Pickled Red Onions a la Mexico

I love food.  Admittedly Mexican food is not my favorite. Why you ask?  I am not a huge fan of legumes as you may have noticed if you've been reading my recipes. In the effort to "broaden my spectrum" during a recent trip to Puerto Moreles, I tried every non-beany thing I could get my hands on.  I am happy to report I am in love with chimmichangas and pickled onions. 

Here's my interpretation of the pickled onions I had, using the limited Northern hemisphere ingredients.

2 large red onions
1 chili
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of beet juice (if you don't have a juicer, boil a shredded beet in water for about 20 minutes, and use the strained liquid)
1/2 water
1 cup white distilled vinegar
black peppercorns
bay leaf
5 limes
2 oranges
1-2 tablespoons of salt (salt to taste of pickle brine)


Clean and slice onions in halves.  Slice the halves into half rings about 5mm in diameter. Do this against the "grain" of the onion, to retain the crunch after pickling.  Boil vinegar, water, beet juice and crushed garlic with bay leafs to achieve boiling.  Pour the vinegar solution over the sliced onions (make sure the liquid covers all the onions).  Drain after 5 minutes.

Slice a chili in half and remove seeds (you can keep them if you want a hotter pickled onion).  Place the chili and onions in a jar.  Squeeze juice from limes and oranges and mix in the salt.  Pour the juice mixture over the onions in the jar.  Let cool on the counter before moving into the refrigerator.  Like the mushrooms I've made before they are ready to eat in about 4 hours, though I did sneak a taste before. 

These are amazing chopped small onto hot, meaty stews.  Add a little cilantro too.  Per recommendation from a friend (thank you I.), I've also used them in a salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, a little pickling juice and olive oil.

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