Pickled Jalapeños and Carrots
Eating tacos at a taquería or taco truck without a jalapeño and a few spicy carrot rounds just doesn’t seem right; it’s not right at home, either. The cane vinegar makes for a more mellow liquid and is available in many supermarkets and international markets. A nod to Patricia Quintana for methodology and inspiration. Plan ahead when making this dish, as the jalapeños and carrots need to pickle for at least two weeks.
12 large jalapeño chiles
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½ -inch rounds
1/4 cup olive oil
15 whole cloves garlic
2 medium white onions, cut into ¼ -inch wedges
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 cups cider vinegar
2 cups cane vinegar salt
Poke each jalapeño several times with a metal skewer or the tip of a sharp knife. Put enough water in a medium-size pot to cover the jalapeños, add 1 teaspoon of the salt, and bring to a gentle boil. Add the jalapeños and boil, uncovered, for 6 minutes. Turn off the heat, let the jalapeños sit in the water for 4 minutes, uncovered, then remove them with a slotted spoon and let cool. Reserve half of the water.
Meanwhile, bring another small pot of water to a boil, add the remaining salt and the carrots, and cook until slightly soft, but still crunchy, about 6 minutes. Remove the carrots with a slotted spoon and let cool.
In a large cazuela (a traditional Mexican clay pot), or deep cast iron or enamel pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions, stirring rapidly so that they stay crunchy, and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the marjoram, peppercorns, cider vinegar, cane vinegar, reserved jalapeño water, and salt to taste.
Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Remove the lid, add the reserved jalapeños and carrots, and bring to a boil again. Turn off the heat and let cool.
Distribute the jalapeño mixture and cooking liquid evenly between 2 sterilized glass quart jars, packing in the vegetables first, then adding the liquid afterwards.
Let the jars sit in the refrigerator for 2 weeks before using. Remove the jalapeños, carrots, and onions as needed to accompany tacos. They will keep in the refrigerator for several months.