This has been an adventurous week over here. I crossed two, yes TWO, things off my cooking bucket list!
Whoa – big things!
On Wednesday I cleaned and prepared mussels for the first time. This one I’m almost ashamed to admit. For the amount of mussels I’ve consumed in my life, I feel like I should have gotten to this eons ago. Nevertheless, they were amazing. White wine, lemon juice, fennel seeds, garlic… you get the picture. (I used this recipe, just not on a grill.) And yes, I ate all of them.
The second kitchen feat was homemade pickled vegetables. Whaaat? I know. Crazy.
Or is it?
After making them, I say hell no!
I used to think of pickled veggies as one of those things that just… exists. You go to the salsa bar and boom – there they are. Like croissants. Those aren’t a thing you make, they’re just there!
So if you’re weirded out right now, I feel ya. But let me ask you two things:
1. Can you boil water?
2. Can you slice vegetables?
If you answered yes to both those questions, you’re on the road to pickle some veggies! Woooo!
If you answered no… then we’ll have to save that for another post I guess.
What cured my pickling apprehension was Ted Allen’s feature in a recent Food Network issue which highlighted his new cookbook, In My Kitchen. I looked at the recipe and thought, “Oh… that’s it?!”
So much of my life spent not pickling!!
As I mentioned earlier, it’s about as simple as pouring some hot liquid over sliced vegetables.
And according to Ted, you can pickle anything using this method. So if you’re a pickled veggie fan, I’ll let you get to slicing!
Recipe from Ted Allen
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 6 teaspoons kosher salt
- several sprigs of fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns (if you have 'em)
- 6 kirby cucumbers, quartered lengthwise
- 6 young spring carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 handful large scallion pieces or green beans
- A few pieces of cauliflower to tuck wherever they'll fit
- 4 small hot red chiles or 2 jalapenos
- In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil, reduce the heat so the water simmers and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt, raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat.
- In 2 clear 1-quart jars, place a few sprigs of dill. Divide the seeds and peppercorns between the jars. Using tongs, remove the garlic from the brine and place 5 cloves in each jar. Then pack the jars full of cucumbers, carrots, scallions or green beans, cauliflower and chiles. You want them to be tightly stuffed.
- Bring the brine back to a boil, pour it over the vegetables to cover completely, let cool, then cover and refrigerate. The pickles will taste good in just a few hours, better after a couple of days. And they'll keep for about 3 months.