Stumbled across a recipe for pickled jalapenos the other day and tried it out tonight...
Previously, I had been buying Vlasic pickled jalapeno slices at Wal-Mart in the bulk foods section. They come in a 62 oz jar and are somewhat spicy and very crisp. I've tried a lot of jalapenos over the years and these were the best. A lot of people complained on Wal-mart's site about them no longer carrying that brand. Seems like every other brand (especially the canned ones) were "mushy" and mild. For some reason, Wal-Mart no longer sells these and have replaced them with the La Costena brand. I tried them, they're mushy and bland.
The recipe basically consists of:
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
about 6-8 jalapenos (cut into thin [about 1/8" thick] slices)
Add the vinegar, water, garlic, salt, and sugar to a pot and boil it.
Wash out a jar with increasing temperature of water so that the jar will be warmed gradually in order to keep it from breaking when you put the hot jalapenos and liquid in later.
Add some jalapenos to the liquid and let them boil for about a minute or so and then remove them with a slotted spoon and put in a jar. I guess this would be called "blanching"?
Keep doing this with the rest of the jalapenos.
Using a ladle, transfer the liquid to the jar, pouring it on the jalapenos instead of the side of the jar to minimize the chance of shock breakage of the glass.
Put it in a refrigerator to cool down and within a couple of hours, it'll be cool and ready to eat.
I added a couple of habanero peppers sliced up with the jalapenos in order to make it a bit more spicy.