Jalapeños en Escabeche
Making escabeche...I'm not refering to the pickled fish dish here, but Jalapeños en escabeche, or pickled jalapeños, escabeche in Spanish referring to a brine or pickling marinade. I have long been a fan of pickled jalapeños, but never had eaten them pickled with other vegetables until a trip to Mexico in 2007. I especially liked the crisp, spicy carrots (zanahorias) and started buying them at home (look in the Latin section of your grocery). Our jalapeño plants are going crazy this summer so I thought I'd make my own. This will need to sit at least a week to be their best, but the leftover bits that didn't quite fit into the jars were very tasty indeed.
Jalapeños en Escabeche
adapted from Simply Recipes
1 lb jalapeño slices
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
1/2 of a small head of cauliflower
1 head of garlic, cloves, peeled, halved if very large
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cups cider vinegar
2 tbs. coarse salt
1 tbs. sugar
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
Slice the jalapeños, carrots, and onion roughly the same thickness, and break the cauliflower into little florets. In a fairly large nonreactive pot, saute the veggies and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes (they are smelling fantastic at this point).
Ladle the hot veggies and brine into 4 sterilized pint canning jars, leaving 1/2' head space. Stick the handle of a wooden spoon down into the jars to remove any air bubbles before lidding and processing in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Cool and store in a cool place for at least a week before eating (I hope we can wait that long :).
Note about processing...I gave away all my canning supplies a few years ago when it seemed like I just wasn't going to do it anymore (who knew), so I did not have the large pot with the lift out rack for hot water processing. Since I was just using piny jars, and a small quantity at that, I was able to process these in my tall soup pot. The pot was just large enough for the 4 jars to fit inside without touching, and tall enough for the water to cover them by one inch- I just rested the jars on a dish cloth inside the pan to keep them from knocking around. To ensure I had adequate water in the pot, I filled it with the jars sitting in it, and held them down to keep them submerged. To speed the process, I brought the water up to a boil while I was cooking the peppers so I was ready to go as soon as the peppers were. It wasn't perfect, but perfectly adequate for canning a small amount without having to purchase (and store) the equipment.