Monday, June 17, 2013

Pickled Red Onions

I had the good fortune to eat lunch at Cindy's Back Street Kitchen last weekend. This is one of Cindy Pawcyn's eateries located in St Helena, the heart of Napa Valley. It is on a back street, but it's well worth finding. My foodie partner ordered the pork tacos, which arrived at the table topped with delicious looking (and tasting, as of course I had a bite) pickled red onions. Fixing onions this way is a staple of both Guadalajara and Moroccan cooking. Don't think they're limited to those foods, however, as they can easily become a staple of your and my kitchen, too. They're a cinch to make, and take almost no time at all. The pickling happens as they sit in the frig. Make them for something special, then they'll keep for several weeks in the frig, as you find new ways to use them ... unless you eat them up right away.


1 red onion
1/2 jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup cider or red wine vinegar
2 Tbs sugar


Bring a saucepan of water to boil on the stove top. Thinly slice the onion and jalapeno pepper. Remove the seeds and white veins from the pepper if you don't like too much heat. Blanche the onions and pepper by dropping them into the boiling water and boiling for 1 minute. Drain the onions and pepper in a colander under cold water. Bring the vinegar and the sugar to a boil in the saucepan. Simmer just until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Pack the onions in a non-reactive jar, like the glass jar pictured. Cover with the vinegar sugar mixture. Cool, then place in the refrigerator. These are ready to eat just as soon as the vinegar is added to the onions, but they taste better once they've had some time to sit, even after just an hour or two. To serve, lift some of the onions out of the vinegar and use them as a topping, or a side, with all kinds of food. They'll keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Adding a cold, pickled element to hot and spicy food brings about a nice contrast in temperature and tastes. While you taste buds perk up, you can sneak in small bits of healthy pickled vegetables. When I served these for dinner, my husband talked about the pickled vegetables he had when he was in Mexico. He had regularly eaten cool pickled carrots and beans, as well as onions, for their cooling properties alone. Who knew?


Carole said...

Hi Maire, just popped over to let you know that your link to Food on Friday: Curry was featured in my Need Some Inspiration? Series today. Hope you are having a good week.

Ally said...

I made a big batch of pickled red onions last summer. Aren't they fantastic? I was putting them on everything and even eating them straight from the jar as a snack. I haven't tried them with jalapenos mixed in, I should try that on my next batch. :)