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condiment

Pickled Hungarian Wax Peppers

TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 2 QUARTS

We grow Hungarian Wax Peppers specifically for this recipe. If you can’t find these neon yellow heirlooms at your local farmers’ market, substitute banana peppers, although they pack a little less punch.

These quick pickles are delicious topped on any soup, stew, burger, wrap, egg dish, salad—you name it. The perfect amount of heat, paired with a swift kick of acid, is sure to brighten any dish.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds yellow Hungarian Wax Peppers (20 - 30 peppers, depending on size)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
4 tbls. kosher salt
2 tbls. black peppercorns
2 tsp. black mustard seeds

METHOD

  1. If you are very sensitive to hot peppers, wear latex gloves. Wash the peppers and trim off the stem. Slice the peppers into rounds (don’t worry about removing the seeds).

  2. Divide the peppers into 2 clean quart jars. Place 1 clove of garlic, 1 tbls. peppercorns, and 1 tsp. mustard seeds in each jar.

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Pour the hot liquid over the peppers to cover.

  2. Seal with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 2 days before eating. These will keep in the fridge for at least 2 months.

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Turmeric Mayonnaise or Aioli

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 1+ CUP

Homemade mayonnaise & Aioli are other pantry staples that require hardly any time and have far superior flavor, especially if you source high-quality ingredients. A bit of turmeric creates a beautiful golden hue which is stunning alongside roasted vegetables or grilled meats. Turmeric also has incredible anti-inflammatory properties, found in the compound curcumin, so I try to incorporate a dash or two wherever I can. Black pepper boosts the absorption of curcumin, so make sure to add a few grinds as well.

Many folks choose to emulsify the oils and eggs by hand with a whisk. Even though I appreciate the art of emulsification, I choose to use an immersion blender. You can also use a handheld mixer with a whisk attachment, a food processor or standing blender.

INGREDIENTS

1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup neutral oil (I use 1/4 cup avocado or high-oleic sunflower oil + 1/4 cup MCT oil)
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 - 2 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar of choice
2 - 3 garlic cloves, pressed or mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt (opt.)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard (opt.)
1 - 2 tbls. cold water
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. If using an immersion blender, add the egg yolk, lemon & Dijon mustard to a pint jar.

  2. Mix oils together in a measuring cup, or other vessel that will be easy to pour without spilling.

  3. Blend the egg, lemon & Dijon while consistently and slowly drizzling in the oil. Once the sauce begins to thicken, you can drizzle a little more quickly. Adding too much oil at once will cause the emulsion to “break” and will result in a curdled mess.

  4. Once very thick, add the garlic, turmeric, salt & pepper to taste. If still too thick, add the cold water, 1 tbls. at a time.

  5. If not already in a glass jar, transfer to one and let sit for about 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. Use immediately, or keep in the fridge for up to a week. *The addition of garlic will lose its fresh flavor after a week’s time.

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Ginger-Turmeric Sauerkraut

TIME: 20 MINUTES, plus ~1 week fermentation; SERVES: 1 QUART

I add a couple tablespoons of sauerkraut to almost every meal I eat. Purchasing living, small-batch ‘kraut can run you upwards of $8, but making it can cost as little as $1 (and it’s more fun to see it bubbling happily in your kitchen!) I love this recipe primarily for its vibrant color and flavor. However, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and digestive-aid from ginger are definitely a plus. Don’t forget to include a few grinds of fresh black pepper to fully assimilate the benefits of turmeric.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds green cabbage (1 medium head) cored and finely chopped or shaved on a mandolin
1 tbls. + 1 tsp. kosher salt (non-iodized)
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
A pinch crushed red pepper flakes (opt.)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & grated
1/2 - 1-inch piece fresh turmeric, grated (or 1/2 - 1 tsp. ground)

METHOD

  1. Combine cabbage and salt in a bowl. Massage for about 5 minutes until juices are released and the cabbage significantly decreases in volume. *A general salt ratio is about 2 tsp. per pound of cabbage. You want the cabbage to be too salty to eat enjoyably, but not inedible. Add more salt if necessary, and taste often. If you add an excess of salt, the ‘kraut will not ferment because it will inhibit all bacteria growth—good and bad. If you add too little, funky bacteria can infect your batch and turn it soggy or gross.

  2. Once you’re confident with the salt ratio, add the remaining ingredients and mix to thoroughly combine.

  3. Pack into a quart-sized mason jar. There should be plenty of natural brine to cover the cabbage if you massaged enough.

  4. Weigh down the cabbage so it is fully submerged by the brine. I like to use Masontops glass pickle weights. You can also use a clean rock or a smaller jar.

  5. You can cover with a clean cloth & rubber band (so fruit flies can’t get in), but it’s worth investing in pickle pipes! (Also available at Masontops). These silicone airlocks allow pressure to vent without exposure to oxygen. Make sure to place your jar on a plate to catch the brine that bubbles out.

  6. Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Depending on temperature, you will notice your ‘kraut bubbling in a day or two. Let it do its thing, making sure the cabbage is still submerged in brine for 5 - 7 days. Taste often. Once it is pleasantly sour and no longer too salty, remove the weight and transfer to the fridge with a tight fitting lid. Will keep for months, although I’m sure you’ll be whipping up another batch in no time.

Smoked trout and fried eggs with ‘kraut

Smoked trout and fried eggs with ‘kraut

Marinated Italian Eggplant

TIME: 20 MINUTES (plus salting & marinating) SERVES: 1+ PINT
Adapted from Linda Ziedrich’s ‘The Joy of Pickling’

I get a lot of questions about how to best use eggplants. There are plenty of ways to blister, broil, grill, or purée this nightshade, however, one of my favorite uses is raw! When I have too many young, fresh fruits, I make this version of marinated eggplant (drowned in olive oil, because…always). This is delicious with sharp cheese & salami as a tasty antipasto, or in sandwiches with arugula, provolone and roasted red peppers.

INGREDIENTS

2 - 3 smallish Italian or Asian Eggplant, peeled, halved & sliced into 1/4 inch half moons (about 2 cups)
1 tbls. kosher salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 - 4 garlic cloves, slivered
10 - 12 Italian basil leaves, torn
A pinch crushed red pepper flakes

METHOD

  1. Sprinkle the salt over the eggplant in a colander, and let drain for as little as 30 minutes, but up to 1 day.

  2. Squeeze out any extra moisture from the eggplant. Toss with the vinegar, oil, & crushed red pepper flakes in a large bowl, and let sit for another hour, turning occasionally.

  3. Layer the eggplant, garlic, & basil in a jar and gently press down.

  4. Pour any remaining marinade over. If it doesn’t cover, add more olive oil.

  5. Seal and let sit in the fridge for at least 3 days before tasting. Make sure to add more olive oil if necessary. The eggplant will keep for a couple weeks. Let it reach room temperature before serving, because the oil will solidify.

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Daikon Radish Pickles

TIME: 15 MINUTES (plus overnight marinating); SERVES: 2 CUPS

This quick-pickle “brine” can be used for a variety of different veggies: radish, cucumber, kohlrabi, celery, etc.. You can make more or less brine depending on the amount of veggies you wish to pickle.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups daikon radish (or a mix of veggies), sliced into bite-size lengths, but thin enough to soak in the marinade (I like a long, rectangular shape, or half moon)
~1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
~1 cup water
1/4 cup tamari, Nama Shoyu or soy sauce
1 tbls. mirin or Chinese Shaoxing wine (opt.)
A few dashes fish sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp. gochugaru or crushed red pepper flakes

METHOD

  1. Place the sliced daikon radish in a large ziplock bag or a shallow pan/bowl. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

  2. Combine half of the water plus all ingredients for the marinade in a separate bowl. Pour over the daikon. You want the majority of the radish to be touching the marinade. If you need more liquid, add the other 1/2 cup of water.

  3. Let sit overnight in the fridge. Mix every few hours to incorporate the marinade on all sides. Pickles will keep for a couple weeks.

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Spiced Tomato Chutney

TIME: 1.5 HOURS (not including canning); SERVES: ~3 PINTS
Adapted from David Tanis

I sometimes double this recipe during Summer when tomatoes are abundant, and I find make time to can a big batch for holiday presents. This chutney has become a necessary condiment for any coconut-milk based curry, or dish that needs a little 'flare'.

INGREDIENTS

3 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup ginger, peeled, slivered
1/4 cup garlic, slivered
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 - 6 small, dried hot chili peppers
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (opt., depending on your heat tolerance)
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
12 - 15 black peppercorns
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. nigella seeds (opt.)
1 tsp. kosher salt

METHOD

  1. In a small pan, toast the seeds over medium-low heat until fragrant, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.   

  2. Put everything together in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring until the mixture has thickened to a jam consistently, about 1 hour.

  3. If you are canning, ladle into sterilized jars and continue the canning process, processing for 20 minutes in a hot water bath. If you are refrigerating or freezing, let cool and transfer into containers.

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Ghee & Clarified Butter

TIME: 15 - 20 MINUTES; MAKES 1 PINT
Adapted from The ‘Pioneer Woman’

I see jars of ghee at the store ranging from $15-$25, and it baffles me because it’s so dang easy to make!

You may be wondering, what is ghee, anyway?

Ghee is the next step in the process of making “clarified butter”, or butter that has had the milk solids removed through cooking. Clarified butter can often be consumed by those who have slight sensitivities to lactose, or who are following a restrictive diet. I’ll choose ghee when I want a nutty, caramelized flavor, or need to cook something at high heat. It is shelf stable, and has a higher smoke point because there are no milk solids to burn (ghee’s smoke point is 485 degrees, compared to butter’s 350 degrees.) Making your own also means you can choose the quality of butter, rather than paying for an inferior product at a higher price.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound (4 sticks) high-quality butter, preferably organic, grass-fed (either unsalted or salted works), cut into chunks

METHOD

  1. Place the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

  2. After the butter melts, it will start to bubble and separate. This is the whey separating and floating to the surface.

  3. Skim the whey off. You can either compost it, feed it to your pet, or (if you aren’t sensitive to dairy) save it and put it in smoothies, soak beans or grains in it, or marinate meat. Whey is very versatile and high in protein.

  4. Continue to cook the butter until it turns clear and the milk solids sink to the bottom. You can either turn the heat off at this point (you’ve made clarified butter), or you can continue to cook for a caramelized, nutty flavor. You want to brown—not burn—the milk solids on the bottom of the pan. This takes about 10 minutes longer depending on your stove and pan, so keep a close eye on it.

  5. That’s it! Let the ghee cool a bit and if you want to make sure the very last bits of milk proteins are removed, strain through cheesecloth, a paper towel, or a coffee filter. Store covered at room temperature.

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