Sunday, November 21, 2010
Pickled Green Beans
Right now there seems to be an over abundance of fresh green beans on the market. Take advantage and pickle a few jars of them. They make great treats in a bloody Mary or just put a side out for an appetizer or snack. They are delicious. Sometimes I think we forget that we can make most foods at home, and make them better quality than what we can get off the shelf. This method I use is a cold pack method, no pasteurizing by boiling the jars for 20 minutes, just a very simple brine. If you follow basic kitchen cleanliness, you will have no problem at all.
As with all cooking, you should start with the freshest ingredients you can find. farmers markets are the perfect place to look for quality fresh produce. But you can get very good quality green beans from your local market as well. Just pick a few up and snap them in half, they should give a good pop when snapped in two. Also taste them, they should have good moisture and taste fresh with firm flesh.
You will need at least 3 quart sized Mason jars and lids. sanitize them by running them through your dishwasher on the "sanitize" setting. You can also achieve the same results by using a mix of water and bleach and scrubbing them in hot water.
1 to 1 1/2 Lbs of fresh Green Beans. Cleaned and scrubbed.
3 cups water
3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp Dill seeds
2 Tbsp whole black pepper corns
1 Tbsp whole Coriander seeds
1 Tbsp whole Mustard seeds
1 Tbsp Red Pepper flakes
3 cloves Garlic minced
3 bay leaves
3 Chili peppers. Jalapeno, Serrano. Your choice.
If you are using smaller or larger quantities, you can measure the amount of brine needed by first stuffing yoour jars with green beans and then adding water to the jars. Pour out the water into a container and measure the water used. This will give you an exact measurement of how much brine to use.
Add all ingredients into a large sauce pan and gently bring to a boil. Once you have reached a low boil, turn off the burner and let the ingredients steep for 5 minutes.
Stuff your jars with the green beans and place one of the peppers and bay leaf in each jar. Make sure that you place the peppers at the bottom of the jar, they will float to the top otherwise.
Seal each jar with your clean lids. And keep jars on your counter until lids seal. Your lids will seal themselves. It may take anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, but they will form a vacuum and seal. You can test this. as you put the lids on the jars, you can press your finger in the middle of the lid and it will give way and pop up and down. When the lids form a vacuum seal, the center part of the lid will be sucked down. and will not give.
After lids have sealed, place them in your refrigerator and let sit for 2-3 weeks. As the flavors will mature and get really good.
They will last up to 3 months or more in your fridge.
This is a classic and basic pickling recipe that you can use on all sorts of veggies from Pickles to zucchini.
Use your imagination and add or subtract ingredients to fir your taste.