pickled jalapenos

Pickled Jalapenos

i read a meme recently
that basically said
the month of August
is like a long Sunday night
for teachers/educators.
while i am not a teacher
this rings such truth for me.
i feel a sort of melancholy that
the summer is half over,
never mind that it’s over a month out.

summers of late
have me pickling,
which leaves our fridge littered
with random jars of experiments.
we tend to have purges
of the most random soured/salted/sweetened
vegs piled high on toast,
the essence of summer in messy, briny bites
during the dark of all other months
where temps don’t go further than 40F.

Pickled Jalapenos

pickled jalapenos
adapted from gimme delicious food

*note: the first time we made this we deseeded the jalapenos and followed the recipe exactly. it was delicious, but the 2nd time we made this i only deseeded half the peppers and i used a rice vinegar instead, because we ran out of the white stuff. still delicious. it has a spice kick to it but that doesn’t deter me from snacking on them. they would be great chopped up and added to tuna or chicken salads, or topped on hot dogs.

1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, smashed & rough chopped
3 TBL sugar
1 TBL salt
7-8 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced, deseeded

wash and slice jalapeno peppers, aim for thin, but it’s up to you. you wanna be careful, the spiciness can stay on your finger tips for awhile, so don’t rub your eyes or other parts of your body. deseed if you want. set aside.

mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. bring to a boil and add the slices. mix it up, make sure all the slices are sufficiently dunked.

carefully transfer the contents of the saucepan to a mason jar. i used a quart jar.

allow to cool before lidding.

BAM!

Pickled Jalapenos

4 years ago: chocolate + coconut macaroons
3 years ago: homemade bánh cướn chay
2 years ago: popcorn
1 year ago: zucchini ravioli

all other pickled stuff:
bread & butter pickles
brinjal pickle hummus
pickled beets
veitnamese pickled carrots & dakon

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zucchini ravioli

Zucchini Ravioli

we had a massive storm here in MD over the weekend
mayhap you saw the headline in your fb feed
or you’re local and you were hunkered down in your abode
like we were in the city,
the lightning and thunder really close.
at one point,
i turned to dw to ask him if he even
knew where the flashlights were.
like the lazy asses that we are
we decided that our phones can suffice
as torches.
meanwhile, with Stranger Things on tv
the kitchen was slowly flooding.
the deluge of water falling from the sky
could not be contained by the fancy gutters
we bought when we fixed the roof last year.
just kidding.
it wasn’t slowly flooding,
it was fucking gushing,
from the back door and onto my new tile floors.
and so, with winona ryder crying in the background
dw & i spent our saturday night
catching water and wringing out towels.
we’re such party animals.

prior to the storm
we picked up our csa and
it’s full on zucchini season,
this week’s recipe really makes good use of this summer veg.
for more inspiration,
hit up maria’s space.

zuch ravioli gif

zucchini ravioli
inspired and adapted from delish
makes about 12-13 raviolis,

*note: i made a full on dairy version with mozz & ricotta cheese for a friend returning from vacation, and i made a completely vegan version for us. click the link for the cheese.
*note**: i doctored up a jar of marinara sauce: sauteed onions + diced garlic scape, chunky over-ripe csa tomatoes and a few TBL of tomato paste.

3-4 zucchinis, sliced thin, with a knife, peeler (which is what i used) or mandolin
1 package of firm tofu, pressed of excess water
2-3 garlic scapes, rough chopped
healthy/generous bunch of parsley
salt&pepper to taste
1 cup of shredded vegan mozzarella, i used daiya
marinara sauce, jarred or doctored or homemade
shredded basil, to garnish

preheat oven to 350F.

slice the zucchinis as described. any nubby bits leftover can be added to the filling, or used for baking, or added to soup.

to make the filling: in a food processor add the pressed tofu. pulse it a few times to break it down. add the garlic scapes and parsley, pulse to incorporate. add in salt & pepper to taste and pulse a few times more. you’re aiming for a well combined ricotta-like mixture.

assemble the raviolis: lay two zucchini slices one way and another two across it, you’re aiming for a lower case T. spoon/scoop about 1.5-2 TBL worth of the tofu mixture in the middle (i used an ice cream scoop). fold the legs over, alternating, until a package is made. continue with the rest of the slices and remaining filling.

in a casserole dish, have a thin layer of marinara sauce. lay out the raviolis, seam side down. spoon sauce over and around the raviolis. they don’t need to be covered, but the amount is entirely up to you. finish with the shredded cheese.

depending on the size of the casserole dish you used, bake for 30-35 minutes (for the smaller batch, i baked for 20 min). the zucchinis came out just at done which dw loved, but i would’ve liked it to go a smidge longer.

garnish with shredded basil.

BAM!

zuch ravioli casserole

3 years ago: chocolate + coconut macarons
2 years ago: banh cuon chay
1 year ago: popcorn

fast ‘n dirty bread & butter pickles

bread & butter pickles

after 2 hours of driving
we stop off at a small town
down by the shore.
there are long limbs that require stretching
and growling stomachs in need of food,
plus, Pokemon to be caught
(for the record, it’s dw who’s playing,
not the kids)
we sit at table that is in a cafe
that also fronts as a pharmacy.
the boys consume everything in front of them
everything except the gherkin pickles,
which are delicious
crisp and sweet and sour.
they remind me of my grandfather
who loved that combination.

with that in mind,
i picked up 4 pounds of pickling cukes
from the market saturday morning,
and spent minimal time in the kitchen
preparing them.
they came out with such snap.
dw could’ve done without the coriander seeds
but i like them.

i made enough to keep a large jar
but also a smaller jar to gift for a sick friend.

hope your summer is going swell.
be good to each other.

bread & butter pickles

fast ‘n dirty bread & butter pickles
makes 1 half gallon + 1 quart jars <= how’s that for crazy measurement?

*note: you can up the amount of sugar if you want it sweeter. i was more interested in getting the crunch and the salt step is key to getting that.

about 3-4 lbs of pickling cucumbers, cleaned and sliced about 1″ thick
3 generous TBL kosher salt
1 large onion sliced
2 scant cups of coconut sugar
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3-4 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds, optional
healthy dash of ground tumeric

in a big mixing bowl add the sliced cukes and sprinkle in the salt. mix it all and then cover in fridge for about 2 hours. them cukes are going to pee liquid something fierce. you’ll be amazed. drain the cukes and rinse thoroughly. drain as much of the water out as possible. add in the sliced onions and toss together.

in a saucepan heat up the rest of the ingredients until simmering and the sugars have dissolved. turn off heat.

in jars divvy up the cukes and onion. pour the hot vinegar liquid over the vegs. allow to cool to room temp and then lid and fridge. will keep for a month, but must be well covered and anytime you pull pickles out, use a clean utensil.

BAM!

bread & butter pickles

3 years ago: spicy cantaloupe salad
2 years ago: pickled beets
1 year ago: apparently i was a bum last year around this time

three bean chili -vegan

3 Bean Chili - vegan

it began with a simple idea:
lunch.
what can i make that will
last a week in the fridge,
will warm us through,
be easy peasy to put together,
and still be delicious
by the very least,
4th day,
ideally 5th day?

chili.
stew.
soup.
same thing.

as i told dw
“we are going to have stoupli
the entire winter.
prepare thyself.”
this is likely going to be
an ongoing theme around these parts.
sorry about that
bring on the cold!

what do you have for lunch?

3 Bean Chili - vegan

three bean chili
as inspired by will cook for friends and something for sunday

*note: it’s early in the season, or late, but i was able to use all fresh vegs. as the season progresses i will likely turn to canned tomatoes and the make up of the recipe will differ slightly depending on what vegs i can get at the market. adjust accordingly, use your best judgement.
**note: we don’t do canned beans, we’ve been trying our hand with dried beans. by all means, for convenience and preference, use canned if that works for you!
***note: the use of cocoa powder and coffee is not new. for Cincinnati chili, it uses a very generous amount of cocoa and wendi once fed me her commitment chili that has coffee in it. it adds a dark richness to the stew. if you’re against caffeine, or darkness and whatever, use broth or water.

3 Bean Chili - vegan

a swirl or two of olive oil, enough to coat the pan/pot
1 cup dried black beans (soaked overnight, cooked for approx 2 hours, until al dente)
1 cup dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans (soaked overnight, cooked in crockpot on high for approx 2-3 hours, until al dente)
1 cup dried navy beans (soaked over night, cooked for approx 2-3 hours, until al dente)
1 huge, gigantore ripe tomato, rough chopped (a can of whole tomatoes is fine)
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 red bell peppers, diced
1 big tomato, rough chopped (a can of tomatoes is fine if not using fresh)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced
2 bay leaves
2 heaping tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBL spoons italian seasoning
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp, more or less, smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
3 cups strong black coffee
1-2 cups leftover cooked bean liquid (or water or stock is fine)
salt/pepper to taste

one of the things that i’ve learned from watching cooking shows and competitions: season well! for every layer of vegs that i add to the pot, i sprinkle in salt & pepper.

in a big pot, heat olive oil at medium high heat. add in the diced onion and saute until translucent. next add in the other vegs, being sure to season between layers and allowing each veg proper saute time. you’re building flavors, don’t skimp.

add in the dry seasonings and mix thoroughly.

pour in liquids, coffee and bean liquid (or water), bring to a boil. lower temp to gentle simmer and cook until beans are soft, up to 45 min – an hour.

*if using canned beans, don’t add the beans until the final 30 minutes. but do allow the other vegs to simmer in the liquids.*

this is even better the next days when all the spices mingled and got merry.

serve with toast, sometimes i added diced avocado if i was feeling fancy, other times, i ate it simply.

BAM!

3 Bean Chili - vegan

pickled beets + urban picnic

Pickled Beets

i’ve been into quick pickling
this summer,
mainly because we have a glut
of vegs,
also because
it’s good for digestion,
and because
we have a lot of jars,
either i chuck ’em or use ’em.

when i’m in a mood
and food is the last thing
i want to play with,
we have picnics,
stuffed heaped on bread,
though not as fancy as this,
still very satisfying.

what’s your fave pickled veg?
(and, can you send me some?)

pickled beets + urban picnic

pickled beets

*note: this is the kind of recipe that is going to require you to use some common sense. beets vary in size, you might like your beets more tender, or more al dente. this is just a guideline.

12 small – medium beets, scrubbed and peeled
drizzle of oil (olive oil, i used organic canola oil)
dry italian seasoning (though fresh rosemary or thyme would be nice)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vinegar
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
2 -3 wide strips lemon zest
3 – 5 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks

heat oven to 400F.

meanwhile, with netflix going (i was watching Arrow, i think i’m gonna hit up The Returned next), scrub beets and peel. (i have a love hate relationship with this step. you can roast them first and then it’s easier to peel the skin away while warm, but i find that messy, with oil and random bits of herbs sticking to your hands. it’s up to you.) cut up any large beets so they’re all approximately the same size. place beets on baking dish lined with large piece of foil. drizzle with oil, top with italian seasoning, salt/pepper. cover with another sheet of foil and roast for 45min – 1 hour, until beets have reached desired doneness. this time around i made them tender, but the batch before that were toothier. do what you like.

when beets are warm to the touch, slice them up in either 3/8″ rounds or wedges. (i’ve done it where i sliced the beets before roasting, which made for much quicker roasting time, again, up to you.)

meanwhile, stir sugar, salt + 2 cups in sauce pan. bring to a gentle boil and stir until sugar dissolves. take off heat, stir in the vinegar and remaining seasonings. allow to cool.

in clean mason jars (or in our case, our huge 1/2 gallon mason jar) put the beets in a layer formation. (note: you can also add in sliced onions or cucumbers). half way up, pour a bit of the brine in, along with the various seasonings. continue to layer up with remaining beets and pour the rest of the brine into jar. if there is any leftover space in the jar, add a bit more water & vinegar (1:1 ratio) to top.

refrigerate for a day or so and consume. they do last awhile, just remember to use clean utensils when extracting the beets from the jar to keep from contamination etc.

BAM!

also pictured:
dutch oven bread
bruised cucumber salad