Introduction: Pickled Habaneros - Jamaican Style
I've pickled jalapenos a few times already. And mostly they don't last very long because they are eaten quickly or I give them away to friends. Once I made a batch for preservation using the same method and ate them after approximately 6 months. And although you always read it can only be preserved for 1 to 2 months I didn't taste anything strange after that amount of time.
My first batch was made using this Instructable by jessyratfink. Since that batch I've followed some more recipes and finally ended up with a version of my own. But that's not what this Instructable is about. For my last batch I altered the recipe for the use of habaneros. I also used the Habanero Sauce of Tabasco as an Inspiration for this preservation.
Step 1: Ingredients & Tools
- 200 gr. of Habaneros
- 1 Mango (Mine was not fully ripe, but that's how I like them. Ripe mango's makes all veggies more sweet, which I guess makes this recipe even better. Hadn't got the patience to wait for the mango to fully ripen.)
- 2 Echalions (Normal shallots are also fine, but I had these laying around)
- 250 ml. of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 250 ml. of Water
- 3 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed
- Black peppercorn (I used a 4 season pepper mix, widely available in the Netherlands. It's mostly black pepper with small berries)
- 3 dried Bay leafs
- 3 tbs. Sugar
- 1 tbs. Salt
- Cooking pot
- Sterilized pickling jars (I used 3 old jelly jars(250 - 300 ml) on which the amounts in this recipes are based.)
- Cutting board
- Spoon (Or something similar for transfering the hot liquid from the cooking pot to the jars.)
- Zigzag scissors
- Butcher twine
- Decorative paper
- Colored pens
- Glue stick
- Hole puncher
Step 2: Preparations
Time to cut the habaneros, the mangos and the echalions. Cut the habaneros and the peeled echalions in slices of approximately 2 mm. Peel and cut the mango in small pieces. Make them about the same size as the habaneros, but a little thicker for a nice taste.
Put the rest of the ingredients in the cooking pot. Don't forget to crush the garlic. Once crushed they release their flavor much easier. The peppercorns can be crushed as well for more flavor, but I like the look of the uncrushed peppercorns in the jar. Put the cooking pot on the stove and boil for about 5 minutes. Make sure that the sugar and salt are dissolved.
During the boiling of the liquid, the next step can be carried out.
Remove the seeds from the habaneros for a less spicy result.
Step 3: Stack Habaneros and Mango
When you're doing this only for the flavor, I would suggest to mix the habaneros, mangos and the echalions. Once mixed put them in you pickling jar. Since I'm doing this as a gift for some friends, it's important it looks as good as it tastes.
What I did was stacking layer by layer, so it looks nice from the side. This works better for larger jars, because you can increase layer thickness. In the last layer I made sure you could see a little of all ingredients, so when you open the lid you can see and taste a little bit of everything.
Push the veggies firmly down in the jars and put in as much as possible up to approximately 0.5 - 1 cm under the top.
Make sure the tools you use for stacking the veggies are as clean as the jars.
Step 4: Add Pickling Liquid
Once the pickling liquid has boiled for about 5 minutes, it's time to add it to the jars. I start by putting a bay leaf, a clove of garlic and black peppercorns in every jar. Just like before, make sure all ingredients can be seen from the top. Once the ingredients are added, divide the pickling liquid between the jars. Make sure the pickling liquid just covers to the top layer of veggies.
Add the lid while the liquid is still hot. This way a small vacuum is created when cooled. Let the pickled habaneros cool overnight outside the fridge. Put them in the fridge once cooled to room temperature.
As can be seen in the recipe of jessyratfink, a little softer and less spicy habaneros can be obtained by boiling them in the liquid during the last minute. Remove the veggies from the liquid, stack them in the jars and pour over the liquid.
Step 5: Turn Into Present
Because gifting is as nice as making, I made a batch of three jars. One for me and my girlfriend, one for a friend with a Mexican girlfriend who recently moved to the Netherlands and another friend with a love for spicy food. A normal jar just doesn't do the trick, so we made them into some nice gift jars. (Even the one for ourselves, because we could.)
The easiest part to make a jar into something special is by wrapping the lid in a piece of fabric. We had some nice looking fabric laying around which we cut into a square using zigzag scissors. Butcher's twine, or something similar, can be used to bind the fabric around the jar.
A label (a little bit big) was also added. White paper was cut using zigzag scissors. Using colored pens, text, a simple drawing and the date of pickling was added. A piece of decorative paper was cut to the shape of a label a little bit bigger than the white paper (this time using normal scissors). The white paper with text was glued to the label using a glue stick. Lastly a hole puncher was used to add a hole to the label. Add the labels to the jars and the gift habaneros are ready.
ENJOY! and leave a comment with a picture of your home made gift jar.
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