Archives for posts with tag: pickles

IMG_20170904_121123.jpgIt’s a bit terrifying beneath the skies controlled by Rocket Man and Barking Dog, when you know a misunderstanding or miscalculation, based on rabid ego or hungry id and advanced technological war toys, could render apocalypse for a terrible number of people.

And speaking of people, so many of us around the world have developed a fantastic love for Kimchi, food of the lands of Rocket Man – a salty, sour, umami, often fishy and spicy pickle that opens the taste buds and the heart– not that the germ-phobic Barking Dog would ever try a food so microbially rich.

It was with a personal prayer for understanding and peace that I experimented making Aubergine Kimchi in August. Aubergines were 39p a piece at a local supermarket, which felt unbelievably cheap for our neck of the woods. I’d been interested in the method for Ukrainian Sour Aubergines in Olia Hercules’s  Mamushka. Instead of beginning to ferment aubergines from raw, as do many American and British recipes, Read the rest of this entry »

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Shredded CARROTS and RADISHES, RUBYKRAUT, PICKLED CHILLIS and CELERY, CORIANDER, DILL, OIL and SCRAP APPLE BLACKBERRY VINEGAR.

Often when I teach workshops, participants seeking the health benefits of fermented foods ask about consuming them: how do we eat these foods? how do we incorporate them into our diet, our day, our meals? How do we use the ferments we make?

So I launch into my talk on the variable use of the word “pickle” and the idea of a savoury morsel, and sauerkraut and kimchi as foods that go as condiments or digestives or piquant flavour-rounders with many other foods.  And of course you can cook with ferments, and traditionally around the world many functioned to preserve raw ingredients later to be be used in cooked dishes like soups and stews. I explain how I like to toss kraut and small pieces of pickles in green salads, and sometimes to puree them in dressings, and to add probiotic, succulent brine to bolster flavour and acid. Raw is good for maximum bacterial benefit.

Lately I’ve been layering ferments in root vegetable salads.  These salads are nourishing, delicious, filling, and can be invented truly from what’s on hand in a well-stocked kitchen of local and seasonal ingredients. If you find yourself fermenting, then you’ll have interesting, creative fermented elements to incorporate, for endless possibilities, into your meals.

The formula I’ve been obsessed with is so basic: shredded roots, layered with a ferment and fresh herbs, then dressed.  And add whatever you like. Proportions are yours to decide. Leftovers are yours to use up.  Alliums, garlic, ginger and spices– yours to choose.

Here are a few salads I’ve made recently on this theme.

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Shredded BEETROOT and LEEK, RED ONIONS, SAUERKRAUT w white cabbage, spring greens, radish tops, coriander and cumin seed and ginger, PARSLEY, RED PEPPERS, Olive Oil and Vinegar.

 

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SWEDE (rutabaga), CARROT, KIMCHI with dandelion, cleavers, alexanders, chives, CORIANDER LEAF, DILL, YELLOW and RED PEPPERS, OLIVE OIL, LEMON JUICE, SESAME OIL.

 

 

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SWEDE, CARROT, LEEK, CELERY, some smashed PRESERVED LEMON, SAUERKRAUT, DILLWEED, AVOCADO,  the TURMERIC-Y BOTTOM of a JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE PICKLE, Olive Oil. (Fish would have been so nice in this!)

 

 

 

 

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Is it a dip? A pate? Not sure, but three times I’ve found myself bringing spreads made of pumpkin seeds, onion, fresh coriander and pickled jalapeños to parties.  Originally I read a version of Sikil Pak, a Mayan Yucateco dish, interpreted in an extravagantly chef-like way (orange zest, really?) on Tasting Table, and have sought since to backtrack to something more simple to learn about what it could be.

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Kimchi-Love here, maybe addictive passion, but I am not alone. Variations are fun and endless and you will be rewarded for experimenting with what you have. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oranges: a fermented chipotle salsa; a sour pickle with fenugreek and mustard; a scrap vinegar beauty cure; and dried orange peels for many uses…

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LOOKING BACK AT THE DEADLY SUPER-TYPHOON, FEELING INSPIRED BY THE CLIMATE WALK IN THE PHILIPPINES, AND MAKING ATCHARA, A FILIPINO PICKLE, TO TIE IT ALL TOGETHER.  REFLECTIONS AND A SONG, A RECIPE, AND A VIDEO….

Nearly a year ago, Typhoon Haiyan / Typhoon Yolanda was forming, to assault the Philippines (and other countries too) with incredible violence, killing at least 6,300 people and destroying huge swathes of towns, homes, communities, and property.  The strength of the storm was terrifying, and watching the destruction unfold very upsetting and deeply life-altering for people who lived through it.  For anyone who’d imagined Climate Change in the future, here it was now, announcing itself with fury and catastrophic chaos.

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A quick post.

SO GOOD.  A few months ago I began a fermentation of jalapeño peppers, just cut in half, with some garlic– you know, salty brine etc. etc. etc.  Impulsively I added some garlic scapes, the stalk with the unblossomed flower head that you take off your garlic so energy stays in the bulb.  I enjoyed making spirals of the long stalks, laying them in the jar,  kept them under the surface of the water with a glass weight, and then, truth be told, forgot about that jar.

Well the Jalapeño-infused Scape is one of the most delicious, mildly hot, surprising crazy pickle I’ve had!

And so fun to eat, or rather, to gobble as it descends a bit, centimetre by centimetre, like a snake, which of course when long it looks like.  Here’s just a fragment in a horse-shoe shape to show you, and actually, to remind myself in the future to make this again.

REALLY EASY, REALLY DELICIOUS.

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Dharma Plums, in which KitchenCounterCulture rises to the Plum Glut occasion with the savoury inspirations of salt, chili, ginger, garlic and beyond…

Plums are ripening on the trees and falling on the ground, and my friend Pippa has more plums than she and all her friends can manage. What a hectic thrill and opportunity to make Plum Kimchi and a British style chutney inspired by the same ingredients… with lessons learned from lacto-fermented pickles and dried plums a few years ago…

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Pickled Cascabellas

Grateful for the call: my husband found himself in Ridley Road Market in Dalston in Hackney in London, and did I want chilis, they were so cheap! Handfuls and handfuls for a quid. Of course I did! And how I wish I were there. I love city markets, that buzz of a globe’s worth of people in one place, the excitement of spices and cuisines and fresh and rot and fun conversations and always wondering , of course, about the journeys the food has taken (much of it kind of agribusiness off-cast) and the journeys and lives of sellers and customers too… Anyway, despite this blurry photo, which is a story in itself, I enjoyed slicing the peppers and putting them in a mix of my wild crafted rhubarb and pineapple vinegars, a little fresh marjoram (with flowers) as I’ve done jalapenos in the past. Yellow so pretty!  I did not enjoy the sting in my eyes having rubbed them, though I’d carefully washed my hands after chopping.   I’ve met someone who grows an array of gorgeous peppers in a polytunnel, in a nearby town, and I’m excited to learn all about what he does.  Local chilis!   These particular pickles I’m hoping to save for a pop-up Mexican feast coming your way — stay tuned…

Fermenting with the Faeries

These were the seed pods of a few rocket plants that bolted in the heat wave earlier this summer. I wanted to know if the pod itself would be nicely edible, easy to slide down the teeth, like edamame, or to mange tout, like mangetout — a delightful little pickle for the Vegetable Faeries of the Raised Bed. They were the prettiest little nibbles ever, even if chewy and stringy. A worthy experiment, and the fermenting brine, sour, salty and herby with coriander and garlic.

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