Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Bite: chiles en vinagre

Posted By on 06.13.12 at 12:32 PM

Chiles en escabeche
Free chips and salsa. You'll rarely, if ever, get that in a taqueria in Mexico. But free pickled jalapenos, carrots, onions, garlic, and cauliflower? Help yourself. Chiles en vinagre, or en escabeche, are the equivalent of the Wisconsin supper club relish tray, and their spicy, sweet-and-sour profile is the ideal foil for meaty and/or beany dishes like the carne en su jugo at Los Gallos #2 or El Tacos Veloz.

Personally I can do without the jalapenos. It's not the heat—that's crucial. It's that they take on a gross mushy texture. I pick around those to get at cauliflower and carrots, which remain crunchy, and the unpeeled garlic, its bite tempered by acid (though it tends to turn green). That's why I got excited when tubs started showing up in Cermak Produce. The chiles are kept at a minimum but the containers are stuffed with everything else.

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