Pickling for the Plutarchs
So I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine and the question cam up about pickling. How to do it and what to use. And I thought there for a moment, shit what do I know about it? I thought i knew the basic premise behind it; you know it is kind of like brining meats. Its vinegar, spices, bay leaf, salt and a little bit of time.
And then I thought that of all the things that I learned in my years of working in a kitchen, this is one of the few things that I did not learn about.
So here is a basic run through of how to pickle, well, just about anything.
The whole premise behind pickling is to preserve the food for long period through cooking the food stuffs with the acidic nature of your pickling broth.
I recently got some Jersey cucumbers from the farmers’ market and tested it out for my self. And when doing actual pickles I do recommend using dill as a means of cutting through the sour of the vinegar.
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp pepper corns
1 tsp of mustard seed
2 pinches of chili flake
1/2 bunch of dill
2 cups of cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup of water
2-3 bay leaves
Take your ingredients and mix them all together in a stock pot. Turn the heat on and bring the concoction to a boil and then turn it of and let the temp come down. Add enough pickles to the mixture so that that are covered in the liquid. Add a plate on top of them and then let them sit for 2-3 hours.
This means of pickling gives you the classic “kosher” pickle taste and flavor of sour, sweet, spicy, and salty with the snap of a fresh cucumber.
Now this is the recipe that I am currently playing with and so it is still in the developmental stages.
But the idea comes now with the push for farm fresh produce and with the horn of plenty staring you in the face, what do you do with all the extra? When you buy too much, or if you are lucky, when you grow too much? You do the same things my grandparents did, and their parents and generations did before them for hundreds of years: pickle and store.