As I closed in on my first year of blogging, I thought it would be fun to make up a menu of five Mexican-style dishes to post on the five days leading up to Cinco de Mayo. The planning was fun, but the cooking and the photographing and the actual posting process itself…well, that part turned out to be not so fun.
Yet three Cinco de Mayo’s later, I continue my little tradition. Even though I know it is not going to be all that fun, I still enjoy collecting recipes and cobbling together these collections, so here we go.
Our first Cinco de Mayo 2014 dish is Chiles en Escabeche (a.k.a. tequila-pickled jalapenos and vegetables). Although I intended them as an appetizer, you can build a menu around these pickles, using them in everything from tacos, burritos, beans, soups and salads.
Because I am not a pickle connoisseur, when I sampled these peppers and veggies I thought they were not bad, but I did not know if my “not bad” assessment was all that accurate. Then as I was drafting this post last night, my Dad – who was visiting from out of town – told me to write something about how he is such a wonderful guy. I gave him a look to communicate something along the lines of “please go back to watching your television show.”
But sure enough, he did give me just the soundbite I needed to describe these pickles. Although paraphrased, it went something like, “You know those things are good when you have to put them away because of the heat, but then you pick them right back up because you like them so much you want to eat some more.” By the time Dad got to them, the peppers and veggies had pickled for one week.
I had to modify the recipe somewhat because I could not find (although I did not look all that hard) the chiles and squash varieties called for in the original. After prepping the vegetables, they and the pickling liquid must cook on low heat for approximately 2 1/2 hours. Just the time you need to make the other four dishes I have planned for you this week. Until then, past Cinco de Mayo menus are available here. Enjoy!
- 8 jalapeno peppers
- 5 Serrano peppers
- 1 heaping cup of small cauliflower florets
- 1 yellow summer squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- ½ white onion, cut into ½-inch strips
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups cinder vinegar
- 2 tablespoons blanco tequila
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 6 whole cloves
- Halve the peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
- Place the prepared peppers along with all of the other ingredients - vegetables, liquids, and spices - in a slow cooker.
- Cover and cook over low heat for 2½ hours. When done, the vegetables will be just tender when poked with a knife.
- Allow the vegetables and pickling liquid to cool to room temperature, then jar both together and store in the refrigerator. The pickles should keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.