HAITIAN (QUICK) PIKLIZ
As of late, I've been feeling like pickled foods are everything (and said as much to Food Republic this week!). They add just the right amount of vibrancy and acidity to certain dishes, and this pikliz, a Haitian version, is no different. Haitian pikliz is a traditional condiment for the country - typically cabbage, onions, sweet and hot peppers, and spices soaked in vinegar and lime juice. It's tart with serious heat and depth of flavor.
My version is a bit different - rather than soaking the vegetables and waiting 3 to 5 days to eat it, I use a quick pickling technique that allows you to wait until it's cooled and enjoy right away. I also add a bit of daikon radish (totally optional) for a bit of extra crunch. The key to the incredible flavor is scotch bonnet peppers, typically a five alarm fire in your mouth. Don't let the scotch bonnet peppers scare you though - it's not like they are light work, but they won't burn your tongue off either here; the vinegar tames them.
This has been my staple for grilling season - kind of like coleslaw but with the benefit of hot sauce. Whole fish charred on the grill topped with this pikliz has been a weeknight fave. It goes great with chicken and especially pork, because it helps cut the fat. In Haiti, it's often paired with fried pork called griot (my recipe: here). Crunchy, fragrant, acidic, with that heat and flavor of the peppers...
Also, a pet peeve of mine...don't let the pickling liquid go to waste! A little pour in eggs, soups, a stir fry or a rice dish adds just the right kick. Enjoy!
Yields a 1 quart mason jar
2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced (I used savoy, the light green leaves only)
½ cup daikon radish, thinly sliced (optional)
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, grated
2 small sweet peppers or ½ bell pepper, thinly sliced
4-5 scotch bonnet, seeded and thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups raw cider vinegar
juice of ½ lime
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 scant teaspoon unrefined sugar
14 black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
To a 1 quart mason jar, add the cabbage, daikon radish (if using), onion, carrot sweet and hot peppers, scallion and garlic. It will probably be overflowing, but press down all of the vegetables as best as you can.
In a medium saucepan, bring the cider vinegar, lime juice, salt, sugar, peppercorns and cloves up to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the vegetables. Close the jar and let cool to room temperature before using. You can eat right away.
At this point you can refrigerate to store, but I like to keep it at room temperature for an extra day for a bit of fermentation and then refrigerate. It should keep for about 3 weeks.