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Pickling is a vast and diverse subject. Every culture has some sort of pickled item, from sauerkraut to pickled onions, to pickled watermelon rind. Pickled foods taste great and are highly nutritious. Fermented foods are similar but still different.
Basically pickles need a brine which usually consists of water, salt, spices and vinegar. The variations here are endless. My mother in laws pickled beets are sweet and they are the most delicious I’ve tasted.
Making pickled foods is a fun time and I usually do pickled cucumbers or dill pickles and pickled beets each year or every other year. The method used is water bath canning and you must follow the rules for canning safely.
I cant say enough how special a picnic will be when you bring out a quart jar of dill pickles and a pint jar of pickled beets. Makes the meal extra special and they both go very well with heavy grilled foods and also rich foods.
Another simple recipe is pickled red onions; basically a thinly sliced red onion in a sauce pot with vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer for 35-45 minutes. The onions are transformed into something that looks neon pink and are sinfully delicious, especially on a pulled pork sandwich! Watch the Harvest Eating TV Seafood episode to see the pickled red onion recipe in action.
I hope you give the pickled beets recipe a try and that you explore the wonderful world of pickling!
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Chef Keith Snow
Seasonal Cooking Made Easy!