While I tend to go all out with dinner, my weekday lunches tend to be fairly simple. I usually roast either a turkey or a chicken on the weekend, shred the meat, and portion it out appropriately for sandwiches. To keep this from being boring, I make small changes to each, whether it be the cheeses, sauces, or toppings–anything to trick myself into thinking I’m not eating the same thing everyday. There’s one thing that is constant though on every such variation of this sandwich though: pickled peppers. I used to think the jarred stuff from the grocery store was fine, but after seeing how simple home-made pickled peppers appeared, I couldn’t help but try it. Now, I can’t have enough of them. These are simply amazing.
Before summer is over and you can’t find good, fresh peppers, you seriously need to try these. Note, this is a fridge pickle and not a leave-it-in-your-pantry-for-months pickle–the salt & vinegar content is not sufficient to guarantee safe long-term, unrefrigerated storage (while I can’t confirm this from trying it, I’m making this assumption by comparing this recipe to the pickled peppers in the Ball Blue Book of Preserving). On the plus side though, you won’t find this to be a problem because you’ll empty the jar faster than you think.
- A variety of peppers–hot, mild, sweet, big, small–whatever you like. Enough of them to fill a jar
- 1 part water
- 1 part sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sugar/cup liquid
- 2 Tbsp salt/cup liquid
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- few sprigs of marjoram (I was short, so I substituted in a mix of Thai basil, cilantro, and parsley)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
After you’ve washed your peppers, pack them in a jar as best you can. Don’t smash them into oblivion, but do pack them in a bit. Fill the jar 1/4 inch short of the top with water. Pour this water off into a pot and take note of how much water you used. Dump half of the water. The remaining half will be replaced with sherry vinegar.
Mix in 2 tablespoons of sugar and salt for every three cups of total liquid. In my case, I had ~3/4 cup + 1.5 Tbsp of water (and likewise for vinegar) with ~1.25 Tbsp of sugar and salt when using a large mason jar.
Add the remaining spices to the pot and bring it to a boil, simmering for 5-10 minutes. Using whole spices is ideal, but if you don’t have any handy, it isn’t the end of the world. Just adjust how much you use accordingly. The biggest reason you’d prefer whole spices: they don’t cloud the pickling liquid.
Let it cool down a bit before you pour this over the peppers and into the jar. Screw the lid shut and transfer to the fridge. Enjoy!