Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ninfa's Spicy Pickled Carrots

I've been craving those pickled the ones you get out of the can of jalapenos...oh-so-good, bold and spicy.  I found Ninfa's Restaurant's recipe on Lisa Fain's blog, "The Homesick Texan."  I've been fallowing Lisa for a couple of years now and her cookbook, "The Homesick Texan" has recently been released.  Congratulations Lisa!  You Go Girl!!

The carrots turned out to be crunchy bites of spicy goodness and is my new, favorite snack.  I couldn't find the red chiles as called for in Lisa's recipe so I used serrano peppers instead, plus, I added 2 - 3 tsp of crushed red pepper to help add more heat.  The Poole's, our friends and neighbors, gave us a bunch of fresh herbs, among them oregano, so I added a TBSP or so of fresh, chopped oregano in addition to the dried.

You can substitute green beans for the carrots.  To do so, blanch the beans in boiling water for a couple of minutes.  You want them just slightly cooked, but you definitely don’t want them limp. You want them to stay bright green and crisp.  Pour into jars and pour the hot brine over beans.  Let the flavors meld at least overnight.  I use the pickled green beans as a garnish in a spicy, bloody mary.  Reminiscent of our family train ride in Alaska. =)

1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white vinegar
1 ounce chiles de arbol, seeds and stems removed, halved
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
1 pound carrots, cut into thin rounds
1/2 cup slivered onions
3 garlic cloves, smashed
3 jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, sliced

In a medium-sized pot, add the water, vegetable oil, vinegar and chiles de arbol. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, uncovered.

Add to the pot the cumin, oregano, black pepper and salt. Continue to cook on medium for 5 more minutes. Add the sliced carrots, onions, garlic and jalapeño, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the carrots are your desired texture. Taste and add more salt if you prefer.

Cool and then refrigerate. Will keep for one month refrigerated.

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