An old saying goes, “sin picante, no hay sabor” (without spice, there’s no flavour), so sitting down to a meal at a Mexican table unadorned by at least one salsa is unthinkable. Next to that salsa you may well find a bowl of these pickled jalapeños, waiting patiently to brighten your taco, quesadilla or eggs.
This half hour process pays dividends, and you can double the batch without fear of them spoiling as long as they’re kept refrigerated. The lovely fruity apple vinegar with aromatic herbs make these little fellows very appealing, and should you so desire, you can try the recipe with chili serrano for a little more of that “picante”.
8 jalapeño chilies
1 white onion, sliced into thick rings
1 carrot, peeled then sliced into ½ cm rounds
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 sprigs thyme
4 crushed black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons salt
150 ml vegetable oil
350 ml apple cider vinegar
100 ml water
- Trim the stalks from the chilies, then cut a cross 1 cm deep into the tip of the chili to allow the escabeche to penetrate.
- Place the oil, chilies, carrot, onion and garlic in a wide-based pot and cook on a very low heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Gently cook the mixture for around ten minutes, until the chilies have softened a little. Remove from the heat.
- While still warm, place the chilies and carrots in a sterilised jar, alternating layers and distributing the onions and garlic and whole spices throughout. Pour the liquid over the top, then seal. Refrigerate when cool.