Tag Archives | pickled jalapenos

Open Jars: Turkey Taco Salad

pickled jalapenos

I have long been a fan of homemade turkey tacos, particularly ones based on this recipe (thanks Molly!). A couple of nights ago, I cooked up a batch of the taco meat to spill over big bowls of greens (though folding these crumbles up in freshly warmed corn tortillas is my idea of heaven) and managed to get not just one, but two jars of home canned food into the mix.

browned turkey for tacos

The taco-spiced meat calls for a pound of turkey, spiked with minced garlic, cumin, a pinch of cayenne, lime and some jalapenos. I look at this recipe as a perfect way to use up some of those unfancy jalapeno peppers that I canned last fall. Because the pickling process takes some of the sting out of peppers, I simply mince up two or three, seeds and all, and add it to the mix. Frequently, I skip the cayenne and just rely on the heat of the jalapenos to flavor the turkey (we’re something of a heat sensitive household around here).

pickled carrots and daikon

As I assembled the salads, I started longing for something tangy to go along with the turkey, greens and sauteed vegetables. Thinking back over what remains in my pantry, I remembered that a single jar of those pickled carrots and daikon I made last February (good grief, is time flying) remained. They weren’t quite as crunchy as they’d been when first canned, but their flavor was spot on for the salad and they added the perfect amount of zing.

assembled salad

I realize that this isn’t groundbreaking cooking, but I thought you guys would appreciate seeing some of the basic ways that I incorporate what I can into my everyday eating. Oh, and if you determine to eat this as tacos (as is truly intended), I highly recommend making a batch of this Cumin Cabbage Slaw to go with it. They match up really well.

Comments { 7 }

Unfancy Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

jalapenos

In the springtime, I approach food preservation as if it were an act of art. My jams are fussed over, with plenty of thought given to size of my fruit dice and maceration times. My pickles are packed into jars with great precision and accuracy. That time of year, I’m simply delighted to be anticipating the coming abundance.

Come August, my elevated aspirations are gone. I can to get it done, to get those bits of summer into their respective jars before the season is gone and I’m left with the potatoes, storage squash and kale of winter (I’m a big fan of all those vegetables, but they don’t excite me the way a peach does). And so my many acts of preservation become a bit frenzied and as easy as I can make them.

halved jalapenos

Take the jalapeno peppers I pickled recently. I bought a pound when we were in New York a few weeks ago because I wanted to bring back some little bit of the Union Square Green Market. The berries were too fragile and I didn’t see any garlic that was clean enough for my suitcase. Jalapenos are sturdy little guys and so I knew they’d withstand the rigors of the MegaBus. Plus a pound cost a mere $3, which I believe is the perfect price point for an edible souvenir.

When I got them home, I washed and halved them (please do get yourself some gloves to wear when dealing with hot peppers. I gave myself a humdinger of a capsaicin burn this time around), packed them into jars and topped them with a very basic brine.

jalapenos in a jar

I didn’t spice my brine at all, because I wasn’t trying to create an artisinal condiment or a pickle to be eaten on its own. I’ll use these peppers throughout the year as an ingredient in things and so I want the flavors of the peppers to remain clear and identifiable. Several will join various batches of salsa and most the rest will spice up pots of turkey chili.

The reason I like this kind of utilitarian canning is that by investing $3 and 35 minutes of effort, I’ve created something that will fill a kitchen need all year round. It breaks no culinary ground, but fills me with joy nonetheless. It also doesn’t hurt to know that I have something to turn to come January when my taste buds are in desperate need of revival.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 152 }