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Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘pickling

Fermenting Cabbage: Kraut and David Chang’s Kimchi

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My kraut of red and mostly green cabbage.

Less than three weeks later: fermented kraut.

Shredded cabbage in pickle crock on day one.

Fermenting and pickling are my favorite of the food preservation arts. Fermenting especially, because there’s no cooking up a brine, stuffing jars, water-boiling them. I love raw fermentation, where all you do is salt and submerge the chopped vegetables in their own juices, and then the naturally-present lactobacillus bacteria transform the vegetable sugars into lactic acid, the vinegar-like natural brine that preserves your kraut.

I started fermenting my kraut about Nov. 7, so I could connect with the great Baltimore Thanksgiving tradition. Of course, I never made sauerkraut in Baltimore nor did I ever have Thanksgiving there, but I love Gertrude’s (site of our rehearsal dinner) and meant to attend their kraut festival. So I was thrilled to find Gertie’s recipe for Sauerkraut and Apples (tips on fermenting your own kraut here). The uptown version, with dry champagne and fresh ginger, graced our Thanksgiving table. The clean tang of the kraut helped undercut the grease and heaviness of the rest of the meal. Plus, those tangy probiotic bacteria (like the ones present in yogurt) really aid in digestion. Another secret to the kraut: we sauteed it with the maple-cured, applewood-smoked pork belly I just cured with Intaba at the restaurant.

Curing the pork belly with salt, brown sugar and maple syrup.

After a week of curing, plus an hour of smoking: bacon!











The same day I made kraut, I also made garlicky, gingerly, salty-sweet Napa cabbage kimchi, with the recipe from hip chef David Chang of Momofuku fame. I still need to make his Fuji Apple Salad with Kimchi, Smoke Jowl & Maple Labne before we eat all the kimchi in the fridge. If only we’d smoked some pork jowl with our bacon.

My Napa cabbage Kimchi, based on Momofuku's recipe. It does a number on your breath!

Written by baltimoregon

November 29, 2009 at 11:58 am

In an (Asparagus) Pickle

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Dilly pickles I boiling-water canned at home

Dilly pickles I boiling-water canned at home

Pickles we low-pasteurize water-bath canned in class

Pickles we low-pasteurize water-bath canned in class

Learning pickling has been my favorite part of the 8-week master food preservation program I’m doing through Oregon State’s extension office. Asparagus are now officially my favorite vegetable to pickle. Make some while the elusive green stalks are still in season this fleeting spring. I made a batch at home this week with local asparagus from Sunbow Farm. Boiling-water canning the pickles for 10 minutes was no problem: all the jars popped, sealed shut, upon removal. But I could have used a few extra hands of help like I’ve gone accustomed to having in our class.

Just about everyone seems interested in canning these days, whether motivated to save money, preserve local produce or simply learn an ancient food art. The New York Times had a big canning feature last week, focusing on Eugenia Bone, author of the new cookbook, Well Preserved. Then NPR features Preserved on its list of the “10 Best Summer Cookbooks.” I’ve never gotten more Facebook comments then when I posted pickling photos from my preservation class. It’s a sign of the times. Now my cousin and I lament the fact my grandmother never taught us to make her curry pickles. But as a kid, I never thought making her pickles or famous raspberry jam would interest me. Yet, here I am.

I tried to recreate the Oregon-made dilly asparagus Pretty Pickles by adding dill seed to my recipe. I also like extra garlic, but I ran out. Add a whole cayenne pepper for spice and colorful effect, if you like. Experiment with any spices you like but don’t mess with the instructions on heating the brine and water-bath processing times. I like that Eugenia Bone’s recipe has that extra garlic. But I used the simple one from my OSU Extension “Pickling Vegetables” booklet (see page 15 for asparagus). What’s your favorite food to pickle?

I will not be pickling eggs, as our teacher did in class. But their pink pickled beet-enhanced color did contrast nicely with the yolks.

Pickled eggs

Pickled eggs

Written by baltimoregon

June 5, 2009 at 12:34 am

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