Thursday, July 31, 2008

Grace’s Overnight Pickles
Crunchy, tangy and the little sweet. It’s as simple as bringing a pot of vinegar, sugar and spices to a boil and pouring it down over salted sliced cucumbers. These pickles stay crunchy thanks to the extra step of salting the slices and letting them sit under ice for a bit. After you try my recipe check out the Cuke and Zuke Fest that Deb Puchalla, editor in chief of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine put together.

Actual prep time: 20 minutes

2lb of pickling cucumbers, also called Kirby, you can sub supermarket or English cukes
2 Tbsp kosher or other coarse salt
Ice to cover pickles

Pickling Mixture
½ tsp celery seed
1tsp mustard seeds
2tsp coriander seeds, bashed
2tsp whole allspice, bashed
¼ tsp ground clove
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp turmeric
pinch crushed red pepper
2 crushed garlic cloves

3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ Tbsp molasses

1. Slice 2 lb pickling cucumbers skin on, also called Kirby cucumbers, into approximately ¼ inch wide rounds. I have a fancy kitchen doodad that gives me a crinkle cut, but there’s really no need.

2. Toss with 2 tablespoons of coarse salt, top with lots of ice cubes and let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours. The salt draws out some moisture and keeps pickles crisp.

3. In the meantime, add pickling mixture to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and reduce to simmer for 4-6 minutes to dissolve the sugar.

4. Once cucumber slices have sat in the salt and ice for about two hours, drain, remove ice and rinse.

Place in heatproof, non reactive bowl, bring pickling mixture back to a boil and pour over pickles.

5. When they’ve cooled pack them into a clean glass or ceramic container and pour liquid over them and refrigerate. I like to use leftover pickle jars. The pickles are delicious once they’ve chilled, but do taste their best after a few days after marinating in all those wonderful spices and garlic. They’ll keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

If you want to try other simple pickle recipes I highly recommend Quick Pickles: Easy Recipes for Big Flavor by Chris Schlesinger a great Boston chef.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Unfancy is the New Fancy
Grace interviews Tom Mylan cofounder of Brooklyn's Unfancy Food Show about what makes his event so much fun and what kind of noise it takes to cause mass produced pigs to keel over and die.

The amazing photos in the video of Tom giving a Pig Butchering Class at The Brooklyn Kitchen are courtesy of Adam Fields. Grub Street over at New York Magazine have a great interview with Tom here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Recipes in 140 character

On an almost daily basis I use a microblogging and social media site to post recipes. You can follow @gracepiper. Here are few of the latest.

Sunday, July 06, 2008
EasyEggplant Parm.Dredge slices in beatnEgg then halfBreadcrumb halfParmCheese. Bake375 tilbrown turn, top with SauceMozzParm broil to brown.

Monday, July 07, 2008
Watermelon Blast: TossinBlender 3cupchunked frozen watermelon, mintleaves, 3/4cupRum, 1/4cupMintSimpleSyrup(c my blog for syrup recipe)

Monday, July 07, 2008
Tahini Sauce for Lamb:1/2 teaspoon minced garlic1 cup tahiniFresh lemon juiceSalt Stir in lemon juice will thicken KeepStirring tilLikecream

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Blueberry Smash! Cocktail

Learn to make a cool, blue drink for a long, hot summer.

Yield: 1 serving (4 ounces each)


* 1 1/4 ounces Citrus Vodka
* 2 ounces of fresh mint simple syrup (see recipe below)
* Small handful of ripe, plump blueberries
* Splash of fresh lime juice
* Seltzer water

Prepare mint simple syrup. In an old-fashioned style glass, add blueberries and about ½ ounce of mint syrup. Muddle (smash) the blueberries against the bottom of the glass until crushed. Add ice, lime juice and top off with seltzer. Stir well. Add more of any ingredient to taste. Garnish with fresh mint and a few whole blueberries

Fresh Mint Simple Syrup


* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup water
* 1 cup fresh mint leaves

Combine sugar, water, and mint in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook just until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool before using.

Thursday, July 03, 2008