I was recently cursed with bout of the ugliest of stomach flus, spending a week of my life on and off of the couch, up and down at all hours of the night. It sucked. Seriously, sucked. There were, however, one or two breaks in the clouds where I thought I was feeling better and so ventured out, desperate for some fresh air and to avoid the atrophy that was setting in on my body. One such evening, I weakly stumbled upon the new Mission Community Farmer’s Market.
And by golly, what luck of the season (though I already knew), it was perfect timing. The market full of lovely purveyors, delicious pupusas and super scrumptious fruits and veggies. And, of course, as it’s that glorious season for all things canned, jammed, jellied and pickled with an adorable label, my heart let out a sweet giggle when I found this purveyor, Emmy’s Pickles and Jams:
I indulged myself in some quince butter (oh, mmmmmmm) and a jar of zesty pickles (double mmmmmm)…..
I’m going for the fig jam next time….
After chatting it up for a minute, I moseyed on for my own jarring (hah! oh, puns…) adventure. I was on the look out for some additions to cabbage, fennel, onion, and carrots…. that’s right. Some additions to…. SLAW!
Edging dangerously close to the end of pepper season, I didn’t know what I was gonna find – but I did know I was gonna snatch up and hoard what I could. I got lucky and crossed upon some beauties!
You might think they’re padrons, but they’re not! (They’re mostly the same, though. Think of them as the japanese version.)
The great thing about slaw / pickled items is that they’re incredibly versatile. You can use just about anything that’s available. Lately, I’ve been using a combination of some or all of the following:
Jalapenos (lots of ’em, some seeded, some not)
Onions (white, red, yellow, shallots)
Yellow Wax Beans
Padrons/Shishitos (stemmed and torn in half lengthwise)
Red, Yellow, Orange Bells
- and these gorgeous purple heirloom peppers I got at the market:
This recipe is adapted from Charlie Kleinman’s (of Wexler’s) recipe for brining anaheim chiles. I use his ratios, but add a few ingredients and change the types of sugar and vinegars.
The recipe also works really well for jalapenos all by their lonesome. If you do that, though, I strongly recommend soaking them in ice water for a couple hours after you’ve cut them. The ice water mellows out some of that super intense heat they got. You also gotta decide whether to seed or not to seed – that is the question….(oh, I’m cracking myself up again…) Depends on how hot you want them. Remember, that’s where the majority of the heat comes from.
The basic ratio is:
- 1/2 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
3T white sugar
3T brown sugar
2t coarse grey sea salt (substitute regular salt if you can’t find coarse)
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
1T black peppercorns1c. water
To make the brine and slaw:
- 1. Bring all ingredients to a boil, then pour immediately (while still boiling) over slaw.2. Let cool just a bit then seal with a screw top lid. It’s not necessary to do a proper canning seal for this quick pickle.
You can make as much or as little of this brine as you want, just make sure to keep the ratios the same – double it, triple it, half it, whatever – but is has to be one part vinegar to one part water, etc etc. You can adapt the types of vinegar and sugar you use depending on how sweet or hot or acidic you want it. I use a lot of jalapenos, which is why I use brown sugar and apple cider vinegar; the extra sweetness cuts some of the heat. You could play around using champagne vinegar or rice vinegar or even flavored vinegars like taragon vinegar, or with sugars like turbinado sugar – just KEEP THE RATIOS THE SAME!
To determine how much of if you’ll need:
Figure out how much it will take to completely cover the amount of slaw (or other pickled item) you’ll be making, then make just a little bit extra to compensate for whatever might evaporate when it boils.
To prep your slaw ingredients:
- 1. Chop all the ingredients you chose to use into long strips that are about the same
size. I assume you’ve seen slaw before and know what size it should be. You can
leave the beans whole, just snap off the dirty ends
- 2. Mix them together in a large bowl so they’re evenly distributed. It should look about
3. Evenly distribute the mix amongst the jars you have cleaned. Fill them just about to the top, leaving just enough room for a little bit of extra brine.
4. Follow the instructions above to make the brine etc. etc.
5. Let it sit for one to two days, and enjoy!