Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Quick Pickles

Pickles. In the supermarkets they are a frightening pigment of green. It seems as if they are glowing with radiation. Yes they are more convenient, drop them in your cart and pay for them. But if you just give your vegetables a little bit of briny love you’ll be much happier with the taste and crunch.

Pickling is a great way to preserve food, they aid in digestion and like most fermented foods provide important nutrients. You can use turnips, radishes, cabbage, pearl onions (for a homemade twist on a ‘Gibson’) or cucumbers. Right now at the Union Square Green Market 1 large bunch of radishes is $1 but they start to deteriorate drastically after a day so I started to pickle them, there was a carrot in the house and I bought a turnip for the express use of pickling (Because the only way they can taste better is if you roast them and that will not be happening in the summer heat).

This recipe is for a fairly large jar of pickles. So make 1”x1” cubes of the radish or turnip to add to a salad for zing or big rounds to put on your burgers (Lamb Burger) or use them to nurse a hangover. Have fun.

Quick Pickles


1 Carrot
1 Daikon Radish
½ Cup Rice Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Mirin
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
3 Tablespoons Water
½ Tspn Sriracha
1 Clove


1 1000ml Mason Jar

1. Slice the carrots and daikon in whatever shape you think you’d like to eat pickles, place them in your jar. Rounds are great for sandwiches, the matchsticks for just snacking and the small cubes to add as a complement to a salad and on and on.
2. Combine all liquid ingredients and the clove into a sauce pan and bring up to a boil for 1 minute.
3. Pour pickling brine over vegetables and let sit out on the counter, top off (covered with a paper towel or clean dish towel to aid in fermentation) at room temperature for up to six hours. Refrigerate. They will keep for at least month, but you’ll probably be finished with them by then.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mango Pico de Gallo

Its HOT outside. Which means your body is craving cooler foods like salads, fruits, fresh veggies and of course the occasional roast pork butt and burgers (It wouldn't be summer without those two things for sure). For those of you that crave the former, salsa's and 'pico de gallo' are the answer. This recipe is kind of a cross between the two. You can use it as a compliment to a grilled fish dish, or as a salsa for dipping tortilla chips into or just as a fresh salad to munch on. Its quick and easy to make; this took me 20 minutes.

1 Mango, diced into small cubes
2 Roasted Red Peppers
½ Lemon, juiced
½ Lime, juiced
1 Tspn Sriracha (See Shrimp & Steel Cut Oats recipe)
½ Tspn Salt
1 Tbls Coriander
1 Tspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Large Red Onion, diced fine
1 Cup Cilantro, chopped fine

1. Dice up the mango into small cubes. This is more daunting than I lead you to believe. Toss the cubes into a large mixing bowl
2. I used ‘Roland Fire Roasted Red Peppers’. They are awesome and skinless, unlike the other Roland Red Peppers. You can of course roast your own but that takes 30-40 minutes. Dice’em up into similar sized cubes like the Mango.
3. Juice the lemon and lime in a separate small bowl. Add coriander, sriracha, salt and olive oil. Mix well with a whisk.
4. Dice up the onion and cilantro into smithereens! Are you having fun yet?
5. Toss it all into a bowl and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with tortilla chips
6. Listen to all the laudatory comments you receive for less than 20 minutes worth of work.

*You may have observed Black Beans in the picture of the salsa, I did put them in but then wished I hadn’t. Leav’em out.