Jalapenos are an amazing chili pepper. Unlike some hot peppers that only bring heat to a dish, Jalapenos have an incredible flavor that isn’t masked by heat. Not only are Jalapenos peppery and have a vibrant yet manageable “heat” – they also have flavors that resemble green and sweet pepper. It is these qualities that allow the Jalapeno to be prepared a variety of ways and why it has easily transcended cultures and moved from just being a Mexican fixture, to a chili pepper loved the world over.
As you can probably tell by my giddy like gushing, I’m a big fan of Jalapenos. My favorite way to prepare them is on the grill, (featured in my Smoked Salsa Burger Recipe), but another great way to prepare Jalapenos is by candifying them. I think candifying is a made up word but nonetheless a fitting one.
Creating a sugar coating on a Jalapeno chili is a wonderful way to contrast the peppery flavors. I also like to add a pinch of coarse salt to candied Jalapenos giving them a third dimension – sweet, spicy, and salty. Some people even like to pickle the peppers before hand, but just out of personal preference, I prefer not to. When candying, I think the pickling process “beats up” the Jalapeno too much and you lose the fresh taste of the chili pepper. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy pickled Jalapeno peppers, but just not as much when they are candied.
Here’s a super simple recipe for candied Jalapeno peppers. They are amazing on burgers, as well as, a great topping for appetizers and a unique addition to a cheese or charcuterie plate.
Ingredients for Candied Jalapeno Peppers
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 cups water
- pinch or two of coarse salt
- approximately 15 Jalapenos, cut into 1/4 or 1/2 inch rings (I wouldn’t recommend going any larger or smaller than that)
* You can get a big yield out of the water and sugar because you only need a thin coating on each Jalapeno.
** If you have sensitive skin, to avoid a rash or irritation use latex or rubber gloves while handling the Jalapenos.
Directions for Making Candied Jalapeno Peppers
- Combine the sugar and water in a deep sauce pan or pot and bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to remaining boiling and as the water evaporates, with a moistened brush or non stick spatula, carefully push the sugary syrup down from the sides of the pot or pan.
- As the water reduces even more, keep a close eye on the sugar mixture. At the first signs of browning, immediately remove from the heat and add the Jalapenos. Stir or toss to give the peppers an even coating. Try not to let the sugar mixture brown or you will end up with a hot mess of disintegrated peppers. Basically it will turn into Jalapeno rock candy if you brown the sugar too much.
- Remove the Jalapenos from the pan and set on wax or parchment paper to cool. While still hot – sprinkle coarse salt on top of the peppers. When cool, remove the excess sugar from the Jalapenos and serve.
I hope you enjoyed the candied Jalapeno recipe. It’s a great way to spice up any burger or use as a topping for some appetizers. Until next time, stay hungry!