Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jalapeños en Vinagre (Jalapeños in Vinegar)

In my house we love pickled, salty, pungent, spicy, and sour stuff (not something many have acquired a taste for) Pickled Jalapeño peppers are very common in Mexican cuisine as a condiment to enhance you experience eating other stuff, like it goes well with greasy and fried foods (like most acidic foods do) it helps cut through the richness and stimulates the tongue ;) It's also really healthy.

We use to buy the cans which are very popular our favorite brand for pre-made pickled Jalapeños is "GOYA- Jalapeños en Escabeche" we figured if we buy them so often and enjoy them we should just make our own in huge batches, it's cheaper, and you know exactly what quality of ingredients you used and what's in it, how old it is, etc. MUCH BETTER TO YOU HAVE CONTROL!

My mother likes to make this with other vegetables like cauliflower, carrot, garlic and onion in combination with Jalapeño Pepper. You could also add half cooked potatoes sliced into rounds very tasty in here when pickled.

-3 lbs. Jalapeño Peppers washed well
-1 lbs. Cauliflower washed seperated into medium florets
-1 lbs. carrots peeled cut into diagnol ovals
-3 big onions cut into rings (not to thin)
-1 head of garlic cloves peeled (not mashed or anything like that the garlic is optional)
-4-6 tablespoons of salt
-1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
-1 1/2 tablespoons dry oregano
-1-2 sticks of cinnamon (optional)
-1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1/2 white vinegar 1/2 clean drinking water (enough to fill containers I ended up using 6 cups
vinegar 5 cups water I wanted more acidic)

You will need:
-1 big jar or container and one medium one


(1)Bring in a large pot water to a boil, boil carrot until it changes color but not soft still crunchy, set aside and rinse with cold water to stop cooking, do the same thing to the cauliflower and set aside.

(2)Cut 1 pound of chiles in half this will help the pickled veggies get more spicy. The other 2 pounds leave whole with tail and all. Set chiles in a big bowl or pot, get each whole one and simply stab through it right in the center (not cut in half just one stab this is to let the vinegar flow into the chile)

(3)Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a big pan, add chiles in one layer and let it cook until the skin wrinkles nad blisters a bit on one side and the other side to DO NOT OVER COOK IT'S JUST TO LIGHTLY WRINKLE THEM! AND INFUSE THE OIL, do this in a couple batches.
(4)While frying the chiles also fry the cinnamon sticks together with the chiles to infuse the oil with cinnamon.

(6)Now put the chiles in 1 GIAGANTIC BOWL (or in 2 big bowls) and toss with carrot, cauliflower, garlic, onion, oregano, peppercorns, and salt.

(7)Put this mixture into the containers carefully.

(8)Mix vinegar, water, and oil used to fry chiles along with cinnamon stick mix well together.

(9)Pour this into the containers where you have chile mixture, seal and shake well, turn upside down and back up and shake it up, uncover taste vinegar in bottle if you think it needs more salt add more salt, cover and shake again to let salt incorporate well, if vinegar taste good and flavorful like it has enough salt then it's good, seal well and leave out 2-3 days then it's good for eating.

(10)You can leave at room temperature or in fridge it can last a couple months.


It is normal for the garlic to turn bluish after awhile.

Vinagre de Piña (Pineapple Vinegar)

THIS IS SOOOO COOOOOOL TO ME! (I know I'm an odd person). This is NOT A RECIPE!

I've been interested in making vinegar from scratch, particularily pinapple vinegar.
My aunt (Tia Licha) told me she knew how.

So I was excited to go visit her and learn, turns out it's a REAL LONG PROCESS.

First you have to make something my aunt calls "la madre" (the mother) it is the bacteria that makes the vinegar, IT'S ALIVE! She say's it takes like 1 year, you have to get cleaned pineapple skins put them in a container with "Piloncillo" (unrefined solid cane sugar) and let it form over the course of a year, she say's it will bubble, and foam and this thick jelly like thing will form that is called "the mother"

Afterwards you drain that, put "the mother" in a container with water again and more unrefined solid care sugar and seal it leave it for 1 month or 2 the bacteria will feed off the sugar and it will make pineapple vinegar.

When you have your vinegar you put it in another container and fill the container with the "mother cultures" again with sugar and water and the process starts all over again, while making vinegar they will keep reproducing and you end up with more and more to make more and more larger amounts of vinegar, give them away or throw them out.
Pretty COOL!

I was bummed that I would have to make the cultures/ bacteria "the mother" so my aunt said, "No te preoccupes aqui tengo unas madres pa'ti pa que impieses ya" meaning "Don't worry I already have a bunch of the bacteria stuff so you can start making the vinegar"

That is SOOO AWESOME AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! I asked her what I can do with the vinegar she said I can use it like any other vinegar in marinades, salads, cooking, etc. I'M EXCITED!

I'm gonna get a pineapple and try to make the bacteria on my own, just for fun, but for the meanwhile I'll have the bacteria making me vinegar (the one she gave me) I'll update you guys on the results!.

My aunt say's in Mexico in her families ranch they had giant containers with huge amounts of the bacteria and vinegar, etc.

This vinegar can also be turned into "TEPACHE" (it doesn't need to be to fermented for that) a type of Pineapple Liqour (get's you drunk) I will ask her how to turn it into that later.

Here is pictures:
This is Piloncillo (unrefined solid cane sugar):

This is "la Madre" (the bacteria the mother of the vinegar)

Here it is in the water with the "Piloncillo"

Results in 1-2 month updated