I seem to have developed an obsession with canning. It is hard to explain, but there is something so gratifying about it, I find myself thinking about it all the time. I do believe it is a manifestation of my food hoarding from the early months of the No Grocery Store Challenge. I’m nearing my 19th month of no grocery store shopping, so I think its a way of life now.
I had been thinking about Chiles en Escabeche, with all the peppers, onions, carrots, and garlic in my garden and in the farmer’s markets now. So, I set out to make some, armed with my friend Claudia Alarcon’s Mima’s recipe from her blog http://cuisinexplorers.com/?p=1122 Claudia’s family is from Mexico, and I was excited to try an authentic Mexican preparation. I am fortunate to have several friends from Mexico, and I am fascinated by the cuisine. Having grown up in Corpus Christi, I had an interesting perspective.
I have made this twice, the first time, using purple carrots from the farmer’s market, hoping to add some color.
Escabeche is basically pickled peppers, onions, carrots, garlic and aromatics. I picked Bay Leaves and garden Oregano for my first batch with the purple carrots. Each of the vegetables is chopped, then flash fried in good olive oil, briefly, for added color and flavor.
I used Serrano Peppers from Johnson’s Backyard Garden, and cut them into strips lengthwise, mostly to differentiate them in my pantry from the pickled garden peppers that are sliced. This first batch, I didn’t follow the recipe with regard to ratio of peppers to onions and carrots, and used the purple carrots.
The end result was quite lovely, in any event.
After my purple Escabeche experience, I longed to have have some more traditional looking Escabeche, with its trademark orange carrots, white onion, and green chile. So, I made another round, paying more attention to the ration of pepper to onion and carrot, and adding some garden thyme, bay and peppercorns. The process was the same, flash frying each vegetable element in Olive Oil briefly, then layering the elements for visual intrigue.
Each of these jars has a huge clove of garlic, or two smaller ones, a garden Bay leaf, some garden Thyme, and some black peppercorns. I can’t wait to eat this delicious mix, or blend it up for an interesting salsa.