In a Hot Minute

It’s almost impossible to buy just one or two jalapeños at a time in the stores near our home. Instead, the spicy little peppers are always sold in bags containing eight to nine. Who needs that many at once? Not me! We recently had a few extra floating around our fridge for about a week, and I was determined to put them to good use.

Quick-Pickled Jalapenos by

Quick-Pickled Jalapeños by

I decided to experiment with a quick pickling technique I usually use for cucumbers. I adjusted the recipe a bit, with the major changes being the addition of lime and garlic. I have to admit, I was quite pleased with the results. They tasted slightly sweet with a spicy kick at the end. They were the perfect addition to the condiment tray at our recent picnic.

Quick-Pickled Jalapeños at a picnic (

Quick-Pickled Jalapeños at a picnic (

I could also see them being a tasty ingredient to add to grilled cheese, a unique topping for pizza or a welcome addition to some morning eggs.

Quick-Pickled Jalapeños

Makes about 10 servings

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

1. In a small bowl or glass jar, combine the apple cider vinegar, lime juice, salt and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.

2. Add the jalapeños and garlic to the liquid and toss to coat. Make sure there is enough liquid for all of the jalapeños to be submerged. If not, add more apple cider vinegar. Leave on counter for 30 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Transfer to the fridge until ready to use.

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Cutting the Mustard

I have a confession: I’m not a fan of fancy homemade ketchup. My heart always sinks a little when I’m out to dinner and the server puts down a burger and fries and presents me with a ramekin of their chef’s own special creation. Perhaps it’s years of conditioning, but nothing beats the classic Heinz 57. Some things are just better left alone. But for everything that homemade ketchup is not, a fresh batch of DIY mustard certainly is a tasty treat. Brian and I recently made some to go along with a ham dish we were serving some friends. The spicy spread was a big hit and we have been dipping into it frequently.

Whole-Grain Stout Mustard by

Whole-Grain Stout Mustard by

Here’s how we did it:

Whole-Grain Stout Mustard

(Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, published on August 10, 2011)

Makes a little over 1 cup

  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark beer (such as Shipyard Blue Fin Stout)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, plus more as needed

1. Combine the yellow and brown mustard seeds in a small glass bowl. Top with the vinegar and beer, then cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours.

2. Transfer soaked seeds and all their liquid to a food processor, add the brown sugar (the more sugar you add the sweeter it will be) and pulse to desired consistency. Transfer to a glass container with a lid and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then transfer to the fridge for storage. The spread should last for several weeks.

SWWU Tip 1: Unfortunately, this dish is not something you can test too much along the way. It takes some time for the flavors to ripen and develop, but it’s well worth the wait. 

SWWU Tip 2: Craving a sweeter mustard? Try adding 1/4 cup honey along with the brown sugar before you blend everything together.

SWWU Tip 3: Play around with the amount of brown and yellow seeds. Yellow ones are a bit more mild, while the brown ones provide a pungent bite. Changing up the ratio of these ingredients will result in a completely different flavor profile. Mix it up and have fun!

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