Pickled Peppers Are The Missing Ingredient For A Perfect Taco Tuesday

Taco Tuesday is a perfect day to clear out the fridge and use everything from leftover chicken and rice to strips of bacon and grilled veggies from meals past to create your own version of a street taco. But if you want to spice up those ingredients and give your taste buds a little punch in the process, you should break open a jar of pickled peppers. Pickled jalapeños aren't going to be as spicy as their fresh counterpart, but they are still going to add a briny, sour heat that will complement the other ingredients in your taco.

What you will appreciate about using pickled jalapeños in place of fresh ones is the consistency in their taste. When you are using fresh jalapeños, you are at the mercy of the variety of the pepper as well as its maturity which will greatly influence how hot they are. A fresh jalapeño can range from 2,500 heat units to 8,000 heat units on the Scoville scale. Once you find your preferred brand of pickled peppers, you will find that their taste is pretty much the same from jar to jar, making them a dependable must have for Taco Tuesday.

Texture versus convenience

Pickled jalapeños also add an acidic element to your crunchy or soft tacos that is surprising and delicious. The tangy vinegar contrasts perfectly with the shredded cheese and veggies while cutting through the fatty nature of the spiced ground beef. But when it comes to texture, fresh jalapeños win this competition. They are crisp and crunchy, and while pickled peppers don't become completely limp, much to your teeth's chagrin, they pretty much lose these favored characteristics in the pickling process. Still, pickled peppers are convenient. Already sliced, you do not have to worry about wearing gloves when you cut through them to avoid the heat coming from the pith and the ribs.

However, if you want to crisp them up, you can always fry them before adding to your taco for Taco Tuesday. Or split the difference and try a quick pickling of your fresh jalapeños. This allows you to make your own brine from vinegar, citrus, and sugar. Cut up your fresh peppers, place them in a jar of your homemade jar, and let them set for a couple of days in the fridge. This gives your jalapeños time to absorb some of acidic tastes from the brine, but they retain more of their crunchiness.