Category Archives: vinegar

Refrigerator Garlic Dill Pickles

DSC_0205

I’ve never met a pickle I didn’t like.  From beans and carrots to beets and the traditional cucumber, I’m a fan of them all.  Pickled vegetable salads are a common feature on Balkan menus and as such, in the past two years I’ve tried pickled vegetables I never even imagined.  I’ve learned that cauliflower is surprisingly good when it has been sitting in a vinegary brine as are red peppers and even mushrooms. As much as I love pickles it was only recently that I started making my own.  A part of my reasoning for not making my own pickles is because they are so readily available on market shelves.  I am also the only pickle fan in my house so I was hesitant to invest a lot of time into something only I would enjoy.  And then I realized how easy it is to make my own pickles!

These cucumber pickles are the perfect solution to my pickle making phobia.  I am able to make them in small batches so there isn’t the fear of being inundated with more jars than I can possibly ever eat.  (With a move on the horizon the last thing I want to be packing up and moving is jars of pickles).  They cure overnight in a vinegar brine while sitting in the refrigerator so I can enjoy them the next day–no extended pickling process is necessary.  I used cucumbers for these pickles but you can easily substitute any vegetable you like.  Depending upon your preferences, you can add more or less spices.  And because this recipe only makes two pints, you can experiment with vegetable and flavor combinations without ending up with numerous jars of pickles you don’t like.  Unless you are like me and love all things pickled.

REFRIGERATOR GARLIC DILL PICKLES

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup cold water

2 tablespoons pickling salt

4 large pickling cucumbers

4 dill sprigs

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Combine the cider vinegar, water, and salt in a medium-sized sauce pot.  Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Divide the dill, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes between two one-pint canning jars or other glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Thoroughly scrub the cucumbers, discard the ends, and slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch coins.  Pack the two jars with as many cucumber coins as will snuggly fit.
  • Pour the hot pickling brine over the cucumbers to just cover.
  • Wipe the rims and seal with the lids.
  • Place the jars in the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least 24 hours before eating.

Yields:  2 pints

 

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Bacon Jam

 

The old adage that everything is better with bacon holds true.  In my quest for new bacon related recipes I stumbled upon this one from King Arthur Flour.  Because it is made in a crock pot, the hands on time for this dish is minimal and your entire house will be filled with the sweet and salty aroma of this jam before you are done.  I was initially taken aback by the ingredients, which individually I love but I just couldn’t fathom being put together as a single dish (maple syrup mixed with coffee???), but the results surprised me……..after all everything is better with bacon.  Whether served on bread slices and paired with a salad for a light dinner or paired with bread and goat cheese as part of a buffet table, this jam is a hit.

BACON JAM
 
1 1/2 pounds bacon
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup boiled cider
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
  •  Slice the bacon into 1″ slices and cook in a large skillet until well browned.  Drain the fat and reserve the bacon.
  • Place the cooked bacon and all other ingredients into a 2 quart or larger crock pot.  Cover and cook  on high for 3 to 4 hours.

  • Remove the cooked jam from the crock pot, remove the bay leaves, and carefully transfer to a food processor or blender.  (I used a bowl and my trusty stick blender).  Pulse until the consistency is to your liking, a soft, spreadable jam.  You can leave the bacon in larger bits or pulse until very small, depending upon your personal preferences.
  • If you find the jam too liquid for your taste, transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the liquid has evaporated and the jam is thick and syrupy.  Adjust the seasonings and serve warm.
  • Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Warm in the microwave before serving.
Yield:  2 cups

 

Cumin Dusted Pork w/ Apple Chutney

photo 1-308

For me, this dish screams fall and is a perfect way to use up some of those less than perfect apples. Chutney is incredibly versatile and so easy to make. You can make it with just about any fruit combination  and adjust the spices and seasonings accordingly. It also keeps well so you can make it ahead of time and keep stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, using it for this dish as well as other meats, as a dip or even a sandwich spread. Or you preserve it and it will keep on a cool shelf for much longer.

This chutney is more tart than sweet but if you prefer a sweeter version simply substitute a sweeter apple. And although it is served at room temperature, the spices have a warming quality to them making them the perfect accompaniment for the pork loin. (Of course, the chutney would also be good served alongside chicken). And the pork? The cumin and garlic powder add flavor without being overpowering leaving your taste buds ready for the chutney. Yum!

CUMIN DUSTED PORK w/ APPLE CHUTNEY

For the chutney:

1 pound tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

3/4 cup golden raisins

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

5 large garlic cloves, crushed and minced

5 whole cloves

1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3/4 teaspoon salt

  • Place the cider vinegar, brown sugar, white sugar and lemon juice in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and allow to cook until the sugars are completely dissolved.
  • Add the apples, raisins, ginger, garlic, cloves, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes and salt and stir well to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes until the apples are soft and the flavors have melded.
  • Remove from the heat, place in a bowl and allow to cool before serving at room temperature.
  • The chutney can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. For best flavor, allow to return to room temperature before serving.

Yields: 2 cups

For the pork:

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed

  • Lightly oil a grill and preheat it  to medium-high heat.
  • Combine the cumin and garlic powders, ground coriander, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Using your fingers, massage the spice rub into the pork tenderloin.
  • Place the pork in the center of the grill and cook, turning every 3-4 minutes for 16 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. (Cooking times may vary depending upon the grill).
  • Remove the pork from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve with the apple chutney.

Serves 4

A Trio Of Sauces: Honey Mustard, Chimichurri, & Ginger-Soy

Top to bottom:  Honey Mustard, Chimmichuri, Sesame Soy

Top to bottom: Honey Mustard, Chimichurri, Sesame Soy

I’m a condiment fanatic.  Our refrigerator door is always crammed with bottles and jars of sauces, dips, and pickled items that can take ordinary foods to a whole new level.  One type of mustard or vinegar is never enough for me since each has its own flavor profile that makes all the difference in their respective dishes.  Because of my love of discovering new condiments, our nomadic lifestyle is a mixed blessing for me.  While our travels allow me to discover new sauces and condiments that enhance my culinary repertoire, having to pack up and move–and therefore empty our refrigerator– every couple of years is hard.  Leaving behind wonderful the wonderful sauces and such is just so upsetting.

But not all condiments need to be purchased; in fact the best ones are those that are whipped up by hand in my own kitchen.  Combine a little of this and a dash of that and you have magic in a bowl in minutes.  This trio of sauces highlights just how versatile condiments can be.  All three take just minutes to make and while they can be used immediately, taste better after they sit for an hour or so.  The ingredient ratios are just suggestions as you can add more or less of an ingredient depending upon your own preferences.  If you love garlic, add more. If you aren’t a fan of Dijon mustard, substitute a stone ground one instead.  Experiment with different combinations of fresh herbs.  Dip cooked meats or vegetables into the sauces a al fondue style to bring a variety of flavors to the table that will be sure to please all palates.  Chicken or pork is particularly good when dipped in the ginger soy and honey mustard sauces.  Or marinate a flank steak in the chimichurri sauce before grilling.  The combinations and possibilities are endless so let your imagination go wild………….

HONEY-MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Allow to sit for 1/2 hour before using.

Yield 1/2 cup

CHIMICHURRI

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley

3 tablespoons cilantro

8 cloves garlic, crushed

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Roughly chop the parsley and cilantro.
  • Place in shallow bowl and using a stick blender puree until combined.
  • Add the garlic and continue to puree until smooth.
  • Add the remaining ingredients puree until combined.
  • Allow the sauce to sit for at least 1/2 hour before using. Adjust the salt and pepper before serving.

Yield 1 cup

GINGER SOY DIPPING SAUCE

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

5 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons warm water

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon Sriacha

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl until well blended.
  • Allow to sit for at least one hour before serving.

The sauce can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. Return to room temperature before using.

Yields 3/4 cup

 

Refrigerator Garlic Dill Pickles

DSC_0205

I’ve never met a pickle I didn’t like.  From beans and carrots to beets and the traditional cucumber, I’m a fan of them all.  Pickled vegetable salads are a common feature on Balkan menus and as such, in the past two years I’ve tried pickled vegetables I never even imagined.  I’ve learned that cauliflower is surprisingly good when it has been sitting in a vinegary brine as are red peppers and even mushrooms. As much as I love pickles it was only recently that I started making my own.  A part of my reasoning for not making my own pickles is because they are so readily available on market shelves.  I am also the only pickle fan in my house so I was hesitant to invest a lot of time into something only I would enjoy.  And then I realized how easy it is to make my own pickles!

These cucumber pickles are the perfect solution to my pickle making phobia.  I am able to make them in small batches so there isn’t the fear of being inundated with more jars than I can possibly ever eat.  (With a move on the horizon the last thing I want to be packing up and moving is jars of pickles).  They cure overnight in a vinegar brine while sitting in the refrigerator so I can enjoy them the next day–no extended pickling process is necessary.  I used cucumbers for these pickles but you can easily substitute any vegetable you like.  Depending upon your preferences, you can add more or less spices.  And because this recipe only makes two pints, you can experiment with vegetable and flavor combinations without ending up with numerous jars of pickles you don’t like.  Unless you are like me and love all things pickled.

REFRIGERATOR GARLIC DILL PICKLES

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup cold water

2 tablespoons pickling salt

4 large pickling cucumbers

4 dill sprigs

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Combine the cider vinegar, water, and salt in a medium-sized sauce pot.  Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Divide the dill, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes between two one-pint canning jars or other glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Thoroughly scrub the cucumbers, discard the ends, and slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch coins.  Pack the two jars with as many cucumber coins as will snuggly fit.
  • Pour the hot pickling brine over the cucumbers to just cover.
  • Wipe the rims and seal with the lids.
  • Place the jars in the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least 24 hours before eating.

Yields:  2 pints

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