This is Week #41 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.
Phew, it has been yet another busy/crazy/unusual week! I got my first snarky blog comment this week. DELETE. I guess I'm lucky that it has taken a year for that to happen! And my boys have both been sick. Elijah experienced four croup episodes within a three-day span. And life is just plain busy for me right now. I'm trying to start a photography business, while accomplishing everything else I already have going. It's a lot. But it will be worth it.
One of the good parts of the week was these pickles! Seriously! I was very pleasantly surprised about how they turned out. I had low expectations, mostly because I've never made pickles before. I am also kind of a picky pickle person. After brining for only one day, they were totally delicious! Who knew that pickles could become pickles so quickly and easily?!
You will need three 1-quart glass jars. Two for the veggies, and one for mixing the brine. Here is a list of vegetables you can use and how to prepare them:
(For 1 quart, use 12 ounces of vegetables.)
Asparagus – Blanch trimmed asparagus spears in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain well, transfer to a plate and let cool.
Broccoli stems – Peel tough skin away and cut stems into slender sticks.
Carrot sticks – Blanch sticks in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and cool.
Cauliflower florets – Cut into small florets. Blanch the florets in boiling water for 1 minutes, drain and let cool.
Green beans – steam beans for 2 minutes, transfer to a plate and let cool.
Kirby cucumbers – Quarter unpeeled cucumbers for pickle spears or slice them into thin rounds for pickle chips.
I doubled the recipe and made four jars of pickled vegetables. I made broccoli (1), cucumbers (2) and asparagus (1). I loved the pickled cucumbers, also known as pickles. Totally adored them. I very much enjoyed the asparagus, and didn't care much for the broccoli. And I'm a broccoli girl.
Pack your vegetables into two clean jars. In another jar, combine:
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
6 large garlic cloves, halved
Shake to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add 2 cups of water and pour brine over the vegetables.
Tuck the following in between the veggies:
4 to 6 long red or green hot chiles, halved lengthwise
16 dill sprigs
Add water to the jars so that the vegetables stay submerged. Close jars and refrigerate overnight or up to 1 month.
If you enjoy pickles, I promise you will not be disappointed (not speaking for the broccoli). I will make this recipe again and again!