Pickled Chiles

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_ (Chiles en Vinagre)_

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MAKES 8 CUPS

A variety of vegetables—traditionally, carrots, cauliflower florets, zucchini, and jicama— may be added to this fiery pickle. The vegetables are blanched separately, then added to the boiling vinegar with the chiles.

2 lbs. serrano chiles
6 cups cider vinegar
Salt
1 tsp. dried oregano,
preferably Mexican
4 bay leaves
3 black peppercorns
1 clove
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh marjoram
Grated zest of 1 lime
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 medium white onions,
peeled and sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled

1. Rinse chiles (discarding any that are blemished), pierce them with a fork, and set aside.

2. Put vinegar, 1 tbsp. salt, oregano, bay leaves, peppercorns, clove, ginger, cinnamon, thyme, marjoram, and lime zest into a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil pickling liquid for 5 minutes, then add chiles and boil for 3 minutes more. Drain chiles in a colander set over a bowl. Strain pickling liquid through a sieve into a large clean glass or ceramic jar, discarding solids. Discard herbs from chiles and add chiles to pickling liquid in jar.

3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until browned, 10-15 minutes. Add onions to jar with chiles.

4. Set jar aside to let pickling liquid cool. Adjust seasonings. Cover jar and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Chiles will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.