James Peterson's Pickled Chiles


Pickled Chiles [Photograph: James Peterson]

Pickled chiles are a versatile pantry staple. They can be used to add mouth-puckering tang to just about any place you'd ordinarily use hot peppers, they keep for weeks at a time, and they take all of five minutes to prepare.

While it is easy to throw just about anything into a hot pickle brine, James Peterson keeps his pickled chiles simple in Vegetables.

Encouraging readers to experiment with chile varieties (he recommends both hot jalapenos and mild poblanos), he provides a barebones description of the technique as well as a slightly more elaborate recipe. Still, even in the recipe, he adds only onion, garlic, and thyme to the chiles and covers them with brine made of nothing but boiling white wine vinegar and salt.

Why I picked This Recipe: Hot peppers are prolific in late summer, and not much goes better on a taco than a few slices of pickled chiles.

What Worked: Pickling is pretty foolproof; I had no problems following the method.

What Didn't:Nada.

Suggested Tweaks: I'd add a bit of sugar to the brine next time to balance the heat and tang. So far, I've only tasted the chiles (and onions) on their own next to a bit of cheese, but I plan to serve them on tacos, in black beans, and maybe on a hot grilled cheese.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Vegetables Revised to give away.