bacon spread on the pepper square.
This is a very colorful presentation and a good solution to additional
carbohydrates found in chips and crackers. Consider using peppers that match
the season like green, yellow and orange for fall and red and green for Christmas.
The spread could also be made into a basic cheese ball. Other dips and spreads
will work equally as well as the Jalapeno/Bacon on the pepper sliders.
Candied Jalapenos can be found in gourmet stores or you can easily make the
Jalapeno Turn-Arounds featured below. The longer the candied jalapenos set the
better they taste!
Cowboy Candy-Candied Jalapenos
(Pickled Jalapeno Turn-Arounds)
16 ounces of mild pickled jalapenos, drained & rinsed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups sugar
4 ounces roasted red peppers
Yield: 2 Half Pints
For canning purposes wash all jars ahead of time. Place jar flats in a pan of boiling
water. Set out tongs and clean towels.
Drain and rinse jalapenos in a colander. Place red peppers and jalapenos in two
half pint jars, packing within 1/2 an inch of the rim. Place the lemon juice and
sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. (Turn water on under the jar flats.) Cook
until a candy thermometer reads soft ball stage. Immediately pour into each jar
covering completely. You must work fast as this will get extremely sticky. Seal
each jar tightly.
For a hot water bath place the jars in a large stockpot and cover with cold water
about 1-2 inches from the top of the jars. Turn heat on medium/medium-high
and bring the pot to a full boil. Boil for only 10 minutes. Remove jars with tongs
from water bath and allow to cool. You should hear the jars ‘ping’ as they seal.
Should you use fresh jalapenos, (approximately 1 1/2 pounds) be sure and wear
rubber gloves. When the sugar and lemon juice come to a boil add the jalapenos
and fresh red peppers cooking on a simmer for about five minutes. If you cook
too long they get too soft.
If I were using fresh peppers I would consider adding about 1/2 teaspoon of
celery seed and about 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric to the mixture.
Allow the jalapenos to set for at least 2 weeks before they are used. The longer
they stay in the sugar base the better they get.
These can be implemented into many dishes from grilling to potato salads and