More preserving and pickling

I know this entry is kind of late, but nevertheless I feel it is worth posting. With all of the amazing produce we get in the spring (most of which is foraged and reeived in abundance when available) and even as busy as we are, it is often hard to keep all of it fresh before you use it and unfortunately lose it. So, i have (and for a little while now) been studying preserving and pickling through the use of sugars, salt and vinegars. We do a few different styles of pickling at work. The one we use the most is a quick pickle where we'll pour a hot pickling liquid over, say celery, let it cool to room temp before we ice it down and stick in the fridge for a day or two. Another is allowing the natural lactic acids to build up and ferment for things like sauerkraut and kimchi. A few of the other guys at work, along with myself have been messing around with different recipes and types of kimchi. The first one I did turned out pretty good, but was too spicy for most. Another one that was done, which was sweet and a little less spicy, was a kimchi based mostly around cucumber as the main ingredient. This was then pureed and allowed to drain for a consomme. The flavor is really nice, a bit spicy but very light and sweet from the cucumber. We have a couple different kinds going right now including a swiss chard kimchi (where i made a brine that is poured over the kimchi. a technique that I have never tried before) and another batch of cucumber for the tasting menu. The other one, which is great for most things is using a mostly vinegar and salt based solution for things like dilled verts, dill pickles, pickled okra, etc. However the most recent that I have been exploring is pickling flowers and fruits. The first attempt ending up in a mango vinegar, and my latest some spring onion blossoms. I used a mixture of water, sugar and a chradonnay vinegar. I wanted it to stay sweet, and try to cut some of the pungent onion flavor that the blossoms burst with, but not too much of it.

I have unfortunatley not messed around too much with preserves, but did have some nice strawberries come in for a VIP dinner, and was able to grab a couple of the extra pints and thought it was time. So, I did a mixture of vanilla, sugar, lemon juice, white port and starwberry. Can't wait to use these up in the near future!!

Hear is a shot of a couple of ideas that i've been throwing around based on two main ingredients: squash preserves from last june and a red mole.

Wagyu Tenderloin, Hasta la Pasta Squash Preserve, Red Mole, Cocoa Meringue, Soubise, Burnt Onion, Freeze dried corn powder, salad of roasted carrots and tops, Candied Marcona Almonds

Honey brined Mangalitsa Loin, Red Mole, Preserved Squash Butter, Spring Onion Pudding, Cocoa Meringue, Micro Cilantro, Candied Marcona almond

1 comment:

  1. I'm the greatest strawberry preserve taster/authority around. Send them up and Cynthia and I will rate them for free!

    The blog is a great idea. Thanks to your dad for letting us know about it.