Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pickles and Mustard

After doing a few rounds of pickling I recently got after it in the kitchen and made a host of pickle recipes with various veggies and fruits.  On top of that I spent the weekend overpaying for mustard seeds and mustard powder to make a trio of mustards from scratch.

On the pickling front, I have found that no one has better pickling recipes than the Lee bros. and their new Simple, Fresh, Southern cookbook (Also see The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, another favorite of mine - I just haven't made any of the pickle recipes...YET!) .  I had previously done their cucumbers and carrots and this time I did their pickled grapes with rosemary and chiles.  And as weird as that sounds, they were the absolute winner out of everything I pickled.

I also made a few basic pickling recipes that I picked up from my friend Mei Lei's blog, Family Styles.  I took her base recipe and just added in various spices on top of each one.  Here I made a trio of peppers, a couple of cucumber recipes along with a couple different pickled carrots.

Outside of the grapes, I have to say that I am partial to the pickled carrots as a snack, although the thinly sliced picked peppers made a fantastic topping on all of the sausages we have been having lately.

I dug up all of the mustard recipes via Google and found a tasty sweet mustard with Agave nectar and honey - so far this has tasted really good on everything.  I also made one straight from mustard powder and found it to be a bit stingy in the nose with a lot of heat coming at you.  It is called hotter than hot mustard and the recipe can be found here.  The last recipe was from the same website, which was a honey stout mustard.  The yellow and brown mustard seeds in the honey stout mustard give it a really nice unique texture that feels like it would be the perfect accompaniment to a ballpark pretzel.

I have been using all three mustards on a host of various chicken, beef, pork and lamb sausages and they all three create a fun, exciting and unique taste (although they all need some work and a little personalization).

Definitely don't judge the mustards in the first few days as they mellow out and the flavors mature when they sit for a bit in the fridge.

Below is a sampling from the day of pickles and mustard:

Pickling is a piece of cake and makes some super tasty snacks or toppings to keep in the fridge.  Even if you can't cook you can pickle, now go doooit, it's fun!  Personally it felt like the mustards probably take a bit more practice and precision so you can get a consistent flavor profile our of you recipes.

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