Pickle Day 2013: Make It Spicy!

Pickle Day 2013 Make it Spicy

The first man I saw… had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers. He told me, he did not doubt, that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the governor’s gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate.  Gulliver’s Travels, Part 3, Chapter 5.

We’ve been reading Gulliver’s Travels this week, and, when we got to the part where the scientists at the academy in Lagado were trying to extract sunlight from cucumbers, the kids reminded me that we hadn’t yet put up any of our famous Bread & Butter Pickles! Needless to say, we went right out and picked up some baskets of summer-fresh pickling cucumbers….far too many cukes, actually…almost double the amount we trucked home last year!

So, in addition to our classic Bread & Butter Pickles and Sweet & Tangy Pickle Relish, we decided to “put the heat” right back into those cucumbers….And, we came up with three new Spicy! recipes:  Gochujang Pickle Sticks, Summer-Hot Cucumber Pickle Sticks, and, finally, Spicy, Sweet, & Tangy Pickle Relish.

Gochujang Pickle Sticks
Gochujang Pickle Sticks

Makes approximately 6 pints


IMG_7218IMG_7217Since our trip to Boston, I have become OBSESSYESYESYESYESSED with Gochujang [Korean Red Pepper Paste] and I’ve been adding it to all of my hot lunches!  You can pick it up at Asian markets, some major grocery stores and select health food stores. And I’ll pass on the tip I was given: when shopping for Gochujang, look for a minimum amount of ingredients in the paste – ie red peppers, water, rice vinegar, and sugar – and avoid MSG.  This recipe makes for a mild spiced pickle, but you can amp up the heat by adding the optional pepper flakes and hot sauce below.

9 c quartered pickles [small pickles, about 4 in long]
2 c sliced vidalia onions
2 c sliced green hungarian peppers
1 c sliced red pepper
5-6 cloves garlic
.25 c pickling salt
4 c cider vinegar
4 c sugar [we used 2 brown, 2 white]
2 tbs somewhat recklessly diced ginger
5 tbs gochujang [Korean red pepper paste]
3 tbs fish sauce
3 tbs sriracha or other hot sauce [optional – but highly recommended]
1-3 tsp red chili flakes [optional]
1 small dried red chill for the bottom of each jar [optional]
See Method Below! 

Summer-hot cucumber pickle sticks

Summer-Hot Cucumber Pickle Sticks
Makes about 6 pints
9 c quartered pickles [small pickles, about 4 in long]
2 c sliced vidalia onions
2 c sliced green hungarian peppers
1 c sliced red pepper
4-6 sliced jalapeno peppers
5-6 cloves garlic
.25 c pickling salt
4 c cider vinegar
1 c white vinegar
1 c water
3 c sugar [1 brown, 2 white]
2 tbs dill seeds
2 tbs mustard seeds
1 tbs turmeric
1 tbs celery seed
1 tbs ground mustard
1 tbs red flakes
2 tbs black peppercorns
a few splashes of your favourite hot sauce [optional]Gochujang and Summer-Hot Pickle Sticks: Method

IMG_7209Slice and Crisp your Veggies:
Crank up the music or turn on your favourite movies and slice all of your veggies.
In a large bowl or stock pot, mix the veggies, garlic, and pickling salt.
Place a thick layer of crushed ice over the top of the veggies.
Cover the pot and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours, but no more than about 12.

Sterilize your Jars:
Fill your canning pot with water and bring the water to a boil.
Place 6-12 pint-sized mason jars [or the equivalent] on a canning rack set inside the pot to sterilize and warm.
Meanwhile, warm the canning lids [but not the screw tops – we stack ours aside on a meat cleaver] in a small pot of water set upon your smallest burner.
Remove hot jars from the boiling water with tongs or the like and set upside-down to dry.
Keep that canning pot of water boiling.

Spicy! Pickle:
Drain the veggie mixture in a colander (rinse if you’d like) and set aside.
In a large stock pot, combine sugar, vinegar, seeds and spices.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, just until sugar dissolves.
Add the veggie mixture to the pot, careful not to splatter.
Bring the mixture back to a boil and then remove the pot from the heat.

Can it!:
For the Gochujang pickles, drop a dry red chili in the bottom of each jar. [Optional]
Using a ladle and a canning funnel, fill your hot pint jars with the hot veggies and liquid, leaving .5-in headspace at the top of the jar [ie fill the jar with veg and hot vinegar to .5 in below the very top of the glass jar].
Place warm lids on jars and attach the screw tops so that they are closed but not ridiculously lock-tight.
Place the filled jars in a rack in the boiling water of your canning pot.
Cover the canner and bring the water back to a boil.
When you have returned to a full boil, process [leave] in the boiling water for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars and set aside to cool on wire racks or a surface that isn’t heat sensitive.
Make sure that all of the lids have made that “popping” noise and are depressed/concave.
IMG_7242 IMG_7243
_______________________

Spicy Sweet and Tangy Pickle Relish
Spicy, Sweet and Tangy Pickle Relish 

makes approximately 6 half pints

4 c finely chopped pickling or fresh cucumbers
2 c finely chopped onion
2 c finely chopped red, orange, and/or yellow sweet peppers
2-3 finely chopped jalapeños [we removed the pith and seeds]
.25 c pickling salt
2.5 c sugar [we used 2 brown, 1 white]
2.5 c cider vinegar
2 tbs mustard seeds
1 tbs celery seeds
2-3 tsp tumeric
3-4 tbs your favourite hot sauce
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1 heaping tsp ground mustard
.5-1 tsp red pepper flakes
.25 tsp ground clovesMethodSlice and Crisp your Veggies:
Finely chop your cucumbers, onions, and peppers. You may want to use a food processor to get a nice dice, but be careful not to overprocess your veg into mush.
In a large glass, ceramic or melamine bowl, combine chopped veggies with pickling salt just to coat.
Add cold water to the mixture by the .5 cup just to cover.
Cover and set aside on a counter for about 2 hours – just long enough for a movie.

Sterilize your Jars:
Fill your canning pot with water and bring the water to a boil.
Place 6 250ml [half-pint] jars [or the equivalent] on a canning rack set inside the pot to sterilize and warm.
Meanwhile, warm the canning lids [but not the screw tops – we stack ours aside on a meat cleaver] in a small pot of water set upon your smallest burner.
Remove hot jars from the boiling water with tongs or the like and set upside-down to dry.
Keep that canning pot of water boiling.

Spicy! Pickle your Relish:
Drain the veggies in a colander.
Rinse with cold water and allow to drain again.
In a large stainless or enamel pot, combine sugar, vinegar, seeds, spices, and hot sauce.
Boil and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
Add the veggie mix to the pot, being careful not to splatter.
Reurn the mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
At this point, most of the “excess” liquid will have evaporated and your relish will look like relish.
If you think it looks too watery, use a slotted spoon to fill your jars.

Can it!
Use a ladle [or a slotted spoon – see above] and a canning funnel to fill your hot jars with the hot relish.
Leave .5-in headspace at the top of the jar [i.e. fill the jar with relish to .5 in below the very top of the glass jar].
Place warm lids on jars and attach the screw tops so that they are closed but not ridiculously lock-tight.
Place the filled jars in a rack in the boiling water of your canning pot.
Cover the canner and bring the water back to a boil.
Process in the boiling water for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars and set them aside to cool.
IMG_7253_______________________

IMG_7254Quick Links for Mobile Users
Summer of Funner :
The Lunchbox Season :
In Defense of Burning

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Roseanne Carrara

I produce seasonal parenting sites at http://www.thelunchboxseason.com [Sept-June] and http://www.summeroffunner.com [June-Sept]. My professional writing site is http://www.roseannecarrara.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: