Do you recollect having had that feeling of weariness as you may have sunk into the sofa late some evening? May be a marathon day with back to back meetings at work or a long afternoon entertaining an assortment of relatives over an intricate well spread out lunch menu…?
I have been in similar situations plenty and I am familiar with an ardent desire to become invisible for the rest of evening or a sincere hope that my comfy sofa engulfs me to relax inside its fluffy cushions to be released next morning fully rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to take on the brand new bright day!
Cut to reality, there would be a long mental to do list of the chores I need to finish and a dinner to be served before I can even think of hitting the sack! A quick one dish meal idea usually comes to rescue on such occasions, decreasing my work load to a large extent and at the same time ensuring happy faces and equally happy tummies by bed time.
And on this day, I chose to make one of the easiest one dish meals – a pan grilled tofu with a stir fry of fresh veggies and a fresh tomato sauce. I finished it with a toss of pickles that added an impeccable punch to the dish.
I have taken a liking to storing some pickled marinates in my fridge because nothing comes more handy in adding an oomph to many a gourmet meals and to a myriad of quick fix meals!
Pickled gherkins …. Olives…. Carrots shreds…. Marinated onion rings… pickled jalapenos… are my favourites though there are so many of them available, the list can go on and on….These and many more have been the secret to many a scrumptious pizza, pasta, sandwiches and salads that we would have relished in our much loved restaurants, cafes and bistros.
I used to get all these pickle jars of the shelf at my favourite store, and then I had a friend of mine share with me his recipe of pickling jalapenos…. And ever since, I always have handy in my fridge, a jar of some succulent homemade jalapeno pickle, in order to add that distinct hot and sweet zing to any cuisine.
Here’s how you can make a marinade pickle…
To get going, you need……
10-12 jalapenos, sliced into rings
2 large peeled cloves of garlic
1 large bay leaf
8-10 black peppercorns
1 cup white vinegar
3-4 tbsp honey
1-2 tbsp salt as per taste
1 mid-sized glass jar with an airtight lid (completely dry)
In a sauce pan, add 1 cup of water, 1 cup vinegar, salt, garlic cloves, bay leaf and peppercorns and heat it up to boiling point only. Add honey, mix well till dissolved. Now add the sliced jalapeno rings into the liquid and press down gently so that all the rings are soaked well.
Leave for about 10-15 minutes and you notice the colour of the jalapeno rings changes from bright green to a pale green.
Scoop out the rings and put them into the glass jar. Now slowly pour the hot pickling mixture along with the whole spices into the jar. Gently press the jalapenos down with a spoon, so that air pockets if any are released.
Leave uncovered till it cools down completely. Once at room temperature, put the airtight lid and store away in the refrigerator.
These will easily stay good for 6-7 months. And during this time, be assured that you are going to elevate your pizza, pasta, salads and more to a very fine food experience.
Have a good time pickling… and Yummy Expressions!
See you soon….