I always think of my friend Dana who adores pickled red onions every time I eat them. We once discovered a cheater method for making them with a re-purposed jar of pickle juice after you consume all the spears. It totally works. Just cram your sliced red onion into the jar with the leftover pickle juice and bam, pickled red onions!
This recipe for pickled red onions is special because I slice up a whole fresh jalapeno (seeds and all) and dunk it into a 32-ounce mason jar along with vinegar, thinly sliced red onions, salt, and sugar. The spicy-sweet flavors are addicting. They are incredibly simple to make and keep in the refrigerator indefinitely. Having them in the fridge has inspired me to use them as a garnish on unsuspecting food, or eat them right out of the jar with my fingers.
2 large red onions, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
I like to use a mandolin to thinly slice the red onions. Lop off the top and bottom, then slice the onion in half. Peel away the outer papery layer and then slice the onion halves into thin half-moon strips.
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt over medium-high heat. Whisk until the sugar and salt dissolve then allow it to boil. Take off the heat and add the sliced onion and jalapeno. Let the mixture cool completely to room temperature.
Once cooled, pour into a 32-ounce mason jar and cover tightly with a lid. The pickle flavor intensifies over time, but it's good to use after resting overnight in the refrigerator.
I made what I thought was a simple taco salad that Jim went completely nuts over. He and I agreed that the pickled red onions stole the show. I tried to get one in every bite and then realized I have an entire 32-ounce jar of them in the refrigerator and can add more if I run out.
To save myself some time during a busy week I browned two pounds of ground turkey and seasoned with one packet of taco seasoning. Jim used some of this for lunches, I used the remaining for two dinners.
Not a recipe, just a guide to take and run with.
Ground turkey, seasoned (try leftover rotisserie chicken)
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Cojita cheese, crumbled (you can also use shredded cheddar cheese)
Homemade pickled red onions
Black beans, drained
Pickled jalapeno slices
Homemade salsa mixed with sour cream for a dressing