Spicy conserva, o botana

A while back a friend asked if I knew how to make a certain botana we were eating in restaurants while travelling through Puebla and Oaxaca. I didn't at the time but have experimented and like this mix very well, it is spicy, but you can tame it by removing the pith and seeds from the peppers, and/or by adding more veggies and less peppers.

Pickled jalapeños are a popular accompaniment to meals, and a popular botana as well. They provide a great burst of heat and flavor when paired alongside many dishes. This recipe pickles the jalapeños with carrots, onions, and cauliflower for a bit of extra flavor and a little variety at the table.

3 - 4 cups white vinegar, or enough to cover the veggies
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tblsps salt
1 - 2 tblsp of pickling spice, optional
10 jalapeño chilies, I like to mix both red and green
6 -8 carrots, peeled and cut into coins about 1/4 inch thick
2 small onions, quartered
2 cups cauliflower separated or cut in to bite sized florettes
another optional addition is to add 10-12 cloves of peeled raw garlic

Cut the tops off the chilies and quarter them. Aim for flat even sized pieces. You can leave the seeds if you want the extra spicyness, or else remove them.

Add the sliced jalapeños, carrots, onions, and cauliflower to a glass jar large enough to hold everything comfortably (about 1/2 gallon).

Add vinegar, sugar, salt, and pickling spice together in a non reactive pot, heat, stir until dissolved, then pour the hot liquid mixture over the vegetables so that they are completely covered, once cool seal the jar and store in the fridge for at least one week before using. This mix should last about 6 weeks in the fridge.

This is a really lovely crunchy botana. Provecho!