One of the best ways to perk up any meal is a great pickled chile. Served in abundance alongside your favorite taco or added to your torta of choice for an extra kick, chiles en escabeche are a mouth full of sunshine.
Quick and easy to prepare, there is no reason not to enjoy these gems of summer for long into the cold Chicago winter.
Chiles en Escabeche
Adapted from the original recipe as listed in Revista del Consumidor (Spanish)
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, whole
½ medium white onion, sliced
1½ lbs fresh jalapeño chiles, quartered lengthwise
4 carrots cut into half inch medallions
16 allspice berries
5 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
2 cups water
2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 Tb sesame oil
In a large Dutch oven with lid, heat the canola oil to high heat. Add in onion and garlic and fry for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Next, add in jalapeños and carrots and continue to fry for 5 minutes. Add next 7 ingredients and cover to cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add vinegar, cover and cook for 5 additional minutes. Turn off heat, stir in sesame oil and immediately spoon into hot, sterilized jars making sure to add enough liquid to each jar so that the chiles are covered. Seal with sterilized lids and rings and process in a water bath for 5 minutes. Carefully remove jars and place upside down on a kitchen towel to cool completely. For best results, allow chiles to cure for at least 2 weeks before using. Yield: 4-6 pints depending on size of chiles.
Chiles en escabeche in Chicago:
There are several brands of canned chiles en escabeche that can be purchased in the Chicagoland area, but the one that is most recommended for superior flavor is La Morena brand. In general, brands such as San Marcos and La Costeña can be found in larger chain stores such as Walmart, Food4Less, and Jewel-Osco. For La Morena brand chiles, the best suggestion is to specifically visit one of our many Hispanic grocery stores. If in doubt, try the El Güero chain of stores that are located throughout the city and suburbs.
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