Sun 12.06.09 - At many of the taquerías in SoCal there will be a salsa bar with a small container of pickled carrots and peppers to put on the side of your plate. My absolute favorite carrots are the ones at El Camino Real in Fullerton, as I love how crunchy and spicy they are. Many other places has over cooked carrots or they have very little flavor.
Today, I decided to try to make my own. I searched the net for various recipes and the recipe over at About.com sounded closest, minus oregano, to the carrots at El Camino Real.
Due to what was living in my refrigerator and some leftover cauliflower, I did alter the recipe to my taste, here is my version:
* 6 big carrots, cut on the diagonal a bit thicker than a 1/4"
* 1 head of cauliflower separated into biggish florets, stem sliced like the carrots.
* 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed with the side of a knife but not chopped
* 1 1/2 cups vinegar
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 10 bay leaves, whole
* 8 peppercorns
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1 fresh jalapeno, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
* 1/2 teasp. marjoram (sorry no oregano in the family, and marjoram is otherwise known as sweet oregano).
1. Saute the garlic in a wee bit of olive oil in a good pan, add the carrots and the cauliflower after a couple of minutes, saute until coated.
2. Add vinegar, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt. Bring to a small boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Pop in that jalapeno pepper and the marjoram. Boil for a wee bit more. Check for carrot consistency. All total, I barely let mine boil for 10-12 minutes before the carrots were on the verge of too soft.
4. Put lid on pan, pull off burner. Let cool. Put in a covered container in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Make sure the carrots, et al, are covered in the liquid. I had to add a bit more water at this stage, which is fine as the liquid was a bit vinegar-y.
I will report back tomorrow on how they taste.