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Archive for the ‘onions’ Category

I’ve never been a pickler or canner, I actually never really appreciated a pickle that wasn’t a really good homemade dill pickle. But recently I’ve been enjoying other random pickled vegetables. I have zero patience for projects where the process takes much planning and where there’s the possibility of contamination or, God forbid, poisoning someone. Still, I really didn’t want to be at the mercy of some pricy restaurant to enjoy pickled vegetables. So, with about 2 minutes of research for basic proportion, and no know-how whatsoever, I thought I would give some quick pickles a try. Here’s what I did, but I would encourage you to experiment. This is in no way a recipe for canning pickles, or producing anything that can be put on a shelf indefinitely. This is a recipe [that’s being generous] for making something resembling pickled vegetables that you make, cool, and consume immediately with friends and some cheese, charcuterie, and wine.

I put about 2 cups of miscellaneous vinegars in a non-reactive pot. It was a mix of cider, red wine, and rice vinegar. I added about a cup of sugar and a 1/2 cup of water. I added about a teaspoon of turmeric [I would recommend more like 2 tablespoons], a teaspoon of salt, a few juniper berries, some green peppercorns, a bay leaf, and a handful of sliced ginger. I brought it to a boil to dissolve the sugar then added 2 bunches of small radishes that had been halved or quartered [depending on size] and half a red onion. I let it boil for about three minutes, scooped it into a tempered glass container with a lid, and threw it into the fridge.

They got good reviews. I’m going to try to reuse the liquid… maybe add more vinegar and sugar and adjust the spices; there definitely could have been more kick. I might even throw in a peeled, hard- boiled egg or two to see what happens. Or perhaps do those separately; do you think it would make the vegetables taste eggy??

Refrigerate them and consume them expeditiously! Now, you’re a quickler…

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BRAISED PORK

are you german? this is very straight- forward, nothing fancy.

i made this in december for a party. because i got distracted, there is no plated photo.
it was served with spatzle [see recipe below]. this is a simple version of family dish that was served fairly regularly. it’s great in cold weather, so hurry up before it gets warm. here in portland, you have until about june. the traditional version adds drained and rinsed sauerkraut and fennel seed; it’s fantastic that way as well. make a lot, it reheats well. we serve it with applesauce and call it the “beige” meal.

in a huge, heavy baking dish, brown the country ribs in vegetable oil. you can buy them with or without the bone, but buy them with the bone if you can, they are better. brown them on both sides, a few at a time so they do not touch. remove them and deglaze the pan with water or stock.

season the meat with salt and pepper and distribute in pan. add chunks of yellow onion; add a lot, this is your ‘vegetable’ of the meal. if you want to add sauerkraut and fennel seed, do it now. distribute the sauerkraut so it’s throughout the meat layers. i did about three layers of ribs. add fresh sprigs of thyme. add a bay leaf or two, and more liquid if needed. you don’t need to fill it to the top with liquid, maybe just half way. roast in a preheated 325 degree oven for a couple of hours, until the meat is falling off the bone. it’s hard to overcook the meat here, although the onions will get ultra- soft. if you want to cook it for longer, just turn down the temperature to 300. i take it out after about an hour and just rearrange things a bit so that it cooks evenly in the juices.

SPATZLE

this recipe is from the joy of cooking and is the only one i ever use. i make these after the pork is finished roasting, just leave the lid on, it will stay hot.

beat 2 eggs. mix well with 1 1/2 c flour, 1/2 c water or milk, 1/2 t sea salt, 1/4 t of double- acting baking powder. i whip it all together with a fork. instead of pushing the dough through a sieve or colander [a traditional method], i use two large spoons. collect a spoonful of dough in one spoon, and scrape off quarter- sized chunks into boiling, salted water. i put a dish in the oven on low with a few tablespoons of butter in it. as i make the spatzle, i collect them with a slotted spoon and throw them in the dish with butter. just give them a quick stir each time you add some.

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i love baked onions.

take the root end off the baby onions. throw them in boiling water for a minute, then drain. push onions out of their skins.

put into a baking dish with olive oil, butter, salt and pepper and roast in a preheated 350 degree oven until tender and a little brown.

we were all so hungry i forgot to photograph them when they came out of the oven, but they were magnificent!

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