Imagine taking a hungry bite into a warm grilled-cheese sandwich. Yum — good comfort food, right? Now imagine eating that same sandwich, but this time there are crispy pickled jalapeño pepper rounds tucked inside. Now that’s a crunchy bite, and a tasty transformation.
Peter Piper, who picked a peck of pickled peppers from Mother Goose fame, knew what he was picking. My family likes to add these kicky pepper rounds to just about anything, whether they top nachos, fish or beef tacos, enchiladas and tortillas, or they’re tucked in a bun with a brat when we gather with friends for a picnic at the baseball park.
With Cinco de Mayo celebrations coming up soon around the country on the 5th of May, instead of spooning a jar of commercially processed, store-bought jalapeño sliced peppers into or on top of your dishes, make these fresh and yummy pickled jalapeño peppers in minutes in your kitchen with your preteen. Discover the big difference in texture and flavor. Toss the easy-to-prep and peppy-to-eat crunch on your favorite South of the Border recipe and say, “Ole!”
EASY PICKLED JALAPEñO PEPPERS
Makes about 2 pints
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
4 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste (adding more sugar turns down the heat)
2 cloves garlic, sliced in half
1 tablespoon salt
7 fresh jalapeño peppers (from the produce area of your market), thinly sliced
2 fresh red or yellow mini sweet peppers, thinly sliced
2 pint-size glass jars
Stir together the vinegar, water, sugar, garlic and salt in a cooking pot and bring to a boil.
Add sliced jalapeño and sweet peppers, stir, turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Remove peppers with a slotted spoon to jars, then fill to the top with remaining liquid. Cool.
Keep refrigerated and serve with favorite dishes for up to one month.
Cook’s note: The oils in fresh jalapeño peppers can irritate skin and be painful if you touch your eyes. You may wish to wear deli or rubber gloves when slicing the peppers. Wash your hands well with soap and water afterward.