Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Escovich Pickles

Back in November, my family and I went on holiday to Grand Cayman and we enjoyed so many amazing fish dishes. One preparation that we enjoyed multiple times (because it was that good) was escovitch. Basically, it was fried fish topped with pickled onions and habanero peppers. The acidity of the pickles cut through the grease of the fried fish; it was a perfect and complementary combination.

I'd been meaning to make escovich since the day we got back. Unfortunately, no grocery stores near me had habanero peppers in stock for months. Well, recently my sister spotted them in the produce section (finally!) so we bought a bunch and I finally made my escovitch pickles. Instead of a normal fried fish dish, I ended up making fish tacos (which I'll be sharing on Friday) and using these as a topping. I don't think I can limit myself to putting these pickles only on fried fish. They're so good and spicy and a perfect kimchi alternative for non-Korean foods.
Ingredients [yields ½ pint]:
4 shallots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
4 habaneros, cut into strips
¾ cup malt vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt

There isn't a whole lot to this recipe. basically, just cut up the shallots, garlic, and peppers and make some brine.

I like using shallots because the layers are thinner than those of an onion, which I like. But, if you'd rather, you can certainly substitute the four shallots with one onion.
Thinly slice the shallot and garlic. Then, don some gloves to protect yourself from the habanero capsaicin. Chop the peppers in half, pull out the seeds and ribs, and then cut into strips.
Nestle everything into a jar.
Combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brine (while it's still hot) directly into the jar.
Pop a lid on the jar and leave at room temperature to cool and then pop in the fridge to chill.
And then they're ready to be used at your leisure. Escovitch pickles are meant to be piled on top of fried fish - which we did with our fish tacos - but as soon as I make it in the "traditional" manner, I'll make sure to share that too. I love these pickles because they're a well-balanced combination of sweet, savory, salty, and spicy. They brighten up any heavy dish but also go great in salads and sandwiches.
Here's a little fish taco sneak peek with the escovitch shallots laid across the top:
Here's the recipe page:

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