The guy at the Korean restaurant told my wife that for sure those pickled serrano peppers would get rid of my cold. She had told him that I was sitting miserably in my office with a mean cold and asked for something spicy for me. So she came by with the pickled peppers, very spicy pork with kimchee, rice and extra kimchee. The pickled serranos were indeed intense, when combined with the spicy pork they practically blew my eyes out of my head, caused my nose to try and run away, made me sweat profusely and caused burning pain throughout my lips and tongue. It was great! People in my lab came running over to make sure I was OK. I have a pretty high-tolerance for spicy food, and if I thought that it was spicy it really must have been spicy. And it did clear my sinuses – and for a little while I felt like my cold was gone… until it wasn’t.
I love really, really, butt-kicking spicy food. When I first met my wife her spice tolerance was quite wimpy, so we had to undergo intensive spice training. She’s been addicted ever since. We’ve had to be more gradual in spice training the kids. They used to love spicy food when they were littler, but now not so much, which is strange, although I’ve started to sneak in chili peppers here or there in what I cook, and try and have salsa on the table every day. When I was a kid in Mexico, it was really common to eat spicy candy – mango lollipops covered in chile powder, spicy tamarind pulp in about 1232 different configurations, gum covered in spice, and even just little packets of chile powder and sugar. So my kids better get with the program.
As part of my spice kick, I grow hot peppers every year and this year I have a bumper crop of habaneros, and since these should be used sparingly, I’m going to have a ton left over. So, I’m going to pickle them. Here’s how:
Wash peppers well, and slice into rounds.
Wash and slice an onion.
Wash and slice some carrots and maybe some cauliflower into small chunks.
Put veggies in clean (but not necessarily sterilized) jars with a few picking spices.
Fill jars one-third of the way up with white vinegar.
Boil water and add keep adding salt until solution is saturated. Add hot brine to jars to full up remaining space.
Close jars and let cool.
Keep in fridge for about 2 weeks and eat!
You can store them for about 3 months in the refrigerator. And you can use any kind of pepper.