Chile Piquín en Escabeche/ Pickled Piquin Pepper

There was this man back home, he would walk around our neighborhood once a week shouting “Piquin del monte!”, he was selling this tiny pepper by the bag. I remember my mom saying it was a little expensive but she would buy it anyway cause she loved it. -Fast forward to many years later-  It was probably my second year living in San Antonio when me and my husband bought our first house, I was getting the bed ready for my herb garden when I saw a little plant with tiny green bulbs that look a lot like chile piquin. I had to take a picture of it and send it to my mom to corroborate such discovery. It was, in fact, chile piquin, here in San Antonio it grows everywhere! So, every season I pick a whole bunch of them from my plant and pickled them. They are a very, very hot pepper. I don’t want to tell you about the time I warned my father in law not to eat them because they were too hot and he didn’t believe me. He was choking so bad, almost couldn’t breath! “When a Mexican tells you it is hot, you better believe them” I said.. but, I’m not telling you that story, ok? (giggles).

I like to make a quick pickling for these peppers, I don’t know if it is a fact or just a legend but the vinegar tames the heat of the pepper. Tell me if I am wrong. I always make sure I have a jar of pickle piquin peppes when my mom comes to visit. She still loves them!

This is the plant, they are so little you wouldn’t believe they’re so hot. I think they make jalapeños taste like candy. Well, not quite but you know what I mean. 
Look who came to visit while I was picking peppers! Isn’t she beautiful? Ok, back to the peppers. 
I picked about a cup of peppers. I can neither confirm nor deny that I got more mosquito bites than peppers. 
I look through my peppers and get rid of as many leaves as I can. I put them in a small bowl, cover them with water and add a teaspoon of vinegar. I’m not pickle them yet, I am just making sure they’re squeaky clean. 

In a small sauce pan on medium high heat, I add the water, vinegar, salt, sugar and oregano. Just stir a few times until the sugar and salt dissolve. While this is happening I thinly slice the garlic.

I add the bay leave to the jar and starting building layers with the garlic and peppers. 

I transfer the pickling liquid to a measuring cup to make pouring it into the jar, easier. 

Let it cool at room temperature, put the lid on and shake the jar a little bit, just to make sure it’s all well mixed. I don’t know if you can tell by the picture but my jar was a little big for this, it is a 13oz jar, a 10 or 8oz jar would be a better fit. Store it in the fridge. The longer they sit in the fridge the better, I prefer to eat them once they start turning pale because they get softer too. 

This is my favorite way to eat Puiqin peppers; eggs, tortillas and a side of avocado. The sweet creamy taste of the avocado gives your mouth a perfect break after biting into those peppers. My grandmother used to swallow them whole and then brag that she could take the heat with no problem! She was a smart little lady.

About

Hello, my name is Marisol Chancellor. I was born and raised in Monterrey Mexico. I’ve been living in Texas for 12 years and even when I love barbeque, fruit cobblers and sweet tea, there’s something that has the power of transporting me right back to my mom’s kitchen and gives me a little piece of home, cooking. I grew up in the kitchen and for me, memories are always linked to food, and behind the food, well, there’s always a story that comes along. So, please let me share with you my love for cooking and while we are at it, let’s share some memories, because let’s be honest, we are also hungry for nostalgia.

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