Some of the best escabeche(pickled peppers and vegetables) were the ones prepared at home. Most often they were jalapeños, carrots and onions in a simple brine of white vinegar, salt and a touch of oil. Todays version is escabeche with cauliflower and assorted chile peppers. We had a favorite brand that Mom would purchase too. As soon as that can was opened up, we would make a fast dash to eat up the few carrots that would be right on top when you poured the can into a bowl! Lol! And because there were so few carrots in the canned versions, Mom would take the brine(pickling liquid) from the can and pour it over carrots that had been lightly poached. She would cover it tight and tell us we had to wait days before we could eat them. It was torture! Those days have long past, but I still get excited everytime I open my favorite can of jalapeños in escabeche. The carrots are still my favorite. When I discovered how easy it was to prepare escabeche with just a few simple ingredients, there was no looking back. I like to serve it as is as a snack or botana for parties. And it’s never a bad idea to serve with tacos! #escabeche #foodieforlife
Escabeche with Cauliflower
1 small head of cauliflower
5 medium carrots
1 sweet onion
2 large jalapeños
4-6 serrano peppers
1 habanero, optional
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon peppercorns
Dried chile piquin, optional
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
salt to taste( I started with 1 tablespoon)
Tips~ I like mixing the peppers when I prepare escabeche. Each adds a slight different flavor to the mix.
Slice and chop all of the vegetables and peppers into uniform size. You can slice into strips or rounds. Don’t make the pieces to thick so that they will marinate and pickle easily. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed oil to medium heat. After a minuts, add the cauliflower and carrots. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add in the onions, jalapeños, serrano and habanero. Saute for another 2 minutes.
Add in the bay leaves, oregano and peppercorns. In a large measuring cup, add the vinegar, water and sugar. Season to taste with salt. I like mine a little more salty. Pour into the skillet with vegetables. Stir well and cook on low for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature. Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Will keep for 6-8 weeks.
You want somewhat thin uniform pieces for escabeche.