As TD will agree, my love for the hot carrot borders on embarrassing. A staple of the Southern California taco stand, I often force him into causing a distraction so that I can heap these spicy little gems directly onto whatever I’ve ordered, completely bi-passing the appropriate little dishes provided. Who am I kidding, whatever I’ve ordered is just a beard to deliver the hot carrots.
Also embarrassing? It’s taken me this long to realize I could make my own at home.
In researching recipes I discovered that what I thought was a requisite member of any good salsa bar may just be regional. Most recipes I found suggest that the hot carrot originated in a Mexican restaurant in San Diego called Julio’s. Julio’s is no longer open and sadly, I don’t remember ever going there while growing up. But, his legacy is strong and far-reaching.
Sadly, not the first Kitchen God photo bomb this blog has seen.
I thought this would be a fun fourth of July recipe because somewhere along the way I found an Alton Brown creation called Firecracker Carrots. Sadly, his recipe uses baby carrots. The blasphemy.
Will I stop raiding the spicy carrot bowl at our local taco shop? Have you met me? But, at least in my house, hot carrots have been elevated from a sometimes food to an all-the-time food.
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Foster the People…in an attempt to will a new album into existence.
San Diego Style Hot Carrots
source: this recipe is a little like salsa, I mixed and matched ingredient lists until I got a blend I liked
- 2 lbs carrots
- 1 large yellow onion
- 7 ounce can pickled jalapenos (with juice)
- 2 C apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBS oregano
- 1 TBS kosher salt
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 TBS oil (I used olive)
- Clean and peel carrots. Slice on the diagonal to about 1/2 inch thick.
- Add carrots to a large saucepan and bring to boil in about 24 ounces water. Once water hits a steady boil, set timer for 5 minutes. Promptly drain carrots in a collander.
- While water is heating, thinly slice onion.
- In a large bowl, combined onion, jalapenos and juice, vinegar, spices, bay leaves and oil.
- Add blanched carrots to bowl. Mix until all ingredients are well distributed.
- Cover bowl and let mixture cool for three hours.
- Hot carrots can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. They won’t last that long, I promise.