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Old 11-04-2018, 04:47 AM
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Ari Ari is offline
I read some of your foolish scree, then just skimmed the rest.
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bay Area
Gender: Male
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Default Pickle All the Things!

:dpickle: :pepper: :carrot: :vegcook: :carrot: :pepper: :dpickle:

Recently I've been pickling a few different things to be thrown into any assorted meal I make and thought I would share a few basic recipes and thoughts here. Many pickled things go great in asian style food as just a random tangy vegetable tossed in.

My two main methods are pretty simple, one is to just reuse pickle juice from a store bought brand you like, such as actual pickles, I've found jalapeno pepper vinegar brines to be good. Most pickling mixes are good for at least two pickling runs, so a store bought jar is strong enough for at least one more run, if not two.

The other is to make your own pickling mix, the base being a 1:1 of water and white vinegar, a tb spoon of salt to about every 2 cups of this mix, plus a bit of black pepper and chopped garlic. Sugar if wanting sweetness. Turmeric can be added for both a tangy flavor and a yellow coloring effect if you care about the color, many store brands just use food dyes to fake the extra green color. Add spices ad nauseam if you want, chillie flakes come to mind, but this mix does pretty well. Especially since they have a multiple run life I like to swap the brines so the white onions get lightly boiled with the jalapeno brine and vice versa.

Done in a 2 quart jar I fill it with chopped vegetable of choice, often onion, then poor in the brine. Some recipes say to heat the brine to boil and then pour it over them but I find the lazy all in the jar way works as long as you're not trying to do whole tomatoes or large items. Generally heated in the microwave just enough to get the brine moving and roiling and some of the vegies floating and then allow to cool at room temp for a couple hours works great and is ready to eat after those few hours or let sit over night for use next day. The more you boil things the faster they get the vinegar flavor but the more mushy they can get, hence why sturdy vegies are often used and cutting things into medium sized pieces allows for a quicker infusion, it's even good to break onion pieces up when they stick to each other so it's a bunch of individual pieces. (Note: I like to use jars with plastic lids but the extra lazy way is to use old pickle jars, this works so long as you wipe the lid and rim occasionally, the brine mixture will cause it to rust a bit.)

So far good success with Onions, both white and sweet are great to quick pickle. Red is great as well although expect anything put in with it to be turned a bit of a pink, the vinegar will strip the red to a neon color and color the water. Jalapenos and other peppers have a color change point turning dull and a drab green/yellow where they lose a portion of their "green pepper" flavor, so heating them until they all change or leaving some greener can have an effect on the flavor. Habeneros it seems less so because of their thinner skin, a light heating is all they need. Carrots work great and if you aren't like me and add ghost chili pepper flakes to the jalapenos to give them extra kick, carrot slices do indeed soak up spicy flavors quite well and are useful for taming a pepper as is cauliflower.

Actual cucumber pickles are best done with smaller pickling cucumbers and are best if heated then allowed to sit for awhile instead of boiled, too much boiling can mush them, and a colder process gives a snappier pickle, it just takes much longer. I want to get into doing fermented brine pickles but haven't yet. Which for those that don't know and that may not care about pickling of things, produces both the sour krouts and the Kimchis of the world, at least as long as they aren't imitation. It takes longer and can produce a bit more sour or varied flavor, as well as some gases, but a bit of the process is the same, the fermentation turns things into acids that permeate the vegi while in the absence of oxygen. The high acid environment then fends off most bad bacteria to pickle the veggies.
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BrotherMan (11-04-2018), Crumb (11-05-2018), Ensign Steve (11-05-2018), JoeP (11-04-2018), Kyuss Apollo (11-06-2018), lisarea (11-04-2018), slimshady2357 (11-04-2018), Sock Puppet (11-05-2018)

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