June 20, 2014
I was in a NYC taxi when I a fielded a call from Good Housekeeping asking me what I always have on hand in my refrigerator. All I could think about was the jar of pickled jalapeños waiting for me back home in Santa Barbara. It was hot and I was missing Mexican food. My first thought really should’ve been wine, because we all know that is always in my fridge. However, in NYC wine was in ample supply.
It’s great to have these pickled jalapeños on hand and not just for Mexican food. They’re quick to make, no canning necessary — just mix up the ingredients and store in your fridge. These guys up the flavor on all sorts of things — crunchy arugula wraps, sandwiches (chop them up and mix into your mayo), on top of good ol’ delivery pizza, diced and tossed into quinoa salads or stuffed into hamburgers.
You can grow jalapeños in Santa Barbara, but for me they never seem to be spicy enough. I think you need pretty extreme heat to grow truly spicy jalapeños. I usually do a mix of some from my garden and some from the produce store or even Von’s. Do you know the trick for picking a spicy jalapeño?
Word to the wise, from one not so much: Make sure you put your contacts in before you handle the jalapeños. It pretty much sucks when you try and put them in after. Your husband may wonder if he should call the paramedics. Not smart. Not pretty. Not fun.
Quick Pickled Jalapeños
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon coriander
Mix together the first six ingredients in a measuring cup and stir until salt has dissolved. Using a paring knife, slice the jalapeños in 1/8″ slices. Discard the stem but keep those seeds, they add to the spice and flavor. Stuff the jalapeño slices in a clean mason jar and pour the liquid and seeds over the slices. Cover and store in your fridge. Will be ready to enjoy in 24 hours.