Nov 23, 2013

Spicy Mexican Pickled Carrots

Spicy Mexican Pickled Carrots
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Zanahorias en Escabeche or Mexican Spicy Pickled Carrots are one of the best ways to enjoy a pickled condiment. These carrots are found in many Mexican restaurants across the country, usually already sitting on the tables, ready for someone like me to sit down and dig in. What makes these spicy carrots so good is that they still have a bit of a crunch left in them, not soft or mushy, and the brine is a wonderful combination of flavors.

These pickled carrots are great with Hawaii meals as well. Serve with roast pork, or pork belly, with fried fish, or cut up the carrots and mix with your favorite poke, or on top of saimin noodle soup. I like them skewered on a bamboo stick and put into a bloody mary along with some of the pickled carrot juice, at happy hour.

One of my favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants is located in Salinas, California, called Rosita's Armory Cafe. They always have spicy pickled carrots, but that is only for starters. If you are ever visiting Monterey or Carmel, California, go a little out of your way and find Rosita's in Salinas, by the old Greyhound bus station.


The best Mexican Food Ever!
231 Salinas Street, Salinas, California.
(831) 424-7039
Rosita's Spicy Mexican
Pickled Carrots
This recipe was not given to me by the owner of Rosita's, however this is how I remember them.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds of large carrots
1 large yellow or white onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 fresh green and/or red jalapeno peppers
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/8 cup of olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 pint canning jars and lids, sanitized*

Procedure:
Peel the carrots and slice into 1/4 inch pieces either straight across or diagonally. Peel and cut the onion into 1/4 inch slices, peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves. Slice the chili peppers into thin rounds with the seed intact.

In a pot mix the water and vinegar and bring to a soft boil under low medium heat. Let sit covered.

In a a large frying pan heat the oil, add the carrots and cook for about 5 minutes. Next add the chili, onion, garlic, and bay leaves then cook for another 5 minutes. Add the salt, oregano and peppercorns and cook for about 3 minutes more, stirring to combine the spices and vegetables well. Don't overcook, the carrots should be crispy.

Carefully take the 3 jars out of the hot water and put them in the kitchen sink. With a large spoon, place enough carrot mixture in each jar until it is about 1/2 inch from the rim, then pour in water/vinegar mixture to about 1/4 inch from the rim. Seal tightly with sanitized lids and set aside to cool, make sure they are tightly sealed. Once they are at room temperature you can put them in the refrigerator. Let them sit in there at least overnight or longer if you want, the longer the more the flavors will mix. The carrots will keep up to a couple of months in the refrigerator.

*To sanitize the jars and lids place them inside a large and deep pot filled with water and bring to a boil. Leave the jars and lids inside the boiling water until the carrots are ready to be poured in. Another way to sanitize the jars by washing them in a dish washer with very hot water temperature. Makes 3 pints, or about 4 1/2 cups.
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