Long Reads

Jalapeño Quick Pickles

October 23, 2013

When she has the kitchen all to herself, Phyllis Grant of Dash and Bella cooks beautiful iterations of what solo meals were always meant to be: exactly what you want, when and where you want them.

Today: Your new 5-ingredient condiment, and how to put it almost everywhere.

Jalapeno Pickles on Food52

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Dear Dash,

It’s true. I don’t always make sense.

Like last night when I yelled at you to stop yelling. 

Then I ate wine for dinner, standing up, all the while telling you to sit down and eat your vegetables.

Remember when you refused to eat a jalapeño pickle so I gave you cash to slurp one down? I know. Cash! 

Dude. Don’t get used to it. 

And this morning, I didn’t compost that nasty moldy cucumber because I was in such a hurry to get you to school. So I just shoved it in the garbage underneath the Ziploc bag that I should have re-used.  

I’m trying to set a good example. But for the moment, please just do as I say not as I do. 

A few guidelines, my love:

Take a bath every day.

Squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom.

Don’t eat dinner after 10PM.

Don’t throw the finger and f-bombs at texting mamas who cut you off in their enormous gas-guzzling SUVs.

Floss.

Don’t be too critical of yourself.

Lengthen your exhalation if your heart starts to race.

Don’t eat chocolate at midnight. 

Don’t let anyone bribe you with money.

And please, never ever rub your eyes after slicing jalapeños.

Love,

Mama

Jalapeno Pickles on Food52

A few tips for quick pickling:

  • Use a good quality vinegar. Don’t use the bulk white kind that kills your bathroom mold.
  • I’ve heard that it’s smart to wear gloves or use a kitchen towel while handling jalapeños. Let me know.
  • You can liven up the vinegar with anything you like. Here is lots of inspiration.
  • Once the vinegar hits the jalapeños, their color will shift from a beautiful vibrant green to a dulled brownish green. Don’t panic.
  • Like many things in the kitchen, jalapeño pickles are always better the next day. 

Top 5 places to put jalapeño pickles:

Jalapeño Pickles

Makes 1 batch

4 to 6 jalapeños
1 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Phyllis Grant

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Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.

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