Do you know how you know you are in a *real* taqueria? Or at a *real* taqueria food truck?
I’ll tell you. Always look for the salsa bar but that’s not it. Go to the salsa bar and look for one thing: taqueria pickles. Do you know the type? The mix of carrots, radishes, onion, and peppers that you can put in those little plastic condiment bowls. If the taqueria has those pickles, you know you’ve picked the right spot. These pickles complete any taco…especially a carne asada taco.
Being from Arizona, I could find these pickles everywhere. Whenever I would get a craving, just go to the grocery store! They are always there and always in abundance.
Living in MD it’s hard enough to find a Mexican restaurant, let alone a place that serves something that resembles taqueria pickles.
I was homesick and went to the grocery store and bought a couple out-of-season radishes, peppers, and carrots. I know, I know. I broke a huge rule of mine but sometimes you have to fill a hole in your soul.
Generally, this mix is only made with jalapenos but since my friends out here in MD are wimps (love you guys!), I bought 4 different peppers to lower the heat index a little bit. I also thought that they would add different layers of flavor and heat. I bought banana, serrano, poblano, and jalapeno.
Thinly slice everything, half and slice the onions, and stuff into two clean quart jars. I can’t remember exactly how many radishes and carrots I sliced. I just sliced and sliced until I filled up the quart jars. I ensured that all the peppers and onions were mixed evenly in the two quart jars.
To make the brine, bring 3 cups of water , 2 cups of white vinegar, 1 Tablespoon salt to a simmer. Add 1 teaspoon dried oregano (mexican oregano if you want to get super authentic) , 1 tablespoon peppercorn, and one bay leaf to each quart jar. Stuff each quart jar, layering, between peppers, onions, carrots, and radishes. Ensure that all the peppers and onions are divided between the jars. You may have some carrots and radishes left over. Pour brine over the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate. This is a refrigerator pickle and it will keep for months and months.
Whenever you make tacos, fajitas, carne asada, or pollo asado, grab a jar and lay a few of these pickles over the meat. Put some country or spanish music on, make yourself a margarita, and pretend you are sitting on a sunny Arizonan (or Texan or New Mexican or Southern Californian) patio.
Yield: Two quarts
3 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano (mexican oregano, if you have it)
2 tablespoons peppercorn
2 bay leaves
- Thinly slice carrots, radishes and peppers. Half and thinly slice onions.
- In each quart jar add a teaspoon of dried oregano, a tablespoon of peppercorn, and a bay leaf.
- Layer peppers, onions, carrots, and radishes into the quart jars. Ensure that all the pepper and onion get used up. You may have some carrots and radishes left over.
- Bring water, white vinegar, and salt to a simmer. Pour over vegetables. Let cool and refridgerate. These will keep in the fridge for a few months.