Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mexican pickled vegetables

Pickles follow me around.

You see, I'm not a huge fan of vinegar most days.  Sure, I love me some kettle cooked potato chips with sea salt and vinegar... but only once in a blue moon.  Overall, I prefer sweet stuff.

However, I am constantly surrounded by people who LOVE that pungent pique of acid.  Once, on a mission trip, my dear youth minister Kari was ill and craved nothing more than diet Dr. Pepper and salt and vinegar chips.  In Italy, the giardinieri were ominipresent, crunchy little tidbits of vegetables bathed in vinegar.  In Germany I was told that sauerkraut with sausages and mustard could cure anything that ails you (and, having noshed on it in bitterly cold temps with no cold after, I believe it).  In Mexican restaurants, these little pickled carrots are often served.  Even on humble nachos, pickled jalapeno peppers pop up.

The ONE place I require pickles: cheeseburgers.  Even then, I only like one slice at a time.  I even open up McDonalds burgers to rearrange pickles so that I don't get an overpowering punch.

In spite of not being a HUGE vinegar person, I have ingested my fair share.  I know a good pickled vegetable, and these qualify.  I think adding carrots as the original recipe intended is a good idea-- the sweetness would be awesome.  Adding some cabbage would also add to the authenticity of my inspiration, but I didn't have any on hand and didn't see any great heads available.  However, the tickle of the vinegar, the earthy nose of oregano, the slight crunch of the veggies, and the spicy bite of the jalapeno make for a great combination.   You have somewhat mushy radishes and peppers but crunchy jicama and onions. This would have been an AWESOME dish for breast cancer awareness in Oct as the color is uniformly hot pink (except jalapenos).

I will, however, forever and ever, refuse to eat pickled herring.

I used the pickling method from The Food Network but used a different set of vegetables--radishes, jicama and red onion--and mostly guessed at quantities.

1/2 lb jicama, sliced into triple-sized matchsticks
1 bunch radishes, sliced into same general size as jicama width
2 heaping T sliced pickled jalapenos
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 c cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 T oregano
1 tsp salt

Place jicama and radishes in pot.  Cover with water.  Boil 2 minutes and remove from heat.  Add in vinegar, spices, onion and peppers.  Let sit and cool 2-3 hours before serving.

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