Homemade Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapenos): From Garden to Jar

My jalapeno plants are continuously pumping out ripe jalapenos. I don’t want to waste them so I went to an old standby recipe that I haven’t made in a few years: Cowboy Candy.

Check out this YouTube video where I demonstrate how to make this incredibly easy homemade recipe using spicy jalapenos straight from the garden and canning them in a jar with a sweet cowboy candy sauce. The sweet and spicy flavors blend so well together and make an incredible appetizer over cream cheese, as a marinade for meats, or as a complement to any of your entrees. This homemade cowboy candy (candied jalapenos) will impress your family and friends either eating it or as a gift to let somebody know how much you mean to them.

Preparation

Preparation does involve a bit of work to slice up the jalapeno peppers and getting all the other ingredients together.

All ingredients gathered and ready to go.
Slicing jalapenos
Sliced Jalapenos

Cooking it up

You basically throw all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. This includes the apple cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, cayenne pepper, celery seeds and garlic.

Adding apple cider vinegar
Adding garlic
Bring the candying solution up to a boil

The next step is to add in the jalapenos and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

Sliced jalapeno peppers in the candying solution

Canning

Everything is cooked up so now we just need to transfer the peppers using a slotted spoon to the jars. You come back and fill up to the 1/2″ head space with the candying solution.

Filling the jars

Please remember to wipe the rims off with a wet paper towel to ensure the lids will seal better.

Wiping rims
Taking jars out of canner

Recipe

Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapenos)

This incredibly easy homemade recipe uses spicy jalapenos paired with a sweet cowboy candy sauce. The sweet and spicy flavors blend so well together and make an incredible appetizer over cream cheese, as a marinade for meats, or as a complement to any of your entrees. This homemade cowboy candy (candied jalapenos) will impress your family and friends either eating it or as a gift to let somebody know how much you mean to them.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 30

Equipment

  • Pressure Canner or Boiling Water Canner
  • Gloves, Latex or other
  • Saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs Peppers, Jalapeno (fresh)
  • 2 cups Vinegar, Apple Cider
  • 6 cups Sugar, Granulated White
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Celery Seed
  • 2 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Pepper, Cayenne

Instructions
 

  • Pick 3 pounds of fresh ripe jalapeno peppers from your garden. If not available, pick some up from the grocery store.
  • Wearing gloves, remove the very top and the stem from the jalapeno peppers.
  • Slice the peppers in 1/4" rounds. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, bring apple cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, minced garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Raise the heat back to a boil and add the jalapeno pepper rounds and return to a hard boil. Reduce heat again and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • Transfer the jalapeno pepper slices to your clean jars leaving a head space of no less than 1/2".
  • Using a ladle, transfer the syrup to fill the jars ensuring you leave a head space of no less than 1/2".
  • Wipe the rims with a clean and damp paper towel. Put on lids and screw on top finger tip tight.
  • Place jars in a canner ensuring the top of jar is covered with 2" of water. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, boil jars for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. When safe, remove jars from water using canning tongs and transfer to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool for 24 hours.
  • Allow jars to sit for 2 – 3 weeks before eating as the flavors will mature in that time.
Keyword Candied, Candy, Canning, Cowboy, Jalapeno, pepper, spicy, Sweet

Strawberry Jalapeno Jam: From Garden to Jar

A few years back I was looking for another tasty way to preserve my jalapeno pepper harvest. I came across a recipe that intrigued me which paired jalapeno peppers with strawberries. So, I tried it out and now I make some every year. It just so happens that I have a surplus of peppers coming ripe so I am going to make strawberry jalapeno jam and show you how.

To see the YouTube version, click here.

Strawberry Jalapeno Jam – Ready to put in canner

Harvesting and Preparing the Peppers

First step in this process is to go into the backyard and harvest some Jalapenos from my organic raised-bed garden. I have 8 Jalapeno plants in my garden including Craig’s Grande, Pumpkin Spice, Orange Spice, and Brown Jalapeño varieties.

Ripe Jalapenos
Ripe Jalapeno Peppers

The next step is to remove the seeds. We don’t want the jam to be super hot, just have the jalapeno pepper flavor. Note: Don’t forget to wear latex or other protectant gloves so you don’t surprise yourself later with the “touch of fire”!

Removing seeds from jalapeno peppers
Processed Jalapenos ready for the jam

Cooking the Jam

Gather all your ingredients which is simple is it only requires strawberries, jalapeno peppers, lemons, granulated white sugar and dry pectin.

Ingredients needed for the jam
Crushed strawberries in the saucepan

Add all the ingredients to the saucepan except for the sugar.

Peppers added to the crushed strawberries
Adding the fresh lemon juice

Bring jam to a boil. Add sugar and bring back up to to a boil for 1 full minute. Turn off the heat.

Jam all cooked up and ready to can

Canning Strawberry Jalapeno Jam

We are now ready to transfer to the jars.

Topping off some jars
Jars filled and ready to topped and processed in pressure canner
Cleaning the tops of the jars with a wet paper towel before putting lids on
Jars processed, fresh out of the pressure canner

Strawberry Jalapeno Jam

An incredible blend of sweet strawberry with the flavor profile of the jalapeno pepper. The jam is not overly spicy as you just need to remove the seeds from the jalapeno peppers before adding to the jam.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 64

Equipment

  • Pressure Canner or Water Boil Canner
  • Non-stick Saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Cups Strawberries, Crushed
  • 1 Cup Pepper, Jalapeno (minced)
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon juice, fresh (if available)
  • 1 Package Fruit Pectin, Powdered
  • 7 Cups Sugar, White Granulated

Instructions
 

  • Remove seeds and inner membrane from jalapeno peppers. Dice jalapeno's or place in food processor to mince. Wear latex gloves when handling peppers.
  • Cut off top of strawberries and any overly-soft areas. Place in bowl and crush strawberries to the consistency you want.
  • Place the crushed strawberries, diced or minced jalapenos, lemon juice and pectin into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the sugar and stir. Bring it to rapid boil for 1 minute. Then, take off the fire.
  • Pour into jars leaving 1/2" head space.
  • Place in canner, bring to a boil, cover, and process for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • Let cool overnight. Check lid in morning and it should not flex. If so, it will need to be refrigerated. Ensure you label your jars.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword Canning, Jalapeno, Jam, jelly, pepper, Preserving, snack, spicy, Sweet


This makes a great gift or serve your strawberry jalapeno jam on buttered toast and make memories with your family and friends.  Please let us know how you like this post or have suggestions on future posts. Please visit our YouTube channel as well.

Enjoy! Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it!

Check out my other garden to jar post here (Salsa Verde).

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Chinese Pork Belly with Honey, Garlic and Toasted Sesame Sauce

We had family coming over a few weekends back so needed to cook up a meal. We were walking through the meat section at Costco looking for inspiration and came across a nice slab of pork belly. I decided to buy it and utilize in a set of dishes using a Chinese food theme. The menu included:

Chinese Pork Belly full meal

This post provides details on how to cook the Chinese Pork Belly with Honey, Sesame, and Garlic Sauce. It’s a very easy recipe and takes no time to put together. It was delicious served over noodles.

Preparation

This is an easy recipe using Tamari sauce, toasted sesame seeds, green onions and tons of garlic. In preparation, you will need to go ahead and cut up your pork belly and green onions as the time to cook is short. You also need to place your sesame seeds on a pan lined with parchment paper and brown the seeds in the oven. Toasting the sesame seeds adds another depth to the sesame flavor and is simple to do.

Browning the Sesame seeds
Ingredients, ready to cook

Cook Pork Belly with Sauce

Put the pork belly cubes in a non-stick pan and brown them. You do not need to add any oil as the pork belly has adequate fat. Remember, browning pork does nothing but add depth to your flavor. Remove the pork and set aside.

Browning the cubed pork belly

Now, add in all the other ingredients except some of the sliced green onions and cook up the sauce. Then, we will add the pork belly back into the sauce and cook for a short time. Meanwhile, get your noodles or rice ready to be plated.

Adding honey to the sauce
Stirring the Sauce
Finishing after putting pork belly in with the sauce.

Time to Serve

Completed Pork Belly with Honey, Garlic and Toasted Sesame Sauce
Finished Pork Belly with Honey, Garlic, and Sesame Sauce

Pork Belly with Honey, Garlic and Sesame Sauce over Noodles

Make an incredible dish using pork belly with a honey, garlic and sesame sauce served over noodles.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Pork Belly, Diced
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 3 tbsp Tamari Sauce Soy sauce can be substituted
  • 5 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 Stalks Green Onions, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Dice up pork belly. Slice off extra fat if desired.
  • Add diced pork belly to a large pan and fry on high. No oil is necessary as the fat from the pork belly will suffice. Brown pork belly, then remove from pan. You may want to use a splatter screen to keep the grease from getting all over the kitchen.
  • Add honey, 3 tablespoons of tamari sauce, 1 stalk of chopped green onion and minced garlic. Bring sauce up to a boil. Reduce heat and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the toasted sesame seeds and stir.
  • Add pork belly into the sauce and stir.
  • Serve with remaining toasted sesame seeds and green onions over your choice of noodles.
Keyword Chinese, garlic, honey, Pork Belly, sesame

Now, enjoy the simple life by sitting with your family or friends, and eating some good chinese pork belly covered in an incredible tasty sauce made of honey, garlic and toasted sesame seeds .  Please let us know how you like this post or have suggestions on future posts.

Enjoy! Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it!

Please LIKE this post. If you have any COMMENTS or QUESTIONS, please post below. Please SUBSCRIBE to our BLOG for additional great content.

Chinese Barbeque Pork (Char Sui) using Pork Belly

We had family coming over a few weekends back so needed to cook up a meal. We were walking through the meat section at Costco looking for inspiration and came across a nice slab of pork belly. I decided to buy it and utilize in a set of dishes using a Chinese food theme. The menu included:

This post provides details on how to cook the Chinese Barbeque Pork (Char Sui). You first marinate the meat overnight then grill it on the grill. It was really easy process. If not too sure, try it, and the flavors will blow away your family and/or friends.

Char Sui Pork Belly

Preparation

The first step in the entire recipe is to cut up the pork belly and prepare the marinade. Cut the pork belly into 1″ to 1.5″ cubes and place in gallon zip-lock bag.

Cook all the marinade ingredients in a saucepan then set aside to cool. This includes a myriad of tasty ingredients including soy sauce, rice wine, honey, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, garlic, five-spice powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and kosher salt. All combined, this creates an incredible flavor profile to die for!

Note: The Chinese Buffet type of restaurant would add a red food coloring to make it a certain red color. I prefer not to add something to my meals that don’t add any flavor.

Once cool, pour marinade over pork belly pieces in gallon zip-lock bag and store in refrigerator overnight.

Add marinade to gallon size zip-lock bag.
Pork Belly after overnight marinate in refrigerator.

Grill the Char Sui

Throw the Char Sui onto the middle of a hot grill. Sear the meat then move off direct heat to finish.  Ensure middle of pieces get to a minimum of 145 to 160 F, then rests for 3 – 5 minutes.

Putting the Char Sui on the Grill.
Grilling the Char Sui

Plating

The Char Sui pork belly can be plated with a little green onion or chives as a garnish. This was an appetizer. You can use larger pieces and make it an entrée. The marinate turns the meat dark red and with a little caramelization the meat appears to have a little char. I can attest that this was not overcooked and was absolutely delicious.

Plated Chinese BBQ (Char Siu)

Chinese Pork Belly Barbeque Appetizer (Char Sui)

The recipe will show the simple technique to marinate and grill pork belly for authentic Chinese Barbeque (Char Siu).
Prep Time 12 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Pork Belly, sliced Appetizer size pieces
  • 1 cup Soy Sauce Tamari can be substituted
  • 1/2 cup Rice wine Substitute sake or dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1/2 cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Dark
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five-Spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, Freshly Ground
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Place soy sauce, rice wine, honey, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, garlic, five-spice powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and kosher salt in a saucepan. Mix and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Cut pork belly in appetizer size pieces.
  • Pour marinate over pork belly pieces and refrigerate overnight.
  • Prepare grill using charcoal or gas.
  • Remove pork belly and pour mixture into strainer. Let marinade drip off.
  • Place pork belly over direct heat. Sear all sides then move to indirect heat. Since this is small pieces, it will not take too long to cook. Ensure middle of pieces get to a minimum of 145 to 160 F. Let the pork belly pieces rest for at least 3 minutes.
  • Garnish with some chopped green onions or chives.
Keyword Appetizer, Char Siu, Chinese, Pork, Pork Belly

Now, enjoy the simple life by sitting with your family or friends, and eating some good chinese pork belly marinated with delicious ingredients and cooked on the grill .  Please let us know how you like this post or have suggestions on future posts.

Enjoy! Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it!

Please LIKE this post. If you have any COMMENTS or QUESTIONS, please post below. Please SUBSCRIBE to our BLOG for additional great content.