Pickle Spice Mustard

Pickle Spice Mustard

My dear friend Luke Easter turned me onto this trick. Making mustard from the dregs of the pickle jar is an easy way to turn would-be trash into a zippy little spread. Of course, it helps if your brine is studded with mustard seeds, the common spice in many pickle recipes, such as bread-and-butter pickles and dills. You can mix the mustard half and half with mayo for an even creamier spread.

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Sweet & Spicy Purslane Relish

Sweet & Spicy Purslane Relish

This recipe is adapted from the website LedaMeredith.com. If you’re new to boiling water bath canning, please visit The National Center for Home Food Preservation for USDA guidelines on safe home canning. If you don’t want to can the relish, store it in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

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Waste Not: Quick Crudité Pickles

If you hosted Thanksgiving yesterday, you might have decided to offer the "healthy option" of a crudité plate (otherwise known as a veggie platter). I brought this colorful platter to my friend's home. I was excited to use such gorgeous local produce, but that's not what this post is about.

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Apple Cider Caramel

Apple Cider Caramel

The most traditional way to enjoy hard cider is in a glass, of course. But it can also be a key ingredient in your fall menus.

When selecting ciders for cooking, choose one that you’d enjoy drinking. If you have any hard cider that’s gone flat, it’s a perfect candidate for one of these dishes.

If you’d prefer, you can use sweet cider (nonalcoholic) in place of all or some of the hard cider called for, just note that since it’s sweeter, you will need a little less of it.

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Kimchi: Make it your way

One of the highlights of the weekend for me was demonstrating how to make kimchi, a fermented Korean cabbage-based condiment. Kimchi is one of many in the family of fermented foods eaten around the world. It can be found in supermarkets pretty easily these days, but I wanted to show how simple is it to customize it to your own palate. 

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Quick Pickles

At the Red Fire Farm Strawberry Soirée Feast in the Fields dinner begins simply, with bread and cheese. To add some brightness and spark to the cheese platter, I made up a batch of spiced strawberry jam and a HUGE vat of pickles. 

While I used a bushel of farm-fresh vegetables in my batch, these quick pickles are a great way to use up little bits of vegetables that might be floating around your vegetable crisper. I pickle various types of vegetables all in one jar or tub. The only exception I make is for beets––unless you want everything to be a wonderfully lurid shade of magenta, pickle beets in their own container. 

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Hot Pepper and Sri-Gotcha Sauces

I use white sea salt, which has bigger crystals and better flavor than table salt. It is not iodized and has no anti-caking additives in it, both of which can affect the color and taste of the sauce. I use white vinegar rather than cider or red wine vinegars for much the same reason. I recommend wearing plastic gloves since you’ll be handling a lot of chilies. Remember not to rub your eyes or get the pepper juice on sensitive parts of your skin. If it does get on your skin, I recommend suntan lotion to help cool the burn.

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Ssamjang

Ssamjang is a great dipping sauce to have in your meal-time arsenal. It comes together quickly and you can store it for a week in the refrigerator to have on hand. It’s most traditionally used as a dipping sauce for Korean lettuce wraps, but I like it with rice and stir-fried vegetables, as a glaze on grilled or pan-fried tofu, and spread on a roast chicken sandwich.

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