Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The "Food in Jars Mastery Challenge" - April: Quick Pickles

The April challenge in the 2017 Food in Jars Mastery Challenge was for Quick Pickles. To be honest, I had a bit of trouble getting interested in this one.  I like pickles just as much as the next gal, but have several kinds of pickles and pickled peppers already in my refrigerator and pantry.  Also, I was wanting to do something different, something 'challenging,' something I hadn't done before.

A couple summers ago, I ran across this recipe for Taco Pickles (recipe is at the bottom of page at that link.)  I thought they sounded good and made them and we ate them with shredded pork tacos and some other things.

I thought about making them again for the April challenge, but in the spirit of 'something different,' I instead used this recipe for Quick Pickled Vegetables. Using it as a guide, I used 4 cups of diced vegetables, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup white vinegar, 3 teaspoons sugar and 3 teaspoons salt.  In most things that my husband and I pickle, we use a combination of apple cider vinegar and white vinegar because we like the flavor combination.  Using all apple cider vinegar makes it too sweet, all white vinegar too bitter. Just our opinion and preference!

For the vegetables, I used carrots, radishes, sweet peppers, jalapenos, red onion, and garlic cloves (not pictured because I almost forgot them, they were added after photos were taken.)

Next time, I think I will add some cucumber too. Problem being the more vegetable types you add, the harder it is to make a small enough amount to fit in one jar, which was my goal here.

When I had all of the vegetables ready to go, I put them in the jar (this is about a quart or so, I believe it's a 1.3-liter jar.  It was the second one I had to sterilize, because the first one I had out to use was smaller and was not large enough.)  Once this larger jar was ready, everything I had diced fit into it except about 10 pieces of carrots.  My brittany spaniel Bill was happy to have an afternoon snack - the dogs don't usually get their carrots cut all fancy.  Once the vegetables were in the jar, I poured the warm vinegar/salt/sugar mixture over them to an inch or so within the top.

This happened on Saturday and then, these beauties sat in the fridge for a day before we tried them.  We had a bit of a smoked meat extravaganza on Sunday to get some food ready to go for the week that included pork shoulder, chicken and brats - and I am happy to report that these quick 'pickles' are awesome with all of these things.  It's now Tuesday and the jar is almost half gone.



As I was looking at "Quick Pickle" recipes to decide what to make for the April challenge, I also found a recipe for pickled ginger.  I had a chunk of ginger root in the fridge that was getting pretty tired, so I decided to give this a try too.


I peeled the ginger root and then sliced it as thin as I could without cutting off my finger. Then, I put it in a bowl, sprinkled about 1/2 teaspoon sea salt on it and let it sit for about an hour.

Once it was done relaxing in the salt, I put it into a 4-ounce (sterilized) jelly jar. I topped it off with a liquid mixture of 1/2 cup of hot rice vinegar and 1/8 cup sugar (dissolved.) Then, I put it in the fridge.  We haven't tried any of it yet, and the recipe says it stays good in the fridge for up to one week.  Guess we better try some soon!