So! With all of the lovely house things happening, I have yet to do one of my most beloved summer activities: canning. Putting up the harvest for the winter months has become so dear to me. I come from a long line of food preservers; however, I sadly learned precious little about food preservation from my Mennonite grandmothers. My sadness over that missed opportunity kept me from canning for a while until I decided to just teach myself a few years back. I’m still a newbie who gets scared and stressed about the whole process, but it has come to mean so much to me that I’m determined to stick with it, learn from my mistakes, and power through. The connection I feel to my ancestors, the farm, and food when I’m canning is a feeling that is otherwise hard to come by in my modern American life, and I refuse to give that up just because canning takes time and is much less convenient than buying commercially canned goods.
Since our jalapeño plant was bursting with gorgeous dark green peppers, I decided to try my hand at a favorite Mexican condiment: Jalapeños en Escabeche. A staple on the Mexican table, these pickled Jalepeños are usually joined by onions, carrots, garlic, and herbs in the jar. Sometimes cauliflower. And I LOVE cauliflower. So after some recipe research, we settled on a game plan, harvested what we could from our garden, and made a quick trip to the farmers’ market for the rest.
Here’s the basics (slightly adapted from here):
Jalapeños en Escabeche
- 1 lb jalapeño peppers (we got 15.9 oz from the garden! success!)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 medium white onions, thickly chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and thickly sliced diagonally
- florets from half a cauliflower
- 1.5 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 5 cups apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp pickling salt
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 springs fresh oregano
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 Tbsp sugar
1 Wash peppers, leaving the stems intact. Cut an X into each pepper so the brine will penetrate and do its pickling magic.
2 Heat oil in a large pot. Add the peppers, onions, carrots, cauliflower, and garlic. Heat over medium for 10 minutes, occasionally turning.
3 Add the vinegar, salt, sugar, and herbs and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Peppers need to be fully cooked for safety in this recipe. They’re cooked when they are a dull, olive color like below.
4 Pack veggies into 5 pint-sized sterilized jars. Top with the brine, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
I’m a little less than excited about how mushy this recipe appears to be as I love a good toothy escabeche, but we’ll see how it goes. There was about a half a pint extra which we sampled instead of canning. It’s obviously not pickled yet, but Oh My Is it Delicious. I also sampled a raw jalapeño when we were picking them this morning and WOWZA are these peppers ever spicy. Jalapeños can vary greatly in spiciness levels, but usually tend to be a bit on the milder side. Well with the crazy heat we’ve had this year, these suckers are HOT. My lips are still tingling.
I’ll be sure to report back when we break open a jar of these this winter after coming in from shoveling piles of snow off the driveway!
Post by Amanda