Pickled Jalapeño Peppers

2nd February 2016

Jalapenos

Jalapeño slices are one of my favorite pickles. I love them on burgers and nachos or stuffed inside burritos. They’re so delightfuly spicy and sour! Jalapeños are a mild pepper, so compared to my other Pickled Peppers, these can be enjoyed by everyone!

I’ve tried different recipes, and I love this one from The Yummy Life. The mixture of spices is perfect and the peppers aren’t too sweet. I like to wait a month before opening my sealed jar so the flavors can fully develop. Once opened, don’t forget to put them in the refrigerator (otherwise if the jar is sealed, it can stay in your pantry for up to a year).

 

Jalapenos

Jalapenos

Jalapenos

JalapenosPickled Jalapeño Slices, makes 1 jar

  1. Thinly slice jalapenos in 1/8″ rounds, discarding stem ends.
  2. Sterilize your pint jar & lid according to standard canning procedures. Keep jars warm until it’s time to fill them.
  3. Combine vinegar, water, & sweetner in a pot; heat until just before it starts to boil.
  4. Add salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, bay leaf, & garlic to each jar.
  5. Add jalapeno slices to the jar, pressing down and packing them in compactly until the jar is filled. For a more attractive appearance, use a chopstick or your finger to position some slices vertically along the sides of the jar.
  6. Pour hot vinegar mixture into the jar, leaving 1/2″ head space. Insert chopstick down side of jar and press in toward center to release any bubbles. Clean jar rims with wet paper towel. Add jar lids and rings, making them “finger tight.”

Canning Process

  1. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the jar with 1″ of water. Bring water to boil.
  2. Place warm, filled jars inside pot, return water to a boil, and process 12 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and leave jars in water for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove jars and cool, undisturbed for at least 12 hours.
  5. Store in cool, dark place. May be eaten within a few days, but best if allowed to cure for 4-6 weeks.
  6. If any jars don’t seal, cool and move to refrigerator where they will be good for several months.

 

Pickled Pearl Onions

1st December 2015

Pickled OnionsWhen I was in the supermarket a couple of months ago, I spotted colorful pearl onions and couldn’t resist buying them.

My husband and I love to have pickled onions in the house – they’re a perfect accent flavor! You can eat them whole alongside fried fish, sliced in a taco or a sandwich, or just as a snack.

I’ve already shared my recipe for pickled red onions. Now it’s time for pearl onions!

Pickling onions is very easy. You just have to be a bit patient, but after 3 weeks they’re ready to eat!

Pickled Onions

Pickled OnionsPickled Pearl Onions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the onions over high heat for 4 minutes. Drain and let cool. When the onions are cool enough to handle, slip off their skins. The peels will come off very easily.
  2. Add the 2 cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds and 2 strips of lemon zest to each jar. Then pack the onions into the jar.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the brine over the onions to cover. Let cool, then seal the jars and refrigerate the onions for at least 3 weeks.

Japanese Pickled Cucumbers

17th November 2015

Japanese Pickled CucumbersI’ve mentioned it before, but I love pickling! It’s a great way to use up your leftover vegetables and the pickling process adds another dimension to the taste and texture.

This recipe for Japanese Pickled Cucumbers is what’s referred to as a “refrigerator pickle”. Refrigerator pickles are ready to eat in only a matter of days and the vegetables tend to stay crunchier. These cucumber slices will be ready in 3-4 days and stay good for up to a month.

And what can you do with these pickles? They’re a perfect compliment to sushi and rice or on sandwiches!

Japanese Pickled Cucumbers

Japanese Pickled CucumbersJapanese Pickled Cucumbers

  1. Wash the cucumbers and slice in thin coins. Place in a bowl and sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of salt on them, and set aside for five minutes. Rinse off the salt and drain the cucumbers.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place in a lidded container and let sit in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, then they’re ready to eat!

Moroccan Quinoa Salad with Pickled Carrots

30th September 2015

Moroccan Quinoa SaladAs I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband I really love pickling leftover vegetables. Rather than having to throw them away, pickling preserves the vegetables to be used for many more months. Plus the flavors they develop become more complex.

Most recently Koen pickled our leftover carrots with dried peppers and other spices using Bon Appetit’s Moroccan style recipe. They were finally ready to be eaten, so we wanted to choose a dish that would pair well with the carrots. I decided on Green Kitchen Stories Moroccan Quinoa Salad. This is one of my favorite salads and I knew the carrots would fit perfectly. So many delicious flavors – the garlicky marinated zucchini and eggplant with the crunch of green onions, the soft avocado, and the warm, spiced quinoa topped with fresh mint and cilantro. Mmm!

Carrots

Carrots

Pickled Carrots

  1. Pack carrots vertically into 1-quart jar, cutting spears to fit. If you have thick carrots, you can slice them lengthwise.
  2. Add lemon peel, garlic, and chiles, spilling some chile seeds into jar.
  3. Mix 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander, and cumin in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve, then boil 3 minutes.
  4. Pour hot brine over carrots, adding all spices to jar.
  5. Cool, then cover jar tightly and chill at least 1 week before opening.  Keep refrigerated.

Moroccan Quinoa Salad, serves 4

 

 

  1. Start by making the marinated vegetables. Spread out the zucchini and eggplant slices on a bbq, in a grill pan or in the oven, a couple of minutes on each side. Put them in a bowl, drizzle olive oil, garlic and salt over them and set aside.
  2. Cook the quinoa according to the package but add one tbsp cinnamon in the water. When it’s done cooking, rinse and set aside to cool off. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon and add five tbsp of olive oil into the quinoa. Chop half of the mint leaves and half of the cilantro, throw them in the quinoa and toss it around until everything is mixed.
  3. Serve in bowls together with the marinated vegetables, avocado, spring onions, the rest of the mint and cilantro and the pickled carrots.

Mint and Mango Marinated Courgetti/Zoodles

2nd August 2015

CourgettiZucchini noodles, or courgetti/zoodles, is very popular at the moment. All you need to make courgetti is a julienne slicer. I bought mine for about 5 euros in a kitchen store. Courgetti is a raw spaghetti that many people use as a substitute for regular pasta. I’ve tried it as a main, but like it best as a side.

The Mint and Mango Marinated Zucchini Spaghetti from Green Kitchen Stories is one of my favorite ways to prepare courgetti. It is the perfect compliment to a summer fish dinner. The mint, mango, and chili pepper add a wonderfully fresh fruity/spicy accent to the meal!

Ingredients

Mango Marinated CourgettiMango and Mint Marinated Zucchini Spaghetti, serves 4 as a side

For the zucchini spaghetti:

For the sauce:

  1. Peel and remove the stone from the mango, add all ingredients in a mixer and mix until smooth.
  2. Pour the mango mint marinade over the zucchini spaghetti and work it in by hand.
  3. Arrange the spaghetti on the plates and garnish with chopped pistachio nuts.

Pickled Peppers

26th July 2015

Pickled PeppersLately my husband and I cannot stop pickling. Leftover vegetables? Pickle them!

It started when we watched the Netflix documentary Chef’s Table. Episode 6, the last episode, is about Magnus Nilsson who is the head chef at Fäviken in Sweden. Fäviken is the 19th best restaurant in the world and serves dishes made with local ingredients. During the Summer and Autumn vegetables are harvested. In the episode we get to see the special cellar where Nilsson stores everything he dries, salts, jellies, pickles, and bottles to serve during the dark, winter months.

Because Koen and I have been busy pickling, you’ll find a lot of pickle recipes in the coming weeks!

This recipe, based on the one from Simple and Savory, is for pickled peppers. Pickled peppers are something we always like to have on hand, so why not make them ourselves? I left the bird’s eye peppers whole, but sliced the cayenne peppers. These spicy pickles are great on burgers, sandwiches, burritos, tacos, or just as a snack. Last night we made shrimp po boys and they were a perfect spicy/tangy accent!

Peppers

Boiling

Pickled Peppers

BurgersPickled Peppers, makes 1 jar

  1. Sterlize jar and lid by placing them carefully in a pot of boiling water for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Use tongs to remove jars and lids and place on a clean towel to dry.
  3. Prepare peppers by slicing them or piercing them.
  4. Make the brine by combining the vinegar, water and salt to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile place the peppers and garlic clove in the jar.
  6. Pour the brine over the peppers and garlic.
  7. Secure the lid tightly.
  8. Bring water to boil in sterilizing pot again and submerge the jar – covering about 1/2 way.
  9. Boil for about 30 minutes.
  10. Carefully remove the jar and set to cool. Once it’s cooled, check the top to make sure it’s sealed (if it’s not securely sealed, you need to store the peppers in the refrigerator)
  11. Wait at least a week before breaking the safety seal, and store in the refrigerator once open. Enjoy!

Cold Avocado Soup

28th June 2015

Cold Avocado SoupI love soup in the winter, but what about in the summer? Other than gazpacho, what are the other options? Well…Green Kitchen Stories’ Cold Avocado Soup! This soup is fresh and cool – perfect for lunch or as a starter for dinner. Also, I can’t think of an easier dish to make, just gather the ingredients, blend, and serve!

The flavors are perfect for summer: avocado, coconut, cucumber, and dill. Everything tastes so fresh. The color is also beautiful. Such a cool, soft green!

With weather in the 90s this week in Antwerp, I can’t wait to whip up a batch to beat the sweltering heat!

Cold Avocado Soup

Cold Avocado Soup, makes 2 big bowls/4 small bowls

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender. Mix it until completely smooth. Season to taste. Serve immediately in glasses or bowls or keep it chilled in the fridge until serving. Top with a splash of olive oil, toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped chives and some dill.

Indian Sides

29th March 2015

Indian SidesI love Indian food, but it’s a lot of work to prepare everything from scratch. If you wait last minute you will be in the kitchen the entire day! Luckily, many sides and sauces can be prepared ahead of time so you only have to prepare your main course the day you are going to eat your meal.

The two sides I always need to have with my Indian food are Cucumber Raita and Mango Chutney. Indian food is spicy, and raita offers coolness while mango chutney adds a bit of sweet and sour. Both of these sides are available premade in jars at the grocery store, but you should prepare them yourself! These Indian sides are super easy and inexpensive to make. The cucumber raita can be prepared up to 5 days before and the mango chutney stays good for up to a month.

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber RaitaCucumber Raita

  1. Peel the cucumber and slice in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Grate the cucumber and place into a colander. Add a pinch of salt and allow it to sit while you prepare the rest of the sauce.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the yoghurt, salt, cumin, and coriander. Stir to combine. Roughly chop the herbs and add to the bowl. Peel the ginger and grate it finely into the bowl.
  3. After the cucumber has been sitting for at least ten minutes, press it into the sides of the colander to extract as much moisture as possible. Add it to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve the sauce immediately or refrigerate to allow the flavors to combine. Stays good for up to 5 days.

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney

Mango ChutneyMango Chutney

  1. The night before you want to make the chutney it is necessary to peel one’s mangoes, cube them and sprinkle them with salt. This draws out some of their moisture and softens them. Make sure to rinse before use!
  2. Add the apple, ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar, onion seeds, cinnamon, turmeric, chilli flakes and chilli powder into a pan. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the mango and bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Simmer the chutney for 30-40 minutes until it has achieved a thick, sticky consistency. Season to taste. Once the chutney is done transfer it to the jar and allow to cool before applying the lid.

Quick Pickled Onions

29th January 2015

Quick Pickled OnionsI really love pickling vegetables. It is so easy and instantly enhances a dish!

This recipe is from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. Quick pickled onions are a delicious and colorful addition to salads, tacos, and sandwiches! The red onions are combined with vinegar, maple syrup, and cloves to create a sweet and tangy flavor explosion.

Quick Pickled Onions

Quick Pickled Onions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, bay leaf, and cloves and bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the onion, stir, and remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Let the onions cool at room temperature, or transfer it all to a glass jar and put them in the fridge to speed the process along (about 15 minutes).
  4. Add desired amount to your salad, sandwich, or taco and enjoy! The pickled onions stay good for about a week in the fridge.

Hot Sauce

13th January 2015

Hot Sauce

I love hot sauce. Until a couple of months ago I never thought to make it myself. Now I’m starting on new batches every couple of weeks, experimenting with peppers – cayenne, habanero, chili, bird’s eye, jalepeño – and additional flavors – garlic, flavored vinegars (white wine, apple cider,…), fruit.

Before making my first batch, I did a lot of research about fermenting peppers to make hot sauce. It’s not difficult. Fermentation just requires patience. You need to let the peppers ferment for 4 to 6 weeks. I really enjoy checking on my conconctions every couple of days to watch the tiny bubbles forming.

The recipe I most closely followed comes from Tales of a Kitchen. It an easy, forgiving recipe that allows for variation.

Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

Fermented Hot Sauce

  1. Wash your peppers. Cut off the stems, and weigh. Calculate 2% of the weight – that’s how much sea salt you will need to add.
  2. Roughly chop your peppers and add them to a clean jar. Add sea salt, garlic (I like mine really garlickly, about 1 clove per 50g of peppers), and enough water to cover, plus 1/2 a centimeter extra. Give it a good stir with a clean spoon.
  3. Cover jar with a paper towel or cheese cloth, and secure with an elastic band. This allows the peppers to breathe, but stops any dust or bugs from falling in.
  4. Place jar a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. I kept mine in a kitchen cupboard.
  5. Every other day check on the jar. You should see tiny bubbles forming. If any mold forms on top, simply grab a clean spoon and gently scrape it off, followed by a good stir and place the jar back in the pantry.
  6. The fermentation is finished when the tiny bubbles stop. This takes 4 to 6 weeks.
  7. Once the process is finished, pour the entire contents of the jar into a blender or food processor. If you’re adding any fruit, like mango, this is the time to add it. Puree for a few seconds until the mixture is very fine.
  8. Strain this mix through a fine sieve and press it with a spoon to get as much juice out as possible.
  9. Measure the liquid. Add half that amount in vinegar to the fermented pepper juice.
  10. Stir the contents, and add to a clean jar with a lid. Allow the hot sauce to rest for one day. This way the flavors really have a chance to mix.
  11. Keep the hot sauce in the refrigerator, and it’ll stay good for a year!