Red and Green Jalapeno Jelly

DSC_6993 (1600x1060)Playing around with strobes this evening.  There are two behind the jars of jelly.  I made the green this morning and got it too stiff, fearing a replay of the red jelly that turned out too syrupy.  I redid some of the red with a new batch of pectin and managed to get it too thick as well,  Sigh.  Weather permitting I will get one more chance to get it right with jalapenos.  Almost did a batch with red ripe Anaheims but went with the green jalapenos in the end.

Ripe jalapenos

My patio container jalapenos are doing well this year.  The individual peppers are quite large.  I prefer the ripe ones to the green, myself, so I let these go unpicked until today, when I noticed that a few of them were starting to shrivel.I used a few of them right away in a burrito dish.And sliced the rest for pickling.The recipe was pretty simple, there isn’t anything extra in the jars this time.  It’s common to include onions and carrots, cloves of garlic and olive oil but these are plain.  Brine is 3 cups white vinegar, one cup water, 2 tbsp each of sugar and pickling salt.  I did smash 2 cloves of garlic to simmer with the brine but discarded those before pouring the hot liquid over the raw slices.  Boil in a water bath for 10 minutes.

Chicken Posole

I said I would make posole again, this time with chicken, and did today.  I was thinking white posole going into it but I talked myself into going two ways – one with green chilies and another with red ones.  I can’t pick a favorite, both are very good.

Start the day before, soak the dried hominy overnight in water, then put it on to boil for a couple of hours.  Plop a whole chicken into a stew pot and cook it while the posole is going.  I added carrots and celery and onions along with several whole cloves of garlic to the stew pot.  Bone the cooked carcass and set the meat aside, skim the fat from the stock and pour the stock into the hominy pot after straining out the solids.  You can’t overcook the hominy unless you boil it dry.  Break up the chicken with a fork and add it in along with two teaspoons of oregano.

Here is where you decide which way to go.  I flipped a coin and it came up heads and tails.  Dividing the recipe into two pots allowed me to have it both ways.  (I’m sure there are more than two ways!)  I started some dried chilies simmering in a sauce pan for the red posole, and opened a can of green chilies to add to the other.  Each version got an onion sliced into it, the white version got the green chilies and a healthy dose of freshly ground cumin, the simmered chili pods were pureed with a slug of lime juice and a few garlic cloves and added to the other.

There are a bunch of traditional garnishes for these dishes, today I had cheese, jalapenos, and nachos for the red, and cabbage, jalapenos, and nachos for the white.  Thinly sliced radishes are common, as are avocados and fresh chilies, cilantro for those that use it.