Hot Stuff- Escabeche and the like

Escabeche: Pickled jalapenos with vegetables.

Depending on the season, the ingredients of this recipe can change depending on availability.  Add small but crunchy florets of cauliflower, cubes of tender-crisp chayote, or even a few Serrano peppers to the mix.

Escabeche Recipe.

~20-25  jalapenos (1lb -1.5lbs) sliced in halves lengthwise.  I prefer to leave the seeds in the pepper but they can be removed if you wish.

1 large white or yellow onion, cut in 8 wedges.

3 carrots, thinly sliced into rounds.

1 cup of cauliflower florets broken into small pieces (optional).

1 head of garlic, cloves separated, crushed and peeled.

3 cups water

1 and 3/4 cups of vinegar.  We mainly use distilled white vinegar as it has a neutral flavor but a good apple cider vinegar (or mix of the two) could also be used.

1 Tbs of kosher or pickling salt.
Iodized table salt is NOT recommended for this recipe or anything for that matter.  Throw that junk away. Really.    BlaH!

2 Tbs white sugar.

1 Tbs of extra-virgin olive oil

2 bay leaves

1/4 tsp of dried oregano or two 2 inch sprigs of the fresh herb.

This is not my picture, but thanks to whomever.

– In a medium sauce pan made out of non-reactive materials, add the olive oil, a pinch of the salt, carrots, onion, and garlic.  Saute on low heat until the onion and carrot just starts to soften and the onion begins to become translucent ~ 3-4 minutes.

– To the carrots and onion, add water, vinegar, the remaining salt, sugar, bay leaves and oregano to the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high.  Continue heating the pickling liquid until it just begins to bubble slowly at the sides of the pot, then taste the brine for seasoning.  Adjust the seasoning as necessary.  There should be a good balance of flavors in the pickling brine; adding more sugar helps mellow the harsh acidity of the vinegar, while the salt helps ensure the pickling brine does not become too sweet.

– Turn the heat under the brine to low and then add jalapenos (and cauliflower if you are using it) to the pot. You don’t want to boil the brine as this will affect the texture of the vegetables. Part of what makes these pickles so delicious is the toothsome crunch of the vegetables.

– Cook the jalapenos, stirring frequently, until they take on an olive-drab color (~ 5-7 minutes).  At this point remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool.  I like to speed up the cooling process to help preserve the pickles crunchiness by placing the entire covered pot directly into a sink filled with ice and water.

– Once cool, transfer the pickles and pickling brine to a clean, dry vessel and place in the fridge.  A large (80 oz) pickle jar works perfectly for storing the escabeche.

– Although it is tempting to dig in and savour the results immediately, allow the jalapenos to sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours to finish the pickling process.

The jalapenos are excellent on nachos or in tacos when sliced thinly, and although I have not yet tried this yet, it would be easy to turn the peppers into home-made jalapeno poppers.

Happy eating!!

Note: This escabeche must be kept in a refrigerator where it will last for about a week to ten days (if you can resist the temptation that is) and the pickling liquid makes a tasty hot sauce .  This is NOT a suitable recipe for the long-term preservation of peppers.


1 cup white or cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oi
l 1 tablespoon pickling spice (tie in a bag) discard later
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon canning salt
Bay leaves

Wash peppers. and slice 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.Pack loosely in a jar with 1 bay leaf in each jar.Heat ingredients to a boil and pour over peppers in jar.Place jar lid after wiping jar rim clean; tighten band.Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.Do not forget the oil. The oil is the secret. For a clear liquid, use white vinegar; for the best flavor, use cider vinegar

Someone added this post:

For liquid,  1:1 ratio white vinegar to water,1 bay leaf in each jar, 1 Tbsp Pickling salt, (all optional are 5-10 peppercorns, 1 -2 cloves garlic whole, if you have it, a sprig of oregano, thyme, marjoram in each jar.  I cut peppers in half lengthwise and de-vein partially to control heat.  Boil mixture 5 – 10 minutes.Pack jars to 1/2″ from top.  Fill jars to top with hot liquid. Screw on lid fairly tight and allow to cool.  You will hear top pop when vacuum is created. Quart jars when packed should require about 2 cups of liquid.

Someone else added this post:  This recipe is just like my own creation while experimenting in my kitchen. I too leave the pickling spices in the jar, add thick quartered onion and somtimes sliced carrots, but i do not use oil or bay leaf. I make this one jar at a time, not water bath, etc., just boil water and vinegar w/pickeling spices, drop whole jalapenos in the jar and cover with liquid. Let cool in jar and throw in the fridge. DONE! Also would suggest buying pickled green tomatoes at the grocery store and dived amoung 2 jars and toss in halved jalapenos and let “marinate” in the fridge. Very good!

Work in progress

This is a suggestion of a canned hot sause recipe.
I have not tried it. I will change it in the future.
So if you want to try it, go for it , but it is NOT tried and true by any means!
It looks like the person who started this recipe doens’t live in Texas or California…  Just saying… or is not Cajun either… just thinking out loud….

I just copied it here for the ratio of fresh tomatos to vinegar.

Here is the start of a recipe for Canning hot sauce.
8 Cups tomatoes
1 large anacho pepper
1  Large white onion
6 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt or canning salt
1 tsp oregeno
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/3 cup vinegar
4 jalapenos

boil 5 to 10 minutes and put in jars
Process 10 minutes


Let me hear your thoughts! Thanks

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s