Sweet Pickle Chips

Making Sweet Pickle Chips

Making Sweet Pickle Chips

I have to admit I have a great weakness for sweet pickle chips.

Well, actually not just sweet pickle chips, I have a weakness for nearly ALL things pickled.

Chances are if it hangs around on a pickling day it just may get processed into some kind of something sweet or sour or both.

Sweet Pickle Chips

Sweet Pickle Chips

There is something about the simple process and the synergistic reaction of all the ingredients that results in some of the most amazing flavors on earth.

OK, I can get carried away with pickles, but who wouldn’t? I’d rather look at silly pickle pictures on Facebook than all those animal pics. At one time, at another house, in another time, there was a 100 gallon propane tank above the ground to one side of the property. I wanted to paint it like a giant pickle. The gas company told me I would get fined so I didn’t. It was the perfect shape for a giant pickle too!

I get my love of pickles from my Dad. For years now, whenever it is time for a gift, I send him a renewed subscription to The Pickle of the Month Club. He loves them!

Anyway, back to these little gems. They aren’t too sweet. Here are a few pointers:

  • Select cucumbers the size of the pickles you want (Look at the diameter and the length)
  • A basket of goodies to pickle!

    A bowl of goodies to pickle!

  • Dissolve 1/2 cup salt in some luke-warm water. Add enough ice to cool the water down to cold. After washing add the cucumbers , soak them for 30 minutes in the salt water. There should be enough water to cover the cucumbers.
  • By the way, they will float, so dunk them a bit as you work around them. Play like they are submarines . . .

Soaking does a couple of things:

  • Helps eliminate any bugs and garden debris
  • Starts extracting excess water from the cucumbers so they absorb more brine. This step also helps to not dilute the brine when the cucumbers are added later.

Sweet Pickle Chips

Making Sweet Pickles Chips

Making Sweet Pickles Chips

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of wax-less Kirby cucumbers, cleaned and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
  • 8 ounces sweet onion, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices

Simmering Brine:

  • 1 quart of water
  • 12 ounces apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed pickling spice

Mix brine ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the sliced cucumbers and onions, return to a boil and lower heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain, discarding liquid unless processing another batch.

Pickling Vinegar Brine

  • 10 ounces white vinegar (NOT WINE Vinegar!)
  • 13.5 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mixed pickling spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed  whole allspice berries
  • 2 bay leaves

Optional:

  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic – for a fresh garlic flavor
  • 1-3 dried red chili pods or red jalapeno pepper – to give some heat!

Combine everything in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. It will need to be stirred to encourage the sugar to melt.

Stir the spices and sugar as you bring to a boil for the Pickling Brine.

Stir the spices and sugar as you bring to a boil for the Pickling Brine.

This mixture needs to be boiling when the vegetables are done simmering.

Procedure:

Wash the cucumbers in water slightly warmer than the cucumbers. Soak in a large bowl of cold water with 1/2 cup salt in it.

This helps eliminate any insects and garden debris that may be lurking on the cucumbers.

Mix the simmering brine ingredients, put on the range top over high heat to bring to a boil.

Mix the pickling vinegar brine and put that over high heat, stirring often to prevent the sugar from burning.

Drain the cucumbers after they have been soaking for at least 30 minutes.

Slice the cucumbers and onions into 1/4 inch slices.

Slice the cukes 1/4" thick

Slice the cukes 1/4″ thick

When the simmering brine reaches a boil, drop in the cucumbers and onions, return to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain the vegetables, discarding liquid (Unless processing another batch).

Place the cukes and onions in a large canning jar. Using a wide mouth funnel, pour the boiling pickling brine into the jar all the way to the top. Leave as little head room as possible. Everything must be submerged under the pickling brine.

If you find there are pieces that want to float, place a small glass plate or dish on the surface to hold everything down.

At first the jars may appear cloudy but as the turmeric and celery seeds settle to the bottom, the vinegar will clear up and you can enjoy looking at gleaming bottles of an amazing turmeric colored sweet pickles!

A Jar of Sweet Pickle Chips

A Jar of Sweet Pickle Chips

Resist eating them for at least 4 days but they are amazing if you can hold off for 3-4 weeks. Everything mellows and they become one divine pickle. But if you must, you can taste the next day, just remember they will mellow considerable as they age.

Once you try these, the half sour pickles and the pickled cauliflower, and pickled beets, you will never buy pickles again! I really like that idea – “No processed food unless you process it yourself” is my new motto!

Slicing cucumbers for Sweet Pickle Chips

Slicing cucumbers for Sweet Pickle Chips

You may notice this recipe is the same as the pickled cauliflower recipe and it is! All I have done is substituted the main pickling ingredient.

Cool thing with these is if you ever need pickle relish and don’t have any, simple chop of some of the pickles and onions and you have a great relish! Especially if you add a red chili or sweet red pepper, but not much. The flavor would overwhelm everything else in the jar.

Remember to serve the onions too! If you use a sweet onion like Vidalia, they become another kind of special.

Keep these in the refrigerator unless you want to process them in a canning process to make them shelf stable.

A Jar of Sweet Pickle Chips

A Jar of Sweet Pickle Chips

I find the sweet pickle chips don’t last long enough to can so just get set to make more.

Enjoy!

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Pickled Cauliflower

Pickled cauliflower ingredients

Pickled cauliflower ingredients

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE cauliflower, especially when its pickled cauliflower! When I was little, I would go into the jar of mixed pickles in the refrigerator and pick out the few bits of cauliflower that could be found. It was always disappointing because if you were lucky, you could find two pieces in a single jar.

And my dad likes it as much as I do. I always wanted to see a jar of pickled cauliflower on the shelves of the grocery, but when I have seen them, the contents have always been disappointing.

Yummy Pickled Cauliflower!

Yummy Pickled Cauliflower!

SO, using a pickling method I use to make sweet pickles, I used cauliflower instead of cucumbers with lip-smacking good delightful flavor.

Pickled Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of cauliflower, cleaned and broken into 2-3 bite size bits – measure after cleaning the cauliflower
  • 8 ounces sweet onion, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices

Simmering Brine:

  • 1 quart of water
  • 12 ounces apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed pickling spice

Mix brine ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the cauliflower and onions, return to a boil and lower heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Boil the vegetables in the simmering brine for 10 minutes

Boil the vegetables in the simmering brine for 10 minutes

Drain, discarding liquid unless processing another batch.

While vegetables are simmering, make the vinegar pickling brine.

Pickling Vinegar Brine

  • 10 ounces white vinegar (NOT WINE Vinegar!)
  • 13.5 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mixed pickling spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed  whole allspice berries
  • 2 bay leaves

Optional:

  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic – for a fresh garlic flavor
  • 1-3 dried red chili pods or red jalapeno pepper – to give some heat!

Combine everything in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. It will need to be stirred to encourage the sugar to melt.

Stir the spices and sugar as you bring to a boil for the Pickling Brine.

Stir the spices and sugar as you bring to a boil for the Pickling Brine.

This mixture needs to be boiling when the vegetables are done simmering.

Procedure:

Wash the cauliflower in water slightly warmer than the cauliflower. Cut into florets. Soak in a large bowl of cold water with 1/4 cup salt in it.

This helps eliminate any insects that may be lurking on the vegetable.

Mix the simmering brine ingredients, put on the range top over high heat to bring to a boil.

Mix the pickling vinegar brine and put that over high heat, stirring often to prevent the sugar from burning.

Drain the cauliflower it should soak for at least 15 -30 minutes.

When the simmering brine reaches a boil, drop in the cauliflower and onions, return to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain the vegetables, discarding liquid (Unless processing another batch).

Place the cauliflower and onions in a large canning jar. Using a wide mouth funnel, pour the boiling pickling brine into the jar all the way to the top. Leave as little head room as possible. Everything must be submerged under the pickling brine.

If you find there are pieces that want to float, place a small glass plate or dish on the surface to hold everything down.

At first the jars may appear cloudy but as the turmeric and celery seeds settle to the bottom, the vinegar will clear up and you can enjoy looking at gleaming bottles of an amazing pickled cauliflower!

Fresh and Pickled cauliflower

Fresh and Pickled cauliflower

Keep these in the refrigerator unless you want to process them in a canning process to make them shelf stable.

Pickles Cauliflower, Sweet Pickle Chips and Half-Sour Pickles chilling

Pickles Cauliflower, Sweet Pickle Chips and Half-Sour Pickles chilling

Fresh and pickled cauliflower

Fresh and pickled cauliflower

I find they don’t last long enough to can so just get set to make more.

Enjoy!

Easy Sandwich Rolls

When it comes to a good easy sandwich roll, a homemade one is hard to beat. Finding a great recipe is also a bit of a challenge.

I wanted a recipe that didn’t require an overnight sponge or two rising times. I wanted a recipe that could be done in just a couple of hours and have good texture and great flavor.

The recipe had to be versatile and most of all, fun.

First is the recipe as I made it and after, is a basic recipe that can be modified easily to give youSandwich Rolls a whole bunch of different results.

With practice, you could have these ready to eat within 2 hours.

Easy Sandwich Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non fat milk
  • 5 ounces water
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 egg at room temperature, beaten
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup mixed grains and seeds; soaked in 1/4 cup water
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Wash and topping:
  • 1 egg yolk with 1 Tablespoon water
  • Sesame and poppy seeds and coarse salt

Method:

Remove the egg from the refrigerator and crack it into a bowl. Beat it slightly with a fork, set it aside to come to room temperature.

Heat the milk, water and honey with the butter just until the butter melts. Cool until the temperature falls below 120°F then beat in the egg.

Measure 2 cups of AP flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. On low-speed, add the cooled milk mixture until a dough forms.

Slowly add the remaining flour a bit at a time. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl and will not be sticky when enough flour has been added. You may need to add additional flour beyond what is called for in the recipe.

Once a soft non sticky ball has formed, knead for 5-8 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Zero a scale and weigh the dough mass. Determine how many ounces of total weight you have. You can determine how many rolls to make in one of two ways.

1. Divide the total weight in ounces by how many rolls you need. Then cut off dough balls that of that weight and all rolls will be the same size.

2. Decide how large you want the rolls. The rolls featured are 3.2 ounce dough balls.

Seeded Sandwich Rolls

  • small slider rolls – 2 ounces – bake 10-12 minutes
  • sandwich or burger size rolls – 3.2 ounces – bake 12-14 minutes
  • large sandwich rolls – 4 ounces – bake up to 20 minutes
  • Hot Dog Buns: 4 ounce rolled into oblong shape, slice open on top or side – bake up to 20 minutes

As the dough balls are weighed, round each dough ball to create a smooth top. Place them 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle a bit of cornmeal under the rolls.

Place the smooth dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet, cover with a piece of plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick oil. Let the rolls rise until they double in size – in a warm kitchen this may take 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 400°F

Once the rolls have risen, glaze them gently with egg yolk and sprinkle with seeds. The egg yolk helps the seeds stick and gives a nice shine to the finished roll. Brush the egg yolk on with a brush, being careful not to deflate the risen roll.

Bake the rolls in a 400°F oven for 12-15 minutes; 10-12 for the small rolls and up to 20 minutes for the larger rolls.

Verify internal temperature has reached 210°F and then cool the rolls on a rack. Be sure to space them so they don’t become soggy while cooling.

The final internal temperature should reach 210°F for any size.

Once the rolls have cooled, slice them open and fill with your favorite sandwich filling. The rolls are tender, absorbent to hold juicy fillings without getting messy, taste really good and look fantastic.

Once you see how easy it is to make these sandwich rolls, you’ll make them again and again.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a Sandwich Roll with Cabbage and Kale Slaw and Sweet Pickle Chips

BBQ Chicken Sandwich on a Sandwich Roll with Cabbage and Kale Slaw and Sweet Pickle Chips

Plain White Sandwich Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 ounces butter, melted
  • 1 room temperature egg, beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups bread or AP flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Follow the same directions as the multi-grain rolls.

Use different toppings or slash the tops of some rolls for different looks.

If you use dried minced onions or dried minced garlic on the top of the unbaked rolls, be sure to soak the dried onions or garlic in a small amount of water before using as a topping. If they are not hydrated, they will burn and taste bitter.

Try adding cheese or shredded zucchini in place of butter to the recipe.

Use them as dinner rolls, give a bag to your neighbor.

To me one of the best parts of a sandwich is good bread. This is a great start.

Try them and let me know what you think and if you tried anything different.

Sandwich rolls

Sandwich rolls