Everybody (including me), but my grandfather loves tomato season, but not many sonnets are devoted to the step-sister of the season, chilis. No more of just getting only serranos or jalepenos, there are chilis ranging in heat past the beautiful orange habanero (although given the face meltingly hot salsa at the Share Our Strength event a few weeks ago from Rick Bayless, not sure that I would want them) and back to some beautifully sweet red pimento.
Shishitos and padrons are available in markets in Chicago relatively early in summer. They are incredible blistered in oil and served with sea salt and a beer, but later on in the summer you get all sorts of colors and flavors. The yellow trinidad chilis are fruity, but not terribly spicy. Matt Troost and Mark Mendez ID’d them for me (twitter is great). The cherry bomb chilis were also picked up at Green City and are prime pickle candidates, they are very thick walled and are really spicy. With another project on the smoker, these chilis are also candidates to be stuffed with cheese and smoked.
Pickling chilis is really basic as long as you start with good, thick walled chilis.. If there is a pickle that I have consistently on hand, it is this one, unless my mother-in-law is in town. Last summer while helping us with our new addition, she would eat a jar every few days. Seriously. Every few days.
The recipe that I have used is from Michael Symon’s “Live to Cook“, but was published on Ruhlman.com last spring. With the in-season, eye-catching chiles readily available, the first thing that you notice is the beautiful colors, but once the chiles are pickled, they are awesome additions to sandwiches, braised dishes, salads, and pretty darned good out of hand. This year, I had a ton of oregano from my herb garden, so I substituted it for marjoram,