category pickles

To Pickle or Not to Pickle

So often great food goes to waste in the home kitchen and too often we at Katering are left with excess produce after a busy week.

What better way to reduce food waste than to pickle, preserve, jam and jar. It’s creative, fun and delicious. There is certainly no reason why you can’t try it at home. Be careful though, it can be addictive!

You can purchase a few select and super delicious pickles from Katering at Home , we produce an ever changing selection of pickles based on the season; our most popular being the Pickled Beetroot and Baby Onions but if you want to have a little fun in the kitchen why not spend this weekend getting pickled.

Pickling is a cheap, easy and nutritious way of preserving the best of the winter vegetables. It’s also great for your gut too, packing in the Probiotics. Pickling is a form of fermentation, when vegetables and fruits are fermented, healthy bacteria help to break down the hard-to-digest cellulose in foods, as well as some of the natural sugar.

That is the question. With all of their health benefits, it seems like pickles can definitely be beneficial when eaten in moderation.

Pickling your own vegetables and fruits can help you preserve the produce in your home fridge, as well as bring new flavours to your food. So what are you waiting for? Grab a jar and get pickling! It’s easy to do.

Below I have included a recipe for crispy quick refrigerator pickles and a good for the gut, fermented pickle….. So keep your old jam jars and give some new life to those sad forgotten vegetables at the bottom of your crisper.

Quick crispy pickles

Preparation time: 30min

INGREDIENTS:
6 cups raw vegetables (beetroot, baby carrots, radish, turnips or whatever takes your fancy really)
1 tbsp. coriander seed
1tsp mustard seed
6-10 cloves garlic thinly sliced
few sprigs fresh dill or thyme
pinch celery seeds
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 cup water
2 tbsp. table salt
5tbsp sugar

METHOD:
Prepare the vegetables by washing them and patting dry with paper towel, slice or quarter.
Bring the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil in a medium size pot. Let sit for a half hour to cool slightly.
Divide the spices evenly between the jars.
Layer the vegetables into the jars with the fresh herbs and garlic slices.
Pour the hot liquid into the sterile jars, making sure to submerge all the vegetables.
Cover with a lid and let cool on the bench.
Store in the fridge – keeps for up to a month

Home Made Fermented Pickles

Preparation time: 30min

INGREDIENTS:
6-7 very fresh pickling cucumbers
2 garlic cloves, peeled
6 bird’s eye chilli peppers, fresh or dried
3-4 sprigs fresh dill
2 tbsp dill seeds
1 tbsp pickling spice (available from Herbies Spices)
3 cups boiled water, at room temperature
1½ tbsp Himalayan or unrefined salt
1 large, very clean glass jar (Mason type or hinged-top jar)

METHOD:
Slice the ends from the cucumbers and cut them in half if desired. You can also leave them whole if you prefer.
Stuff the cucumbers so they fit snuggly in the jar and add fresh dill, chilli, dill seeds and pickling spice.
Mix salt and water in a large measuring cup, stirring until the salt is completely dissolved. Pour over the cucumbers until they are completely submerged. Make sure to leave at least 2 cm of head space to allow the brine to bubble up during fermentation without exploding the jars on you.
Alternatively, if you wanted to draw more flavour out of your spices, you could also do this is by heating the dill seeds, pickling spice, salt and water over medium heat until it comes to a simmer then let this brine come back to room temperature before adding it to the jar.
Once the cucumbers are completely covered with the brine, place a small non-reactive object such as a small dipping bowl, shot glass or plastic lid over them to make sure they remain entirely submerged then close the lid leaving a little open to allow gas to escape.
Leave your pickles to ferment on the bench for 7 to 10 days. Open the jars every day to allow gas to escape.
After 7 to 10 days, transfer your pickles to the refrigerator, they will keep for 3-4 weeks.
If you like your pickles to be a little more on the vinegary side, you can add a little bit of vinegar to the jar once the fermentation process is complete. Let your pickles macerate for a couple more days before eating them.