Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chilerita

This spiced vinegar is so good, you would want to put it on everything... Even your eggs for breakfast.

This vinegar can be found in every little restaurant across Costa Rica. Curious me asked the lady at one of our favorite Sodas how to make it... It looked simple enough. However, she said it required special, very small (and spicy) chilli peppers. She could see the disappointment in my face as I thought I may not be able to find them in the US. Before we left, she prepared a little bag for me to take home... So sweet... That is the quality of people of Costa Rica.
Sidenote: I did have a moment of panic when we went though customs at the airport... I forgot I put that bag in the suitcase so for a moment there I was worried I was going to get in trouble... Fortunately, at that exact moment M starting misbehaving (shocker!). The agent felt sorry for us and waved us to pass quickly... (maybe he could relate...) All that to say, sometimes tantrums can be used to our advantage...

Here is how you make your very own Chilerita:

Gather enough ingredients to fit in your (sterilized) jar

Carrots
Jalapeno peppers
very spicy peppers (can be found on Asia or Mexican supermarkets)
Onions
Garlic
Blanched Califlower

White vinegar to cover
Pepper corns
1 tablespoon of Salt
1 tablespoon of Sugar (adjust salt and sugar to your taste)

Clean your jar with soapy water. Sterilize by putting it in the dishwasher or by boiling it for a few minutes. Let it cool enough to be able to handle
Layer your veggies, pour vinegar, add pepper, corn, salt and sugar. Shake to incorporate. Let rest for 24 hours (and for all the flavors to mingle). You will be ready to use on soups, grilled meats, rice and yes, even eggs. The sky is the limit for ways to use this Chilerita...

I hope you give this a try

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