I was out with Michael last week, in a local grocery store and while He was looking at poppadoms ... i wandered off.
Wow, i found pickled garlic. Pickled garlic if you've never had it, is a wonderful thing. Delicious with a steak, a good sandwich or served with antipasto or just cold cuts.
But i digress, this store, which has ideas above its station, had small jars of pickled garlic on SALE for $7.99. I mean if there were two full heads of garlic in there i'd be surprised. The regular price is $10.99.
Mmmm, i wanted some. But this boy is not paying that price.
Fresh pickles are a glorious food. They are still recognizable as what they were. Cucumber still has it's clean flavour, onions are still aromatic and garlic is garlic just mellower. I often quickly pickle some red onion to have with burgers or on curry. You only need a few hours, the produce of course, and a few basic ingredients. Things like mustard seed, fennel seed, whole black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, red or white vinegar and some sugar.
All those are nice but i often don't have them, well except the peppercorns (always grind your own pepper!!). So i make the pickling liquid from what i have.. sometimes water, vinegar, pepper and sugar. If i have whole seed mustard i add a bit, or even just some ballpark or Dijon... just a teaspoon or so.
Pack your sliced onion, or cucumbers or nice garlic (buy the freshest you can find) peeled of course into a heat proof jar. Pour the pickling liquid over the top. Put on the lid and stick it in the fridge. In a few hours... heaven. There is a basic recipe below but add a bay leaf and a couple of peppercorns if that is all you have in...
I'd recommend dropping the garlic cloves into a bit of boiling water and cooking for 3 minutes. Then pack in a heatproof jar. Then add the following to small saucepan and boil until the sugar disolves. Then pour over your garlic:
· ⅔ cup water
· ⅓ cup white or red vinegar
· ¼ cup sugar
· 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
· ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
· ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
· ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
· ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Refrigerate the jar(s) for up to a month.
But don't keep it... eat it!! The above can be used for any pickled vegetable. These need to be in the fridge and eaten. They will not last like your jar of Vlasics !!
Enjoy ... Make your own food!