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3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled
40 to 50 chiles serranos or 12 large jalapeno chiles
1/2 medium onion, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1/2 cup fruit vinegar or cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 scant teaspoon mixed thyme, marjoram and Mexican oregano
4 peppercorns, coarsely ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add whole garlic cloves and fry, stirring frequently, until they are lightly browned; remove and set aside.
Add chiles and onion; fry, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup water to the skillet. Add browned garlic, vinegar, bay leaves, herbs, pepper and salt. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the chiles are olive green.
Remove from the heat; pour into a nonreactive container. Cool and season with additional salt, if necessary.
Cover and refrigerate for a day before using.
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