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February 20th, 2016

Pickled Eggs & Onions

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Back in December I tried out an Amish mustard eggs recipe, with a couple modifications. The primary change being the omission of sugar since I can't eat it anymore and, more importantly, I hate sweet pickled things. They ended up pretty tasty and I grew to like having eggs to snack on since I should be cutting out more carbs than I am. (I swear the medical professionals think people need to live off water and air with the occasional poached chicken breast.) As a result of this new-found self-knowledge I am working on collecting/inventing a variety of pickled egg recipes. At the moment I only have two, and some pickled onions, but expect more eventually, such as the classic pickled-with-beets since Hafoc turns out not to be a fan of pickled eggs and his dislike of beets is therefore irrelevant.

Because you cannot be certain you have heated the eggs all the way through to the proper temperature, the USDA does not recommend home canning eggs. Botulism is not your friend so these are "refrigerator pickle" recipes.

Since you aren't canning the eggs you can use saved jars or bowls, whatever works in your fridge and keeps the eggs submerged in the brine. One dozen small to medium eggs should fit in a quart jar. I can get 8-10 large eggs in my saved not-quite-a-quart pickle jars so I don't usually make a full dozen eggs and dispose of my extra brine (or save it to make salad dressing).

Amish Mustard Eggs (unsweetened version)

2 cups white vinegar
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp pickling salt
1 Tbsp celery seed
1 tsp ground mustard seed (or 1 Tbsp whole seed, I couldn't find any locally)
6 whole cloves
1/8 tsp turmeric (for color mostly)
2 onions, sliced thin
12 hard boiled eggs

Pack the onions and eggs into a wide mouth jar or two.

Combine the brine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Simmer 10 minutes and then carefully pour over your eggs. Let cool and then refrigerate for at least three days for best flavor.

The onions from the mustard eggs were really tasty on burgers and in sandwiches.

Five Spice Eggs

1 cup water
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup vinegar (I used 50/50 white and seasoned rice)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp five spice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 onion, thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp minced garlic
12 hard boiled eggs

Use the same method as the Amish eggs, but add the garlic to the eggs and onions. I just heaped it on top and let the brine carry it down through them when I added it.

These are not as pretty as the mustard eggs, but very tasty! It's my own recipe and I'm not 100% sold on five spice, I'm not a huge fan of anise, so I expect I will be trying other seasonings. The soy sauce adds all the salt you want for a pickled egg, so salted flavorings are not suggested.

Sometimes Hafoc comes home with a new things from the supermarket to try. One of his recent finds was Tajin, a blend of dried chilies, salt, and dehydrated lime juice. It is very, very lime and not that spicy. We're not sure what we're going to use it all for, it's strong, but I thought it would make tasty chili-lime pickled onions. I was right, and I expect I will make other chili-lime pickled veggies in the future.

Tajin Pickled Onions

2 Tbsp Tajin Clasico seasoning
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup boiling water
2 onions, thinly sliced

Pack the onions into a jar and add the Tajin seasoning on top. Pour in the vinegar and then top off with boiling water. Seal, shake the jar to distribute the chili flakes, and refrigerate for a few days before eating.

You want to have the vinegar be about 1/3rd of the liquid in the jar, the powdered lime juice in the Tajin makes up the rest of the acid for the pickles. My jar needed 3/4 cup of water, so in practice it worked out to 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup lime juice (from the Tajin and water), and 1/2 cup water.

There is enough acid in these pickles that you could can them and not have to refrigerate them until after you opened a jar. They are so quick to make that I wouldn't bother though since they are perfectly edible in a few hours and just improve with time.

September 29th, 2014

Tasty spice rub

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I mixed this up the other day for use on some pork chops. Tonight I used the remainder on a slow cooked pork roast with the addition of a packet of onion soup mix. Given that both turned out super tasty I'm saving the recipe for the future.

1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

The coriander I have here is roasted. The chili powder is the bog standard mix you get from McCormick. When I am home again I'll try this blend with regular ground coriander and chipotle chili powder (which will make the mix hotter).

July 15th, 2014

Pickled Slaw

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So Hafoc and I were at Anthrocon having hot dogs from the cart on the corner, which lead to talking about the ways in which people serve hot dogs and all the things you can get on a Chicago style dog. At the mention of coleslaw on a hot dog I really wanted one, but coleslaw is usually mayonnaise based and not so good on a small cart for that reason. The solution of course is to use a vinegar based dressing, so technically I should have worked up a vinaigrette based coleslaw but my brain got stuck on shredded cabbage pickles so this is what you get.

1 quart jar, glass or heat resistant material

shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix, to fill the jar packed down tight

1 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup vinegar, I used apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp coarse salt (pickling or canning salt)
1 tsp pickling spice blend
2-3 Tbsp minced garlic (I just used a heaping spoonful, so approximate amount here, suit to your taste)

In a small saucepan combine the brine ingredients and bring to a boil.

Pack the jar full of cabbage, get as much into the jar as you possibly can, right to the top of the threads.

Carefully pour in the boiling brine, a ladle is very useful for this part. The cabbage will shrink down some so pack more in if you like, just be sure it can be pushed below the level of the brine.

Put a lid on the jar and let it cool to room temperature before moving it to the fridge.

The thinner the cabbage shreds the faster it will be ready to eat. The packs of coleslaw mix at the grocery store are ready after sitting about eight hours/overnight.

I plan to try other spices in the future, dill would be a classic of course. I may try a bit of chili powder at some point, though my low tolerance for spicy things means I will be very sparing with that.

September 12th, 2010

Tasty and Simple Beer Batter

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I found some beer in the back of the fridge and we had some fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts so of course I needed to dip those in beer batter and fry 'em up.

1 can beer, 12oz (we had Tecate in the back of the fridge, but use what you like)
11/2 cups flour
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt

More flour (for dredging)

Mix up the four batter ingredients, dredge your meat(s) in flour, coat in batter, fry.

I was concerned that some of the larger pieces wouldn't cook before the batter burnt so I fried them until they looked pretty, drained them, and then baked the lot of them in the oven for fifteen minutes to be sure they would be cooked.

February 5th, 2009

Kitchen experiment time: (H)orchata

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While I was out in California a few weeks ago [info]athelind (@LJ) introduced me to something called "orchata" and it was nummy. Some googling for recipes revealed that it is more commonly spelled "horchata" and that it's very simple to make (and that everyone has their own recipe and opinion about what is "the right way").

So I'm giving it a try.

2 cups rice (the original recipe says white or brown, I only have white on hand so that's what I'm using)
2.5 quarts water
1 tsp ground cinnamon (the original recipe has one stick, but we only have ground so...)
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup sugar (to taste really)

Wash the rice then cover it in cold water and let it soak for at least eight hours. I ended up leaving it for about eighteen.

Drain the rice and put it in the blender with enough water from the 2.5 quarts to cover (about 2 cups) and grind/puree/liquefy. If you're using ground cinnamon go ahead and add it in the blender to make it mix in easier. Dump the puree into a pot that will hold at least 3.5 quarts and use the remainder of the 2.5 quarts of water to rinse the blender into the pot. If you're using stick cinnamon, toss it into the pot. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Strain the mixture through a sieve. I feel there should be some use for the rice mash but I haven't thought of anything yet.1

Strain the mixture again through damp cheesecloth. Since I have none I attempted the damp coffee filter suggestion. Don't bother. It filters too well for this. I gently strained through the sieve again and resigned myself to some amount of grit.

Add vanilla and sugar, stir well (or in the case of a container that can be closed tightly, shake like hell) and chill.

The verdict? Not as good as I hoped. I'll give it a few hours to rest and taste it again. As much as the various commentary put down cooking the mixture I think it might help to scald it at least. So if sitting over night doesn't help I'll heat it.

1. Yes I have. Put mash in a pot, add 2 cups of liquid (I used one each milk and water), 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 tsp vanilla. Cook on low until smooth and creamy. It's sort of a "cream of rice" pudding.
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