The week-end before the annual Paso Robles wine festival, I went shopping in the Mission District of San Francisco for stuff for the week. We always go to these hole-in-the-wall markets that have a lot of stuff for Mexican cooking. I ended up bringing home a whole bunch of fresh serrano and jalapeño peppers. Really it was a mis-communication: both Billy and I picked up some of the peppers. We use a lot of fresh hot chili peppers in our cooking, but not dozens in a few days. Needless to say, with less than a week before going away, we had way more than we needed. It takes so much energy to produce and bring food to the table that I simply cannot throw food away. It’s just sacrilege to me! I needed to do something with those peppers fast before they went bad.
Looking at the slightly shriveled peppers in the fridge, I thought that pickling them would be a good idea. If you have ever been to San Francisco taquerias you know what I mean. You can’t have your burrito without a couple of those hot vinegary mini torpedoes. These turned out a little spicier than I had planned; a bit more than when you get them canned. I love them though, and I can’t get enough. If you want to cut down on the heat, cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and some of the ribs.
Pickled Serrano and Jalapeño Peppers
½ lb. fresh jalapeño and/or serrano peppers
3 tbs. olive oil
2 carrot cut into ¼ inch chunks
salt to taste
1 bay leaf
1 garlic bulb, peeled
1 medium onion chopped coarsely
1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
2 cups white wine vinegar
½ tbs. sugar
Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add peppers, garlic, carrot, salt, bay leaf and oregano. Continue sautéing until onion turns soft and translucent.
Add vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce temperature and simmer on low heat for approximately 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Serve as a condiment with rice and beans, tacos, vegi burgers or any Mexican dish.