Wednesday, January 4

Easy Pickled Jalapeños

When J and I lived in New Hampshire, we got take-out nachos all the time from this local Mexican restaurant called Hermanos. We were completely obsessed with those nachos. We got the same kind every time (Betty and Shirl's - which had chicken, pickled jalepeños, this kind of garlic oil, avocados, and tons of cheese)! We always asked for baby portobellos on the nachos, while I took off chicken and J asked for blue corn chips. 

They are the most perfect nachos in the world - but one of the reasons they're so good is because of the pickled jalepeños. You can also get jalepeño salsa to go with it, which is the perfect blend of spicy and sweet. After dating/being married to a guy from Arizona for the past 6 years, I learned to love spicy food, so is it really any wonder I learned to love jalepeños?

This summer, J was having an off day and I decided to cheer him up by recreating these nachos. So first, I had to learn to pickle jalepeños. It sounded super daunting. I don't pickle things. This is not my scene. My family doesn't do any pickling as far as I know. I started by googling, naturally, and realized that it wasn't really hard after all! I don't follow recipes well (I'm always changing things), so this is a mix of a couple of the first recipes that came up.

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I use organic, raw)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 heaping spoonful of garlic (if you use it already prepared - and if you do, add in about a tablespoon of the juice too). If you don't use already prepared garlic, use about 4 cloves, smashed
  • 6-7 jalapeños

1. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and garlic on the stove. It won't seem like a lot of liquid, but wait until the peppers are in before you make a judgment call.

2. Turn the heat on medium and wait for the mixture to boil. It won't take nearly as long as you think it will.

3. Slice the jalapeños. I had 6 exactly when I took these pictures, and they filled a medium-sized bowl that I use for cereal/soups/etc. (so you get a feel for size).

4. When the liquid has started to boil, add the peppers to the pot and turn the heat down to low (like, as low as it can go while still being on). Leave there for 8-10 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and place in a storage container. They're ready to eat now, but I prefer to cool them down in the fridge first.

6. Eat all your peppers! They will be delicious!

It really is an easy recipe and an easy way of pickling - especially if you're a pickling novice, like me! This was the batch I made this weekend for our nachos (I made more. Couldn't help myself) as well as my homemade salsa. I used 6 peppers because that's all they had left at Safeway, but I'd really like to double (or triple!) the recipe next time. They're really great to have on hand, and they work in Asian food as well.

Also, as many of you know, my family's dog, Kichon, was put to sleep yesterday. I don't feel ready to talk about it on the blog right now, but I also didn't want to pretend was fine. Needless to say, she lived a full, happy, incredibly-loved life, and I'm so glad she's not hurting anymore.

Do you pickle anything at home? Are you a fan of peppers? Do you think you'll try this recipe?

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