Famous Denver Restaurant, The Fort, serves this wildly popular and crazy good appetizer recipe. Pickled Jalapenos Stuffed with Peanut Butter. Tart, tangy, sweet and with just enough heat.
I pickled my own jalapenos…..
So I could make The Fort Restaurant’s Pickled Jalapenos Stuffed with Peanut Butter appetizer recipe.
Now, there are rules to eating this appetizer. Be sure to warn guests to put the whole chili (except the stem) in the mouth before chewing, to get 70 percent peanut butter and 30 percent jalapeno. A nibbler squeezes out the peanut butter which changes the percentages and makes it very hot indeed.
A Unique Pickled Jalapeno Appetizer
Be brave and consider bringing these to your next party event. It’s nice to find a unique recipe for stuffed jalapenos without cream cheese. You could buy whole pickled jalapeno peppers at the market, but I really like pickling my own. I can control the heat by removing the seeds and veins.
The Fort Restaurant, Famous Western Themed Restaurant in Denver
Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk a little about the restaurant. The Fort Restaurant is a Denver landmark full of western culture, history, charm and western food. Do Rattlesnake, Quail Eggs Wrapped in Buffalo Sausage, Rocky Mountain Oysters and Bone Marrow get your attention?
For as long as I’ve lived here, (30 years) it’s been “the place” to take out-of-town guests for a taste of the Wild West. With its unique menu items and servers dressed like Kit Carson, The Fort reflects the years when trappers, settlers and Army explorers first traveled the Santa Fe Trail to our region.
History of The Fort Restaurant
It all began in 1961 when amateur historians Bay and Sam Arnold set out to build an adobe style home in the country west of Denver. They modeled the home after Bent’s Fort which is located in southeast Colorado which was built in 1833 and was famous as a fur trade destination.
Hiring a top Santa Fe architect and a contractor from Taos 22 men puddled over 80,000 mud and straw bricks, weighing 40 pounds each, to construct the main building. When the costs of construction exceeded the budget, the bank suggested a business be placed in the “fort”. Sam turned to Bay and said, “You can cook!” and then she said to Sam, “Well, you can cook!” and The Fort Restaurant was born.
Throw in the adoption of a Canadian black bear cub named “Sissy” who became a family pet and who was taught to belly up to the bar and drink with patrons, and the rest is history. The Fort has had its share of famous visitors, President Clinton hosted a G8 Summit Dinner there and Julia Child’s favorite dish was the Buffalo Tongue.
Both the Arnold’s have now passed on and their daughter Holly runs the restaurant. She has recently published a cookbook “Shinin’ Times at The Fort”. It’s a beautiful book full of house recipes, stories, celebrations and history about the restaurant. I’ve included an affiliate link to the cookbook for your convenience. I love this book full of history and great recipes.
Recipe for Pickled Jalapenos Stuffed with Peanut Butter
Sam Arnold got this stuffed jalapeno appetizer recipe from Lucy Delgado who was a well-known New Mexican cook in the 1960’s. Sam thought they sounded “stranger than five-legged buffalo”, but gave them a try. He served them to Bryant Gumbel on NBC’s Today Show. Gumbel couldn’t stop eating them. Arnold added them to the The Fort menu where they have been a mainstay appetizer since.
And if you’ve ever been to The Fort for a special occasion, you’ve been served a complimentary slice of their famous Chile Chocolate Cake with Bourbon Chocolate Frosting. Click on the recipe to make this one at home.
Let’s take a look at these Fort style Stuffed Pickled Jalapenos with Peanut Butter.
Pickled Jalapenos Stuffed with Peanut Butter
- 1 pound medium size fresh jalapenos 12 – 16
- 3 1/2 Cup cider vinegar
- 1 3/4 Cup water
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon pickling spice
- 3/4 Cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
- 3/4 Cup coarsely chopped carrot
- 3 cloves garlic peeled, whole
- 1/4 Cup peanut butter smooth or chunky
- 2 Tablespoon Mango Chutney
- Rinse the jalapenos and trim off the woody end from the stems. In a 4 – 6 quart stainless steel or enameled pot, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, sesame oil and pickling spice. Add the jalapenos, onion, carrot, and garlic. Cover and bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat.
- While still hot, transfer the jalapenos and pickling juice to a sterilized 2 – 3 quart canning jar or other glass container. Cover tightly with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one week before using.
- To make the appetizer:
- Slice the pickled jalapenos in half lengthwise not quite all the way through, leaving the two halves attached at the stem end. Using a knife or spoon, remove and discard the seeds and ribs. In a small mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter chutney. Stuff the chiles with the peanut butter mixture and press the halves back together. Arrange on a platter and serve.
Pickled Jalapenos Stuffed With Peanut Butter ….It’s What’s For An Appetizer!
Many, many years ago my grandmother found a recipe for these. I’ve been making these for over 50 years with some changes. I use canned whole jalapenos. I slice in half lenghwise, remove seeds and membrane and soak in ice water for 5-10 minutes. Dry and stuff with creamy or crunchy peanut butter (I like extra crunchy). Not as hot but flavor is definitely there. Quick appetizer.
Cateland White says
Over fifty years ago, I ate these at The Fort while enjoying the antics of Sissy the Bear. I fell in love with both! My parents quickly learned it was always the response when my kid brother and I got a say on dinner when we’d drive down into the city. Wonderful memories!!
Lea Ann Brown says
I’ve never eaten these at the fort – I’d like to do that someday. What a great restaurant to take out of town guests. I’ve only read about Sissy. Lucky you for having that experience and memories.
Thank you for this! This is one of my favorite appetizers at the fort, I went out and bought jalapeños the other night and went…now what? Lol I am so glad to see actual instructions on the Internet, and from someone so close to home;) I am not sure I can stand it, waiting a week for the pickling process but wish me luck, this is such a fun snack.
Lea Ann Brown says
Thanks so much for your note Roni. I’ve never had these at The Fort, but have heard so much about them. This comes from their cookbook that came out a few years ago. I really need to go back to that restaurant and soon.
Hey Lea Ann. , I’m like you, loving The Fort’s recipe. I live in Las Vegas now and was needing some jalapeno peanut butter appetizers! Thank you SO much for posting this!
Lea Ann says
Stuffed Belly says
This is a new type of dish for me. I have never tried eating jalapenos before. If it really is that good then I gotta have to try one as well.
Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks. says
My mom makes pickled chiles – chile vinagre. I’ve eaten them with a lot of things but never with peanut butter. You have me intrigued.
Lea Ann says
The recipe sure intrigued me. And everyone that has had them at The Fort rave about them.