Editor’s note: El Codo posted this recipe as a comment to a book review of “From My Mexican Kitchen”, but we think it merits a post of its own.
Rajas de Chilies Escabeches
homemade, inexpensive, and easy to make
Save the brine from your next jar of pickles.
Head for the market, purchase a handful of chiles jalapeños, some green onions, and baby carrots (or as small as you can get them). Also pick up a small package of powdered milk (optional). The following recipe is for a standard quart size pickle jar containing somewhere around half of the original vinegar brine.
1. Slit the chilies lengthwise. Pick out all the seeds. Quarter the halves to get all the seeds.
2. Wash your hands with dish soap and water. Chile burns are chemical burns and they will hurt!
3. Fill a 2 qt pot with water and stir in 4 tbsp of powdered milk. Toss in the quartered jalapeños.
4. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
5. Wash, peel and slice the carrots, and green onions. Cut green onion stems to about 3″ length.
6. Place chile quarters, carrots and onions into vinegar brine in jar and cap tightly.
7. Every 2nd day, flip the jar upside down to brine treat contents. Check lid for leaks.
Boiling in milk helps to defuse extra hot chilies. If the quarters are too mild, lessen the amount of milk or time at boil for your next batch.
Suerte trying to shake this breakfast time addiction! Make a paste out of butter, olive oil, crushed garlic, and pepper. Coat sliced bolillos with spread, then top with a generous sprinkling of queso cotija, or other grated hard cheese. Toast until golden brown. Rajas de chilies escabeches, bolillos con ajo and a steaming mug of fresh ground café de Chiapas or Veracruz. Outrageous! My Mexican neighbors love this dish.
Note: Don’t try sipping hot coffee right after processing a mouthful of really picante chiles rajas. It would be an abrupt, rude, introduction into into “Mexican Food Clashes To Avoid Department”.