Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Pickled May Day

I spent my Saturday attacking the monster level of grass and weeds in my yard with a weed eater and my gloved hands.  I woke up almost unable to get out of bed this morning.  Enough with the yard for the weekend! Forget the raking that needs to be done - it can wait. Time to pickle some things instead! 
Two of my friends recently got carried away with their shopping and were kind enough to share their over abundance with me.  My friend Sony was over zealous with her Costco shopping and bought herself a whole bag of garlic - for one person!  I use a lot of garlic, but that's just too much for one person for every day cooking.  And my friend Michelle bought a pound of serrano peppers not realizing they might be a little too spicy for her taste.  For some reason they both thought I might be a good person to offer their excess purchases too.  Imagine that! 

But, I live 2 weeks of every month alone, and the other 2 with my girls, who eat like birds, so there was no way I was going to be able to use all of this abundance up with conventional every day cooking either, so I decided it was time to get the canning equipment out.  Time to PICKLE!

I started with the serrano's.  I found this great recipe from Rob Walsh's blog Texas Eats. Normally I fool around with peoples recipes and make them my own, but this just sounded too good to mess with.  The only difference is my serrano's weren't red.  I have to say, the smell in my kitchen while I was putting this together was spectacular.  I love the smell of chili's!  The serrano's I had were pretty mild, so they didn't overwhelm like pepper's usually do, they just made the house smell delicious, homey, pleasant.  Perfect for what felt like a summer day here in Humboldt. 

1 lb of serrano's, 1 lb of carrots, 1/2 lb onion, 1 1/4 cup white vinegar, 5 cloves of garlic peeled and quartered, t tbs olive oil, 1 tbsp Mexican oregano, 1 tbsp pickling salt, and 4 bay leaves - click on the Texas Eats link above for all of the instructions.

These babies aren't run through a hot water bath canning process, so they're perishable and need to be kept refrigerated.  I can't wait to taste them in a few days!

Now for the garlic!  Man!  Even with blanching garlic is a challenge. The pickling is easy, but it takes a lot of patience peeling all those cloves.  This would be a good thing to do with a friend or two.  It would go a little faster with extra hands, plus it would just be a nice way to sit and chat while you make it happen. 

I found this recipe at this awesome site called Gourmet Garlic Gardens.  This site has a lot of great information on garlic, you should check it out. 
Once I got my 10 heads of garlic separated, I blanched the cloves for 30 seconds in boiling water then threw them into some ice cold water to keep them from cooking any more.  This made it a lot easier to get the peel off of the cloves. 

I then combined 2 1/2 cups vinegar, 1 cup of white wine (can't help but wonder how red wine would do in this),1 tbsp pickling salt, 1 tbsp sugar 1 1/2 tbsp Mexican oregano and boiled that for 1 minute.  Removed it from the heat and added the peeled garlic and stirred for one minute. 

I then packed the garlic into 3 hot, sterilized pint jars, added one dried chili to each jar, then the hot liquid up to within 1 cm of the top of the jar.  I knocked the air bubbles out with a rubber spatula, wiped the rims clean, put the lids on and then processed them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.  If you're at an elevation over 1000 ft increase the time by 5 minutes, 10 minutes if you're over 3000 ft and 15 if you're over 6000 ft. 

And there you have it!  A pickled Sunday!

1 comment:

Ask Ms recipe said...

Stopping in with from Ask Ms Recipe. I've got a food linky on Marvelous Menu for you to link so we can visit each other. It's posted on Monday, no need for menu anything food related is okay.

Until Next time,