Storm the Cassoulet

Emeril’s Homemade Sweet and Spicy Pickles

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From Leda

NOTE: When selecting cucumbers for pickling, there are a few things to remember. For crisp pickles, choose ripe, pickling cucumbers, which are shorter and chunkier than regular eating cucumbers, which tend to be longer and smoother. Ripe pickling cucumbers are darker green, firm, and not “bloated.” They should have plenty of spiny bumps on the outer surface. Overripe cucumbers make mushy pickles. They tend to have yellow or white streaks or spots and their surfaces are smoother. Choose pickles that have not been coated in wax, as the pickling brine cannot penetrate through the wax. The fresher the cucumbers, the crisper the pickles will be. For best results, try picking your own cucumbers from a local farm or farmers’ market.

Ingredients:

3 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices

2 cups sliced onions

1/2 cup pickling salt

6 cups water

3 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

3 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

4 whole cloves

10 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic

24 dried cayenne peppers

2 teaspoons 100 percent Natural Pickle Crisp, optional

Method:

Place cucumbers, onions, pickling salt, and water in a large, non-reactive bowl. Cover and allow cucumbers to soak for 2 hours. Drain the water from the onions and cucumbers through a colander and rinse well for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Combine the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, turmeric, cloves, garlic, and peppers in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add the cucumbers and onions. Bring to a simmer and remove the saucepan from the heat.

Fill each of the hot sterilized pint-size preserving jars with the pickle mixture, dividing them evenly, and enough of the liquid to come within 1/2-inch of the top. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Natural Pickle Crisp to each jar, if desired. With a clean damp towel, wipe the rim and fit with a hot lid. Screw on the metal ring just until the point of resistance is met. Process the jars in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes.

Using tongs, remove the jars, place on a towel, and let cool. Test the seals by allowing the jars to stand at room temperature overnight or until the lids pop. Tighten the rings and store in a cool dry place. Let the pickles age for at least 2 weeks before using.

* Sterilizing Jars

Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Tips:

Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two-piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum-seal when processed.

To sterilize jars before filling with jams, pickles or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling hot sterilized jars, to move them from boiling water. Be sure tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.

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Sausages with Orange, Olive and Sweet Onion Relish

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Ingredients:

4 large (about 1 1/2 pounds total) sweet or hot Italian sausage links.
2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
2 oranges
1/4 sweet onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup(s) small pitted green olives, quartered
1/4 cup(s) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt
Pepper
4 rolls

Method:

Heat a grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat. Coat the sausages with 1 tablespoon oil and cook, covered, turning occasionally, until just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut away the peel and white pith of each orange. Working over a bowl, cut the orange into segments, the bowl will catch any juices. Cut the segments into 1/2 inch pieces.

Add the onion, olives, parsley, remaining tablespoon oil, and a pinch each salt and pepper to the bowl and gently toss to combine. Serve the sausages in the rolls and top with the relish.

Optional:  Sausage Switch: Try this tasty topping with andouille or fresh chorizo.

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Grilled Grouper with Watermelon Salsa

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Ingredients:

4 (4-oz.) grouper fillets

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon salt, divided

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 cups chopped seedless watermelon

1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives

1/2 English cucumber, chopped

1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

Method:

Preheat grill to 350º to 400º (medium-high) heat. Sprinkle grouper with pepper and 1/2 tsp. salt. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. olive oil.

Grill fish, covered with grill lid, 3 to 4 minutes on each side or just until fish begins to flake when poked with the tip of a sharp knife and is opaque in center.

Combine chopped watermelon, next 5 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Serve with grilled fish.

 

 

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Texas Caviar

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INGREDIENTS:

2 (15.8 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained

3 plum tomatoes, diced

2 fresh medium jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and minced

1 bunch of green onions, chopped

1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into small diced pieces

1/2 green or red pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into small diced pieces

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

small can of corn

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Optional:  black beans, sugar to taste

METHOD:

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl; cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 2 days. Before serving, adjust seasonings to taste, adding extra vinegar, salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.

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Coffee Cup Chilaquiles

chilaquiles

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

Salt, pepper

1 tablespoon sharp cheddar cheese

5 tortilla chips

1 tablespoon salsa

Sour cream, queso fresco, chopped green onion

Method:

Beat egg and milk with a fork in a coffee cup, with salt and pepper to taste. Add cheddar; stir to coat. Break 3 or 4 tortilla chips in small pieces to fit in the cup; stir into the mixture. Add salsa. Microwave, about 1 minute, 10 seconds. Garnish with a tortilla chip, sour cream, queso fresco and onion.

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Grilled Pork Tenderloins with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients:

2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat and silver skin
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons salt, plus a pinch
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 pineapple, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnishing
Cilantro Oil, for drizzling, recipe follows

Options:  brown sugar, dijon, fresh ginger

Method:

Preheat grill to high.

Rub the pork tenderloins all over with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, then sprinkle evenly with the chipotle chili powder, 2 teaspoons of the salt, the pepper, and the oregano. Rub the tenderloins well with the garlic and drizzle the lime juice over all. Allow the tenderloins to sit, refrigerated, for 45 minutes before cooking.

Brush the pineapple slices lightly with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then place the pineapple slices on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until softened slightly and nicely marked by the grill, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and allow to cool to room temperature. Dice the pineapple slices (discard the tough core portions) and place in a medium non-reactive bowl. Add the red onion, remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, remaining pinch of salt, jalapeno peppers, red bell pepper, and chopped cilantro and stir to combine. Set aside while you grill the pork.

Place the tenderloins on the hottest part of the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Reduce the grill temperature to low and continue to cook, turning occasionally, until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 145 degrees F. Remove the tenderloins from the grill and allow to sit, loosely covered, for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Slice the tenderloins on the diagonal and serve with the grilled pineapple salsa and fresh cilantro sprigs. Drizzle with Cilantro Oil.

Cilantro Oil:
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place herbs in a mini-chopper and blend. Slowly add oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.

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