A (Quick & Easy) Better Pickled Jalapeño
As a follow up to The Man's Favorite Fish Tacos, I thought it would be appropriate to transfer this reader favorite recipe for pickled jalapeños over to the new blog.
They're zestier, crunchier and so much prettier than the stuff you get from the store. Better yet - they're ready to eat in 45 minutes. :)
A Better Pickled Jalapeño
Makes about 25 ounces
15 to 20 minutes active time, 45 minutes wait
- 1/3 pound of jalapeños (about 5 or 6 large), sliced into 1/8-inch thick pieces (tips on how to pick them here)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced on the diagonal into 1/8-inch thick pieces
- 1/2 a medium onion, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices vertically
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves, each sliced into 2 or 3 pieces
- optional habanero or scotch bonnet cut into 3 or 4 slices for added heat
- 1+1/3 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 1 bay leaf
1) Prep a minimum 24 ounce jar or tight-lidded plastic container by washing with soap, rinsing with hot water, and drying thoroughly.
2) Pack your vegetables into the jar or container, placing the peppers, onions, and carrots and garlic in alternating layers.
3) Make the brine in a medium bowl by mixing the vinegar, salt and sugar and stirring or whisking until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.
4) Pour the brine over the vegetables.
5) Bloom the oregano and bay leaf by heating the oil to medium hot and then stirring in the herbs - just a quick stir or two should do it. The oil should be hot enough that the herbs sizzle when they touch it.
6) Pour the herbed oil into the pickle. If you're using a jar, screw the lid on tight and give it a few gentle shakes to distribute the herbed oil throughout. If a lidded plastic container, give the vegetables a few gentle presses with the spoon to distribute the oil and immerse the veg in the brine. In any event, the oil will float back up to the top, but its flavor will be imparted to the brine at that point.
7) Refrigerate the pickles. They'll be ready to eat in 45 minutes, and they'll keep for at least a couple of weeks, refrigerated, if they last that long.
Goes without saying that this stuff is great with all kinds of Mexican food, but I also like it with noodle soups, fried chicken and sandwiches among other things.
I usually re-use the brine once after all the pickles are eaten by adding a little more salt and vinegar and adding as much veg as will immerse in the brine.
Leftover brine also makes a tasty flavored vinegar for salad dressings.