Monday, June 15, 2009

Spicy Cuke and Apple Pickles

How is this for long, hot Southern summer in a jar?

As I went to review my photos just now, I wanted lemonade and a pimento cheese sandwich with these pickles. Now we're talking. Where is Frank Stitt when I need him? Because caring for two babies who never, ever sleep at the same time, is grueling. It is a wonder I was able to finish this four minute recipe.

To get there, you will need to start here:

Okay, you caught me gratuitously using shots of green things. And making gratuitous Frank Stitt mentions. I do love that color: What is not wrapped up in those shades?: Green fields, healthy eating, spring, summer, the smell of freshly cut grass? Sunday dinners with four vegetable dishes? Is there a better color? I think not. And I do love the man's book, not to mention his pimento cheese. You try it, then tell me I am wrong.

On to the spicy pickles which you should eat with sandwiches and meats at every hour of the day and night. If you have not had a Korean kimchi or spicy pickle before, this is a great place to start. I do not go in for extra trips to the grocery or Asian market consequently I have substituted things I have guessed can be found in many kitchens; chances are you could make these right now without much of an effort. I suggest you do and break your lunch out of the turkey on wheat mold.

And yes, I know apples are not usually pickles. But "pickle" is a term for the method, not a cuke in vinegar and therefore, apples make perfectly acceptable pickles. Come, step out there, order your roast beef with apple pickles at the deli and see what Tony says... then send him here.

Spicy Cuke and Apple Pickles
Serves 6
Adapted from this Gourmet recipe

Honestly, I sliced the cukes and called it a day and they were great. You can go through the process below, in fact, if you do, you will be my hero. Mine were great without. You can use thai chiles and ginger root but you need not worry if you work from the spice rack, they will still be ssweet and spicy all at once.

1/2 pound Japanese or Kirby cucumbers
1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 pound Granny Smith apples
2 cups water
1/3 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon very thin matchsticks of peeled ginger or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of Korean hot red-pepper threads (optional) or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Slice cucumbers crosswise 1/8 inch thick and toss with sea salt. Let stand 30 minutes, then rinse well and squeeze out excess liquid with your hands.

Halve apple half lengthwise and cut out core. Slice crosswise 1/8 inch thick.

Toss apple with cucumbers and remaining ingredients and marinate, chilled, turning occasionally, at least 1 day.

Pickles keep, chilled, 3 days.


The Preppy Princess said...

These look *so* delicious MIss Hostess, yum!


Nan said...

Lots of cukes planted in the garden down at 29 South. Hope all is well. Come by the next time your in the area and check out our new blog
Chef Scotty and Nan - 29 South Restaurant

mamacita said...

Those look delicious! I can't wait to try them for myself.