I love crunchy foods. I love salty foods. I love spicy foods. I love foods that come in jars.
Oh hey there, Mr. Pickle – I think you’re just up my alley!
That’s how I spell parté when I’m in the mood for a parté. It just fuels the festiveness.
Pickles really are the thing during the summer, don’t you think? They’re absolutely perfect on sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs and salads, or when it’s 2:16 a.m. and you’re standing in front of your open fridge trying to figure out that dream you just had about riding a pink pony up to an oasis where the cast of Jersey Shore is serving Tang out of coconuts and Transformers 3 is playing on a drive-in movie screen that only allows you to drive in on a -wait for it- pink pony.
Huh? Whatever. Good luck with that one, Freud.
This time around I wanted the pickles, but I really, really wanted pickled chiles. The pickling process diminishes a chile’s heat, brings out its natural flavor, and gives it a fantastic crunchy snap when you bite into it.
I selected all sorts of chiles and cut them into slices, leaving their seeds and membranes intact.
Pretty peppers for pickling. Say that five times fast.
The pickling spices are super important.
I developed one spice blend for the pickled chiles and one for the pickled veggies because I wanted to add some heat to the non-chiles.
Bay leaves are so fancy. I always feel like a super sophisticate when I cook with them.
Look at me on my pink pony, pickling with bay leaves and drinking Tang out of a coconut.
Just weird. But fancy!
Sakes alive these pickled chiles are good – I can’t get enough of them no matter what time of day it is.
And you can totally customize your pickled stuff by adjusting the pickling spices and/or the veggies that you choose to pickle. Get creative. Get interesting. Get fancy!
Get on your pink pony and get there.
Pickled Vegetables & Chiles
For the pickled vegetables:
2 red onions
1 yellow onion
1 white onion
3 c. vinegar
2 c. water
6 cloves garlic
4 chiles de árbol
3 large bay leaves
2 tsp. black peppercorns
2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. white sugar, granulated
1 tsp. salt
For the pickled chiles:
4 jalapeño chiles
3 poblano chiles
3 Anaheim chiles
3 güero chiles (Chiles güeros are small yellow wax chiles with a medium heat index comparable to that of a jalapeño. You may substitute red or green jalapeños for güeros.)
2 serrano chiles
3 1/2 c. vinegar
2 c. water
2 tbsp. lime juice, fresh
4 large bay leaves
2 tsp. black peppercorns
2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. white sugar, granulated
1 tsp. salt
To prepare the pickled vegetables, remove the ends of the cucumbers and slice each into eighths length-wise. Peel and remove one root end of each onion, slicing off rings approximately 1/2″ thick and discarding the final root ends. Remove the ends of each garlic clove and slice thinly.
Place the vinegar, water, chiles de árbol, bay leaves, peppercorns, seeds, sugar and salt into a large heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Boil until the sugar and salt dissolve, approximately 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, place your prepared vegetables and garlic slices into your pickling jars. I opted to use two Ball 32-ounce smooth-sided mason jars and to put my pickles into one jar and onions into another, but you can use any type of canning jar you would like and distribute your vegetables in any manner you choose.
Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove your pickling fluid from heat and carefully pour it over your vegetables (I recommend using a funnel here). Be sure to leave 1″ headspace at the top of your jars. Set each filled jar aside to cool.
To prepare the pickled chiles, remove the stems and bottoms of each chile and cut off slices approximately 1/2″ thick. I opted to leave the membranes and seeds in place – you may remove them if you so choose.
Place the vinegar, water, lime juice, bay leaves, peppercorns, seeds, sugar and salt into a large heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Boil until the sugar and salt dissolve, approximately 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, place your prepared chile slices into your pickling jars. Here again, I used two 32-ounce jars and I distributed my chiles randomly.
Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove your pickling fluid from heat and carefully pour it over your chiles. Be sure to leave 1″ headspace at the top of your jars. Set each filled jar aside to cool.
Cap the cooled jars and store in your refrigerator.
Please note that these are not technical canning instructions – I was going for a simple pickle here and wrote this recipe accordingly. For more detailed information on proper home canning techniques, please visit this website.
YIELD: 32 ounces of pickled onions, 32 ounces of pickles, and 64 ounces of pickled chiles