Sunday, August 15, 2010

Torta Accessory - Pickled Jalapenos

Escabeche is what I call these when I want to sound cool and smart, but basically we're talking about pickled jalapenos. I've waxed philosophic about my torta obsession before, so I'll spare you this time. Just know that a good pickled jalapeno is the key to El Torta Perfecto - like a rug that really ties a room together, something's missing if that spice and oomph isn't there.

Jalapenos en Escabeche

For every 16 oz Ball jar, you'll need:

6 large or 10 medium jalapenos
8 thin slices carrot
1/2 small onion
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 sprig mexican oregano (trust me, the flavors are different enough from Greek oregano to be noticable in the final product - this can be found dried at any latino market)
1 tablespoon salt
1 - 1.5 cups vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

Non-reactive pot time, dears! I have an old enamel coated Dutch Oven that does just fine.

Take a paring knife and score the bottom of each pepper with an X - barely cutting all the way through to the inner cavity.

Slice your carrot about an 1/8 of an inch thick. Put all of your ingredients in your pot and simmer for about 10 minutes. There will be pungent fumes. Window fans (or exhaust hoods, for you peeps with actual kitchens) are your friends here!

If you're just sticking these in the fridge to be used over the next month or so, pour it all in a clean jar, lid it, and put it in the fridge.

If you're actually canning these, make sure you've just pulled the jar out of a hot washing machine. Simmer an extra 5 minutes. Fill your jar carefully, lid, and process in a simmering water bath for about 10 minutes. The combination of simmering the contents and processing the jarred results should keep your peppers for up to 6 months.

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