All In A Day’s Work

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The other day Mr. M and I visited our local produce stand. While we were there, I discovered several items that were marked down. In fact, the lady behind the counter was removing two pound bags of baby carrots from their refrigerator and putting them on the markdown shelves. So I snapped them up along with a few other items.

I usually do not buy “baby carrots” because I know that they really are not, but are actually overly processed items. But these were less than 25 cents a pound and I knew a good use for them: Zanahorias en Escabeche, Mexican style pickled carrots. One of my favorite condiments.

escabeche-done
Zanahorias en Escabeche

In addition, there were several types of discounted peppers and chiles. I decided that I could add them to a few I have harvested from my garden and make pickled peppers for sandwiches. After all, if I was going to use the canner, I might as well make more than one thing.

Then I spied two bags of local peaches that were discounted. Not perfect specimens but great for canning. All of these items can be canned in my big “boiling water bath” pot. They don’t require the pressure canner and since I can all of these items in pint jars they process rapidly.

So here is the result of my day’s work:

days-work
Pickled peppers, pickled Mexican style hot carrots, and RazzleBerry pie filling

I plan to post all of these recipes over time because three recipes in one post would be too long. So here is the first one: Zanahorias En Escabeche, or Mexican Style Pickled Carrots. These are the addictive carrots found in Mexican restaurants. Every time I make these I remember my dear mother-in-law, Carmen (we called her Mamo), who taught me her wonderful recipes. Don’t be afraid to make these because I am also going to tell you how to make them without canning them at the bottom of this post.

Zanahorias En Escabeche, or Mexican Style Pickled Carrots

Raw peeled carrots. Baby carrots can be left whole, larger carrots can be sliced or cut into 1″ chunks. Today I used 8 pounds of carrots. Measure the prepared carrots.

Peel and slice enough white or yellow onions to measure about 1/3 of the quantity of carrots. Today I used 3 large onions, I like to slice them vertically.

Slice enough chiles (I prefer Serranos, and Jalapenos) to put the equivalent of 1-2 chiles in each pint jar. Today, I did not have enough fresh chiles, so I used half fresh and half from my freezer stash. I don’t expect canned chiles to be crisp so I thought using the frozen ones will work fine (they did).

Escabeche-prep
Prepared vegetables: The chiles on the right are fresh. the center ones are frozen

You will also notice in the photo a package of garlic cloves. Use at least three or four per pint jar.

Here’s what I do:

Heat approximately 1/4 cup of good olive oil in a deep saucepot. Add onion slices and saute them until they begin to become transparent, Add carrots, chiles and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Mix a solution of 1 part water and 2 parts white vinegar.  I used about  6 cups of vinegar and 3 cups of water. I had some leftover. Add  this water-vinegar solution to the pot. Pack vegetables tightly into clean pint jars, doing your best to evenly distribute each type of vegetable. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of canning salt to each jar. Add 1 smallish bay leaf, about 6-9 whole peppercorns and 1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican, Greek, or Italian Oregano to each jar. (or to taste).

All of these ingredients except the vinegar and water can be adjusted to suit your personal taste. If you love the spicy pickled onions put in a few more, or reduce the number of chiles, etc. The vinegar and water solution must be 2 to 1 to ensure the proper acidity for the boiling water process. These vegetables would have to be pressure canned, otherwise. Check here for more information.

Leave about 1/2 inch of head space, wipe the jar rims carefully because of the oil, and cap with 2 piece lids.  Process the pint jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. I made seven pints, canned. and a pint and a half jar of leftovers that wouldn’t fit into my canner. I just refrigerated them, (See below)

escabeche3
Zanahorias en Escabeche

If you don’t want to process these in a canner, these can be made a s a refrigerator pickle. I would use a smaller amount of everything because who wants four or five quarts of pickles in the refrigerator at one time?

Here’s the recipe for the refrigerator:

Zanahorias En Escabeche, or Mexican Style Pickled Carrots

Makes about 1 quart

Approximately 1 3/4 pounds of prepared carrots

1/3 of a white or yellow onion sliced

2-4 Jalapeno or Serrano chiles sliced (more if you want)

2-6 cloves of garlic

8-10 whole peppercorns

1 teaspoon of canning salt

1 scant teaspoon of dried oregano (see previous recipe)

2 Tablespoons of good olive oil

Approximately 2 cups of white vinegar

Approximately 1 cup of water

Follow the canning recipe up to adding the vinegar and water. Instead, saute the vegetables for an additional 5 minutes or until the carrots are tender crisp. Then add the vinegar-water mixture, salt and spices and heat slightly. Pack everything into a quart jar, cap, cool and refrigerate. Try to wait at least a week before tasting them. Its hard to resist the temptation, I know, but they will have a better flavor if you wait. How long will it last? It depends on how quickly you consume them! Around here not very long. I am sure though that they could last at least 6 months.

Escabeche-ready
One for the refrigerator

Depending on the amount and type of chiles you use, your carrots will be mild to spicy. They are always delicious! By the way, do you know the “old Mexican Remedy” for a burning tongue from too spicy of a chile? Try a teaspoon of granulated sugar!

 

 

 

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One thought on “All In A Day’s Work

    Insanely Roy - Piece of Cerebrum said:
    June 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

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