Pickled Garlic

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Pickled garlic! It’s a THING. I was pretty excited to find it, as a completely unfamiliar food item to me, and once I started digging through recipes I decided a) I wouldn’t make too much, and b) I’d try a couple different versions. Apparently it’s a standard Korean dish, so I decided on that as well as a French recipe.  What’s interesting is that the Korean version is intended to be eaten straight out of the jar, while the French recipe suggests that it’s more often used as a future-recipe-prep type thing. It would normally be grated and used in a salad dressing, or mixed in with hummus, for example.

It takes some time, this pickled garlic. I’m on the second stage of the Korean kind, and the French is technically done, though I tried one of the larger cloves today and I’m still breathing fire. I’m curious to know what they’ll both taste like an a couple weeks (better? more mild, I assume?) But here goes:

So, sure you decide to pickle garlic. And then you realize that lots of cloves of garlic is great and delicious and all, but you have to peel it! What! However, dear friend, there is a way.

If you didn’t watch that video, you break the bulbs up, put the cloves in a bowl, place another bowl upside down over the top, and shake the crap out of it.

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Goes from that ^ to this:

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And depending on the bowls you use, you might not even have to go through as many some-of-them-peeled-so-i’ll-take-them-out rounds as I did.  It saves time.

After this initial peeling part, the different styles split.

French Pickled Garlic

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Ingredients:

1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 small red chile, sliced thinly
3 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 dried bay leaf
7-8 whole peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon dried herbes de provence
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 cup whole garlic cloves, skins removed

Directions:
Combine all ingredients except for the garlic in a small saucepan.
Place saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. boil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic cloves to the saucepan, and allow to boil for 30 seconds. Pour contents of saucepan into a sterilized mason jar, and allow to cool for 45 minutes. When the jar is cool, place the lid on it and store in the fridge.
The garlic will be ready to consume in as little as 2 days, but for the best flavor, allow it to sit in the fridge for about a week before opening. [My note: Larger cloves definitely need much more than 2 days. I left mine in the fridge for about a week and a half, and though the smaller ones were perfect, the bigger ones still have quite a bite.] Stored in the fridge, the french pickled garlic will keep for about a year.
Original recipe can be found here.

Korean Pickled Garlic

[My notes: I cut this recipe in half.]

20140119-204401.jpgKorean style pickled garlic after first portion of the recipe

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh garlic (about 8 – 9 whole heads)
For the vinegar brine:
2/3 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 and 1/3 cups water
For the soy brine:
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 and 1/3 cups water

1-quart jar with a lid

Directions:
Add peeled garlic to the jar. Stir the vinegar brine ingredients
together until the salt is dissolved. Pour over the garlic cloves. The liquid should fully cover the garlic cloves. Let stand at room temperature for 5 – 7 days.
Bring the soy brine ingredients to a boil, and gently boil for 5 minutes over medium heat. Allow to cool completely. Drain the vinegar brine from the jar. Pour the cooled soy brine over the garlic cloves. Make sure all the garlic cloves are fully covered. Close tightly with a lid, and let stand at room temperature for 2 weeks. The garlic can be eaten at this point, but it will taste better as it matures.
Original recipe can be found here.

Update: GARLIC and ONIONS

A friend pointed out that zucchini should be saved for the summertime. This is what I need you all for! Reason!

I’ve actually decided that this month will be dedicated to onions/garlic. Because why not spotlight something that is usually treated as an accent to every other thing in a dish. Because onions and garlic are mother-flipping DELICIOUS.  And because this:

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Nommmmmm.

Stay tuned. Apparently pickled garlic is a thing!

January: Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

So, no. I didn’t plan ahead. I’ve found myself on January 5th making something that has several vegetables in it so that I can decide which one will be January’s vegetable after the fact. I’ll let you know what I decide.

quinoa-chili2But this vegetarian chili (from Two Peas and Their Pod) was damn good. And seriously surprisingly filling. The only thing I should point out is that my grocery store was out of red peppers (alleged snow apocalypse scared people into stocking up on veg), so I replaced it with corn. I also used a jalapeno, but a little less chili powder. Not a big spice person, but this had a good kick.

Maybe I’ll need to get better at this, but though the above is what theirs looked like. Below is what mine looked like. Throw some cheese and sour cream on top, and it’s goooooold.

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My plan is to decide on one of the vegetables involved as the January vegetable. Probably zucchini? I’m not going to lie to you guys, I don’t have my shit together. It makes enough for several days, though, so I won’t need to decide for a few days. Recommend!

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Yield: Serves 10-12

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

This hearty chili is made with beans, vegetables, and quinoa. Meat lovers and vegetarians will love this chili!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2-3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on your taste (we used 3)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Optional toppings: green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, etc.

Directions:

1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Simmer chili on low for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Note-garnish the chili with green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, if desired. This chili freezes well.

The Year of the Vegetable

Lettuce

This year I’ve decided to do something good for myself. I’m not uuuusually one to make resolutions, but this year it seemed fitting.

I need to eat better foods. I need to cook. I need to buy vegetables that aren’t frozen and actually eat all of them instead of tossing them in the trash two months later. So, 2014 is going to be The Year of the Vegetable. I’m going to choose one vegetable each month and make it four different ways (originally one per week, but I don’t need to limit myself by week).

I’m open to suggestions as I haven’t planned the year out yet, and I know you all probably have ideas! Go ahead, gimme ’em.