spices

Quick Pickles

Who doesn’t love homemade pickles? I certainly do! The briny, bold flavor is the perfect addition to any summer meal- but who says you have to buy them? Making your own may seem daunting- but I’m here to set the record straight. Pickling your Summer garden veggies is fast, easy, and so much fun.

All you need is my Refrigerated Quick Pickle recipe! First clean a quart-sized jar, then pack it full with a mixture of vegetables. Baby cucumbers, carrots, peppers, and cauliflower- have fun with it! Next boil up a sweet and tart brine and quickly pour into the veggie-packed jar. Screw on the lid, and cool to room temperature for about an hour- then pop in the refrigerator! In just two days you’ll have delicious pickled vegetables to bring to a picnic or enjoy at a backyard BBQ.

And pickling isn’t just for veggies – for something a little different, try one of my favorites –pickled peaches! Awesome to serve with your favorite cheeses, charcuterie platter or grilled meats.

-Kathy

Refrigerated Quick Pickles
Makes about 4 quarts

The following is a mixture of veggies that I like to use, but feel free to switch it up with what’s fresh from your garden or the market.

Vegetable Mixture:
7 cups (about 2 lb.) 3/4″-sliced pickling cucumbers
2 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″-thick-slant-cut carrots
2 medium jalapeño peppers, cut in half, or 1 large, quartered
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks yellow or white onion
1 1/2 cups (6 oz wt.) 1 1/2″ chunks red onion
2 cups (8 oz wt) 1″ chunks red bell peppers (substitute some hot peppers or some of your other favorite summer peppers if desired)
2 cups (3/4 lb.) 1/2″- to 3/4″-sliced yellow zucchini or yellow squash

Pickling Brine:
2 cups white distilled white vinegar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. pickling spice
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Place all vegetables in a large bowl and toss together to mix colors. Divide vegetables among four clean, regular mouth 1-quart canning jars, packing vegetables in tight. Set jars on a dish towel in a draft-free place in the kitchen.

Place the pickling brine ingredients in a non-aluminum sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil and then immediately ladle pickling brine into filled jars, filling to 1/2″ from the top and being sure to cover the vegetables and distribute spices evenly. Immediately cover jar with lid and tighten. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Let pickle for at least 2 days before eating. Pickles will last refrigerated up to 1 month.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on July 6th, 2017  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Kathy Casey, Snacks, appetizers, seasonings, sides, spices, vegetables

Salt of the Earth

Ever since ancient times, salt has been a valuable ingredient for everyday life. From food preservation to food enhancer, it was even used as currency to trade amongst earlier civilizations.

Salt varieties are bountiful these days. Just take a look at your local grocery store. There are so many d-lish options to choose from fleur de sel (a French sea salt) to hickory smoked flavored and even cabernet red wine salt – so yummy on a steak!

Salt just pops the flavor of any dish. Chicken, grilled fish, roasted veggies…and even cocktails! Just remember, a little bit goes a long way.

We have a great new salt in our Dish D’Lish line up: Rain City Seasoning – inspired by Seattle’s coffee addiction. It’s a blend of Caffè Umbria Coffee Roasters coffee and Theo Chocolate cocoa nibs with two types of salt, dried orange peel, allspice, and other spices to deliver a versatile and d’lish seasoning! Rain City Seasoning is perfect on salmon or steaks or sprinkled on roasted root vegetables. And it’s D’lish as a Bloody Mary rimmer.

RainCitySeasoning 2

But why not get creative and try your hand at making your own flavored salts? It’s easy! Here is my favorite method and a great combination for a DIY Citrus Salt:

citrus_cutie_herb_salt

Place 2 cups of kosher salt in a bowl
Add in 2 tablespoons each: of lemon zest and finely minced fresh rosemary, sage or thyme
Toss together then spread on a sheet pan.
Let sit out for about a week uncovered in a cool dry place – mixing daily.
Once the lemon and herbs dried, place in a food processor and whiz it up – or go old school and use a mortar and pestle.

You can also add in orange zest, or lime zest too to switch it up! Or double the amount of zest and herbs for extra flavor.

Now you have a delicious hand crafted salt – great on almost everything! –Kathy

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