If you ever look inside my fridge and notice that it’s lacking pickled jalapenos, then please call someone immediately, for I am not well. Like any good born and bred Texan, I’ll put jalapenos on anything and I simply can’t get enough of them. And pickled jalapenos are just the best, aren’t they?
Goya brand used to be my go-to in pickled chile needs, but recently I’ve started to do the dirty work myself. And I say dirty work in a tongue and cheek way, as pickling is so easy; it mostly just requires some fridge space and patience. And they are always worth the wait.
The difference between store-bought and homemade pickled jalapenos is quite vast – make them yourself once and you’ll find it difficult to go back to the grocery store jars. And frankly, that’s another reason I try to keep them on hand. If I find myself out when I need some and have to grab some from the store in a pinch, there will be groans and laments in my house. And not just from me!
I personally believe there are a million uses for pickled jalapenos. I will put them on tacos of all kinds, nachos, burgers, chili dogs, cheesy fries, chili, and on and on, which is why it’s so important to me to keep them around.
Also, have you ever set about making guacamole only to discover you forgot to get limes? (Surely that’s not just me.) Use some of the pickling liquid from the jalapenos instead. Sounds weird? Perhaps. But I promise you, it works in a pinch. And, minced pickled jalapenos can work in guacamole too, instead of raw chiles. Oh, and this same trick works for homemade tomato salsa! So hopefully I’ve convinced you to give these a go and jump aboard the pickling bandwagon if you’re not already there.
Source: adapted from Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries & Shakes by Bobby Flay
15 jalapeno chiles, sliced
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 cups white wine vinegar
2 tbs kosher salt
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Place the jalapenos, in batches, in jars or tall deli containers that have tight-fitting lids.
Combine the red and white vinegars, salt, sugar, coriander, peppercorns, fennel, mustard, and cumin seeds in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Pour the mixture over the jalapenos, cover, and refrigerate. You need at least 24 hours, but I’ve found that it takes a good week for them to be really nicely pickled.