Pickles Part 2

In the first part of of my pickling series I wrote about the basics of pickling. This was meant as a stepping stone for you. It is important to get comfortable with the basics before you start stepping outside of your comfort zone.

One of the most important parts of cooking is to understand that there are many little details that all add up to creating a great recipe or dish. Balance of flavors is one and texture is another. The look of the dish is almost as import as the flavor profile and this step should not be overlooked.

In this blog I am going to share a few different recipes to help you with getting started. The brine will always stay the same but and the changes will occur in the actual pickling jars.

  • Basic Pickling Brine
  • Apple cider vinegar (1 part)
  • water (2 parts)
  • Kosher pickling salt (enough so it is almost too salty for your palette)
  • Sugar (to balance the salt levels and add another layer to your pickles)
  • Pickling spice (a few tablespoons for every 2 liters of brine)
  • Whole Lemon
  • garlic (a few cloves for every few liters)
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • fresh rosemary sprigs

Bring this brine to a simmer and allow your ingredients to steep like a tea. While you are preparing the brine you can now begin to process your pickles.

It is best to make very large batches of this and have it ready for future use. If you decide to do pickling down the road then all you will have to do is simply bring the brine to a simmer.

Pickled Turnips

A perfect item for a chicken sandwich or burger. These can be found in Shawarma’s and can really lift up any sandwich with a unique bite and flavor.

  • Basic brine
  • slice the radish with as uniformly as possible with either a knife of mandolin
  • In the pickle jars prior to pouring the liquid on add a few slices of raw beets and whole garlic cloves
  • The beets will bleed into the turnips and the garlic will give them a sharper flavor.once the liquid is covering the pickles and the lid is on, give them a little shake to help the beets bleed into the whole jar. You can even store them upside down to help this process but make sure you have the lid sealed tightly.
  • These pickles will be ready after about 4 days or when they have turned a beautiful rose color

Pickled Fennel

a great addition to almost anything with fish such as fish and chips, salmon steaks, smoke salmon on a bagel & cream cheese or even an accompaniment to a cheese platter.

  • Basic brine
  • a few extra teaspoons of sugar in each jar
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill in each jar
  • a sprinkle of mustard seeds in each jar
  • shaved fennel
  • pour hot brine until jars are full
  • seal jars and put in fridge

These pickles will be ready after 2 days

pickled eggplant

a nice addition to a cold cut sandwich, stir-fry, or even a finishing element to a soup or salad.

  • Basic brine
  • thinly sliced Japanese eggplant
  • a few ounces of good quality soy sauce to each jar
  • a few ounces of sesame oil to each jar
  • a few tablespoons of sugar to each jar
  • a drizzle of fish sauce to each jar (optional)
  • pour the simmering brine over top
  • seal
  • store in fridge

These pickles will be ready after about 2-3 days

Pickled Cherries

a nice addition to a cocktail over the holidays, in a fresh salad, or morning pancakes or crepes

  • Basic brine
  • 1 cup red wine in each jar
  • 1 ounce triple sec or grande marnier to each jar
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar to each jar
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 1 slice of orange
  • pour hot brine over top
  • seal and store in the fridge

a little tip to the cherries is to leave the pits in so they keep a nice shape prior to using them. If not then they tend to get small and wrinkly and are not as crunchy or ascetically appealing.

These pickles will be ready after 1 week

Nana’s Pickles

These pickles stay crunchy as long as you keep them nice and cool. They are amazing on burgers, diced up into a tartar sauce, on a charcuterie platter, or simply a late night snack when passing the kitchen.

For this last recipe, I am going to share with you a family cucumber pickle recipe that holds a close place to mine and my families hearts. These are what started the whole obsession with both food and pickles with me way back when I was a little boy.

There is only one other pickle that I have been able to buy at a grocery store that come slightly close to these pickles and they are Claussen Kosher Dill Pickles. They are kept in the chilled section of your grocery store.

For this recipe you will not require a brine at all.

I will give you a recipe based on a 1 liter pickling jar.

  • 1 tablespoon of pickling spice and put it in the jar
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • fill will pickling cucumbers
  • repeat the same process as with the pickling spice, garlic, dill seeds, and fresh dill at the top of the jar.
  • cover with only water and seal the lids tightly
  • store in a very cool area if not in the refrigerator

These pickles will take somewhere between 1 and 2 weeks to be ready

One of the things that a professional cook does that makes their lives easier is to prepare everything at once. The fastest way to achieve this by doing all of the same steps at one time and then moving on and doing all of the next steps and so on.

Here is how I would go about doing multiple varieties of pickles at once. set out all of your jars

  • get a large batch of brine on the go.
  • prepare all of your vegetables, that is washing cutting etc.
  • fill your jars with the ingredients while the brine is heating up and make each one the way you want to.
  • clean up your mess and have the jars sitting beside the brine ready to go.
  • when the brine is finally simmering, all you have to do is simply use a ladle or small sauce pot to pour the hot brine over each one.
  • cover your jars and you are basically done.
  • One little note to watch out for is that if your knife skills are not fast and the brine begins to simmer prior to you finishing, make sure to check it before you use it. The more it reduces when simmering, the more intense the brine becomes such as too much salt or too acidic.
  • If you find that it has gotten too salty or too acidic then simply add a little more water until it is where you want it

Feel free to post questions or comments at any time for me to help you through your pickling adventures. If you want help with anything related to pickling I am always here for you.

I will be posting videos in the near future to help you, so stay tuned