Jalapeños en Escabeche (Pickled Jalapeños)

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The first time I made Red Snapper Veracruz, I used the last of the pickled jalapeños that Richard had sent over. The Veracruz was so outstandingly good that I wanted to make it again, and so I had to make my own batch of pickled jalapeños. As Richard kindly provides the recipe on his wonderful blog REMCooks.com, it was pretty easy to replicate.

Richard uses the Jalapeños en Escabeche for nachos, but just making them for the Veracruz is worthwile. Most of the work is in cleaning and cutting the jalapeños.

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The ‘making of’ the ingredients shot below

The photos used in this post were the first I made with my new studio lights. (You may have noticed the use of them in some other recent posts as well.) This was a very nice birthday present that I got, and although they can be a bit in the way it does make quite a difference. The light is more ‘natural’ (these are ‘daylight’ lamps) and having more light means lower ISO and higher shutter speeds, or in other words sharper pictures.

With the pictures included in this post I was still getting to learn the new settings for color temperature and exposure to get the best results, and in fact I am still learning. [Someone recently suggested I should do a tutorial on food photography, but I think someone with far better camera skills such as Conor or Stéphane should do that. (Stéphane in fact did post tips for food photography.)]

Ingredients

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For 2 cups [this is half of Richard’s recipe, but I ended up with a quarter of the volume he indicated]

450 grams (1 lb) jalapeño peppers

225 grams (1/2 lb) spring onions [in the Netherlands spring onions are the same as scallions or green onions, I noticed too late that Richard used the white part only]

340 grams (3/4 lb) carrots

2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and whole

360 ml (1 1/2 cups) white vinegar

120 ml (1/2 cup) cider vinegar

1 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp salt

8 bay leaves

3/4 tsp dried oregano

leaves of 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1/4 tsp piloncillo [or other sugar]

2 1/2 Tbsp water

5 peppercorns

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp cumin seed

2 whole cloves

Preparation

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Clean and stem the jalapeños. Then cut each of them in 8 lengthwise. For less heat, you could remove the seeds and membranes.

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Peel the carrots and cut them in sticks of about the same size as the jalapeños. Cut the spring onions in a similar size as well.

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Put the jalapeños and carrots in a bowl. Add the salt and toss well. Allow to macerate for 1 hour.

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Combine 5 of the bay leaves, water, thyme leaves, chopped garlic, cumin seed, peppercorns, cloves, and 1/4 tsp of oregano in the blender…

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…and blend thoroughly.

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Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and blended spices.

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Sauté over medium heat until the liquid has gone and the onions are translucent.

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Drain the macerated jalapeños and carrots, reserving the liquid.

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Add the jalapeños and carrots to the frying pan with the onions, and stir fry until they are just beginning to color.

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Mix the white vinegar and cider vinegar with the reserved liquid from macerating the jalapeños and carrots, and add to the frying pan.

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Add the remaining thyme, remaining bay leaves, remaining oregano, whole garlic cloves, and sugar.

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Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and cook until the carrots are tender but still firm to the bite. [Do not allow the liquid to reduce by much, as you will need the liquid to cover the jalapeños in the mason jar and as a vital ingredient for the Veracruz.]

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Transfer the mixture to clean mason jars, distributing the garlic and bay leaves among them.

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Seal with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

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Process in a hot (gently boiling) water bath for 10 minutes.

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Allow to cool off. The pickled jalapeños only need to be refrigerated once the jar has been opened.

Flashback

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A classic dish from Mantova and Cremona in Northern Italy is Tortelli di Zucca: tortelli filled with squash or pumpkin and mostarda (Mostarda di Cremona or Mostarda di Mantova, fruit candied in a mustard-flavored syrup). Tortelli di zucca are also made in other cities of the region, but without adding mostarda.

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8 thoughts on “Jalapeños en Escabeche (Pickled Jalapeños)

  1. Glad you liked the Jalapeños en Escabeche. They are my absolute very favorite. The “Spring Onions” I use are the more mature green onions. The bulb is considerably larger, white and sweet to the taste. This may explain why you only got 1/4 the volume. If I cannot find Spring onions, I use the small boiler onions. You can also use regular onions if you cannot find boiler or Spring onions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only made these once, and used a recipe out of Diana Kennedy’s book on Mexican cuisine. I forgot how good they were until now. I’ll try out Richard’s recipe next time!

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    1. I copied that from Richard’s recipe without thinking too much. Now that you ask, I think the purpose of the olive oil is to protect the jalapeños from oxidation (this also works wonders with pesto). It may be a good idea to re-apply the olive oil after taking some out.

      Like

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