I know I’ve been on kind of a pickling kick lately, what with pickles, and okra pickles, and more pickles, and then I made MORE okra pickles. I’m going to turn into one big pickle.
But before I do, I have another great kind of pickle to share with you, and these can be made year-round.
Have you ever been to a Mexican restaurant or taqueria and been either directed to a little condiment bar, or had different condiments brought to you? If you have, then you’re probably familiar with what folks around these parts call “Mexican Relish.” These are Mexican pickled jalapenos, pickled onions and pickled slices of carrot, all melding flavors in the same jar, and they’re FANTASTIC. So fantastic that our recipe is for two jars!
I love me some hot carrots. That’s what I called them for a really long time. I was never really a fan of just plain pickled jalapenos unless they came on some nachos, but if I could have hot carrots and some pickled onions, I was in business.
Escabeche (ESS-kah-BEH-che) (or if you’re being fancy and French, then you can call it ESS-cuh-BESH) is, in many ways, the perfect condiment. It’s vinegary and salty, with a touch of sweetness. It has a really woodsy herbal note from the Mexican Oregano. If you’re like me, then yours also taste garlicky. I love escabeche with Mexican food, with chips, barbecue, fried chicken, with chili, on pizza … it’s sort of amazing how great it goes with basically everything. Also beer, it goes great with beer.
I think if people realized how easy it was to make, they wouldn’t futz around buying it in cans at the grocery store or even what are expensive jars of it at the specialty store. The hardest part about making it is waiting a few days for them to pickle.
The recipe is below, but we’ll go through the steps here. First, you make a brine. This one’s easy. One pot, two liquids, and some spices. You got this.
Second, you cut all kinds of stuff up and get it ready to cram into jars.
See my nifty new wavy-blade knife? That’s how I got those carrots to look like I bought ’em in a bag from the produce section. Instant fancy!
Then, you take some sterile pint jars, and you cram as many carrots, peppers, onions and garlic cloves into them as you can and when they’re full, pour the hot brine over them.
Put on lids.
Let come to room temperature.
Try to keep yourself from prying the jars open before the 3-day mark because they look so delicious. And then at the 3-day mark, get a cold beer and try to keep yourself from eating the whole jar.
This is one of the most versatile little condiment/snacks I know of, and I know we’re going to blow through these like nobody’s business. Good thing I’m not dependent on Summer-fresh produce for this! All the ingredients can be found year-round.
Am I the only one who could go for some nachos, now?