Monday, March 2, 2015

Pickled Serrano Peppers


If my husband had his pick between a jalapeno and a serrano, he would pick the serrano every time.  While they look similar and sort of taste similar, there are some differences.  Serranos are smaller than a jalapeno and pack a little bit more heat.  Serranos are also said to have a slightly grassy and citrusy flavor, while the jalapeno is said to have a fruitier flavor.  For us, the seeds of the jalapenos are slightly too large and can be bitter to bite into, whereas with a serrano the seeds are smaller and we usually leave them in whatever dish we are using them for.  We love using the serrano pepper in our fresh Pico de Gallo.

So he asked me if I could pickle some serranos for him. Well, of course I can!  We found that the pickling process here sort of tamed down the serranos, although we haven't eaten that many yet and I'm convinced there are a few zingers in the jar. If you are a fan of chiles, I hope you love these!

PICKLED SERRANO PEPPERS
Olive oil
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 teaspoon toasted whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seed
6 cloves garlic, peeled
48 serrano peppers, left whole
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons mixed peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
2 C vinegar
Salt, to taste

Pierce each pepper once with a fork.  Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large skillet to medium low heat.  Add in the onion and cook and stir constantly until the onions are tender.  Add in the serrano peppers, cumin seeds, peeled garlic, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, oregano and bay leaf.  Turn the heat up to medium high and cook and stir until the peppers start to get soft, about 10 minutes.  Pour in the vinegar and salt to taste and cover the pot.  Bring it to a boil and boil about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.  Carefully pour it all into an airtight container but don't cover it yet.  Let it cool before covering it and putting it into the fridge.  Store in the fridge a week before serving.

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