Pickling & relish pointers
Last updated 6/12/2012 1:17:56 AM. Recipe ID 48544. Report a problem with this recipe.
Title: Pickling & relish pointers
Categories: Inform, Canfood, Pickling, Typed
Yield: 1 Servings
MMMMM--------------------PICKLES AND RELISHES-------------------------
Pickles, relishes, and chutneys are vegetables prepared with brine
(salt and water) or vinegar and some sugar and spices. The vinegar
acts as a preservative, keeping any spoilage organisms from growing.
Sealing pickled foods in jars and processing in a boiling water bath
helps keep them fresh, crisp, and free from mold.
Whole, sliced, or chunked vegetables cooked in vinegar or a vinegar
sugar syrup, can become pickles. Chopped or ground combinations
cooked with vinegar, sugar, and spices become relishes. Chutneys are
highly spiced fruit and/or vegetable combinations.
The old fashioned dill pickles and sauerkraut are actually fermented
in brine, rather than cooked in vinegar. The brine, plus the sugar
from the cucumber or cabbage, promote a special kind of bacterial
action that, over several days or weeks, changes cucumbers to pickles
and transforms cabbage to kraut.
PICKLING POINTERS Because certain ingredients are very important for
proper pickling, you'll need to be aware of some of the following
1. Use produce that is as fresh as possible. Take it from the garden
to your kitchen and into jars just as rapidly as possible. If you
can't process the produce immediately, be sure to keep it
refrigerated. Vegetables should be just barely ripe; they'll keep
their shape better than if they were fully ripe. Always select
cucumber varieties that have been created for pickling. The large
salad cucumbers were developed for salads, not for pickles. Use
smaller, less pretty cukes, with pale skins, plenty o bumps, and
black spines. Never use waxed cucumbers. Select evenly shaped and
sized vegetables for even cooking and better looking pickles.
2. Water is an important pickle ingredient, especially for long brined
pickles. Soft water is best. Hard water can cloud the brine or
discolor the pickles. If you don't have soft water, boil hard water
for 15 minutes, then let it stand overnight. Skim off the scum, then
carefully dip out what you need so you won't get any sediment from
the bottom. Then add 1 tablespoon of salt for each gallon; or you cn
use distilled water if your water is hard.
3. Salt, too, makes a difference. Table salt contains special
additives to prevent it from caking in your shaker, and these
materials can cloud brine. Iodized salt can darken brine. use only
pure, granulated salt, also known as kosher salt, pickling salt, or
dairy salt. Most supermarkets stock it with canning supplies.
4. Vinegar is a crucial ingredient for many pickle recipes. check the
label when you shop, and be sure to get a good quality vinegar of
from 4 to 6 percent acidity. (Sometimes listed as 40 to 60 grain.)
Weaker vinegar will not pickles foods. use distilled white vinegar
for light colored pickles, cider vinegar for darker foods or more
5. Sugar can be brown or white granulated, depending on the lightness
or darkness of food to be pickled. Or, if you wish, use half corn
syrup or honey and half sugar. Don't use sugar substitutes unless you
follow their manufacturers' directions.
6. spices must be fresh. Old spices will make your pickles taste
musty. Most recipes call for whole spices, which give stronger flavor
and don't color the pickles as much. It is suggested you tie the
spices in a cheesecloth bag and add them to the kettle during
cooking, then remove the bag before packing the pickles into jars.
Some cooks like to leave whole spices in the jars for stronger flavor
and just for appearance's sake, but loose spices may darken the
7. Alum, lime, and other ingredients added to crisp or color pickles
are not necessary, and their use is not recommended. These
ingredients are often found in old fashioned recipes. Most of the
newer recipes won't need any of these additives.
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