Quick Pickled Vegetables

 
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I hope you're not saying "YUK."

Pickled vegetables get a bad rap. Soggy, vinegar infused mush. By golly, those were the picked vegetables of yesteryear! Today's pickled vegetables are crisp, flavorful and...

Do I sound like an ad for the Pickled Vegetable Council? 

Well, I'm a sucker for anything pickled. Perhaps not  a pickled human toe, but I'll admit I'm willing to try most anything. I hopped on the pickle bandwagon at the ripe old age of five with the sickly sweet pickled beets in a jar which I would eat with almost every meal. I swear my pores wept beet juice. Thankfully, pickled "things" don't turn my kids off. I'm not quite sure what I'd do if my offspring turned their tiny noses up at a pickle - I suppose I'd just have to sit in a dark closet gorging myself with vinegary delights.

I made a batch of these vegetables the other day and had help from my seven year old daughter who eagerly helped me pick out some funky looking heirloom radishes, beets, and the most beautiful purple carrots I've seen in a while.

You can alter the veg according to taste. Cauliflower, bell peppers or fennel would be a nice alternative. Serve drizzled with some good quality extra virgin olive oil along side roasted meats, a nice sandwich or straight out of the jar.


QUICK PICKLED VEGETABLES

 

  • 1 bunch baby carrots, peeled, quartered and blanched for 3o seconds to 1 minute
  • 3 medium yellow or red beets, peeled and sliced paper thin - use a mandolin if you have one
  • 1 bunch radishes, quartered
  • 1/2 english cucumber sliced into 1/2" rounds
  • 1/4 sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
  • fresh dill sprigs to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbs crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seed
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 cups unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs sea salt
  • 3 18oz ball, weck or any other containers with a tight fitting lid

Evenly distribute blanched carrots and vegetables and dill into glass jars. Place garlic, red pepper, coriander, pepper, vinegar, water, sugar and salt into medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk to dissolve sugar and salt.

Pour hot brine over vegetables, making sure they're completely submerged. Let stand until vegetables have cooled and are room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours.

Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for about 4 weeks.

 

Basic Pie Dough

 
Basic Pie Dough

Pie dough can be quite a touchy subject for many cooks. Most people have a special recipe and everyone thinks theirs is the best. Others flip-flop from one recipe to the next, striving for perfection. I get it, having struggled with my own "pie-dentity" over the years. I had a short lived pie delivery company awhile back and quickly discovered the whole loving-your-hobby-and-turning-it-into-a- job thing just didn't work for me. After I closed up shop I didn't make another pie for at least a year.

I don't consider myself an expert baker by any means, I can however make a kick-ass pie or tart. Don't be tempted to run to the store to buy a pre-made crust for that next apple pie or chicken pot pie you plan on baking for Sunday dinner. Try this recipe. I love that this dough is easy to prepare, and yields a beautifully flaky light crust. I use it for sweet pies, savory tarts and everything in between. I'll usually make a few batches, freezing what I don't need just in case I have the urge to bake something in the middle of the night.


BASIC PIE DOUGH

yields enough for two 9" pies

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup cold, diced, unsalted butter
  • 6 tbs ice water

In the bowl of a food processor combine flour, sugar, salt and cold butter. Pulse until mixture looks like coarse meal. Turn machine on and add water one tablespoon at a time. Combine until dough hold together and looks like a misshapen lump.

On a floured surface gather dough into a ball and cut in half. Flatten into equal sized disks and wrap in plastic, let rest for an hour in the fridge before rolling out. Dough should be smooth and silky while rolling out. Can be frozen up to two months.

 

 

 

Paris In Photos

 
Paris Sunset

Last year around this time  I was in Paris, biting into a warm crusty baguette from Eric Kayser and downing a glass of champagne. I would say sipping, but that would be an understatement considering my jet lag. Champagne is good for jet lag, right? 

I was preparing to run the half-marathon through the centuries old cobblestone streets of Paris. I imagined spectators lining the streets cheering us on, runners given paper cups filled with Bordeaux to hydrate and delicious miniature chocolate eclairs for energy. Unfortunately for me, a few days prior to the race I injured my knee, leaving me unable to run. Thankfully I had the sights, sounds and tastes of Paris to cheer my sour mood up.

Who knows, maybe next year I'll give the half-marathon another try...