Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour

No muss, no fuss pickles everyday

While pickle making is usually a game played in the summer or autumn when the garden is in full production, delicious pickles can be made any time of year. Pickles really pack a wallop when their combined acid and sugar reach your palate. They're so stimulating to the taste buds that anything else you pop between your teeth tastes good, too.

Here are some old and new favorites, guaranteed to tickle your fancy and fancify your menus.

Super-Fast Pickled Fruits or Vegetables

Surely you must have one of these possibilities just waiting for the tart-sweet treatment.

2 firm pears or 1 pound of firm radishes, turnips, celery root or apples
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup water, more as needed

Peel fruit or vegetable and cut into thick slices. In a bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper with a cup of water; add fruit or vegetable. You may need to add a little more water to cover. The pickles should be sweet, sour and salty. Add more of any ingredient to your taste. Eat immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days. Makes 4 servings.

Uncooked Cabbage Relish

Green pepper and pimento (or red pepper) add color. Particularly good with pork or with hot dogs.

2/3 quart chopped cabbage
1 green pepper, chopped
1 pimento or red pepper, chopped
1 cup thinly sliced celery with leaves
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar

Mix together chopped cabbage, green pepper, pimento or red pepper and celery and then whip the remaining ingredients together until sugar dissolves. Combine all ingredients well and serve immediately or in a day or two. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Sweet Mushrooms

Shitake mushroom are usually used in this Asian recipe, but you can substitute other varieties.

10 fresh or dried shitake mushrooms
Vegetable oil, if necessary
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 small chili (jalapeno, Thai, Serrano or habanero), minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sherry or wine vinegar

Remove mushroom stems, slice caps and saute or roast with a little oil until tender. If using dried mushrooms, reconstitute by steeping in boiling water until tender; drain, remove stems and slice caps. In a bowl, combine mushrooms with remaining ingredients, then taste and adjust seasonings; they should be fairly sweet. Refrigerate for 1 day before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Cranberry Citrus Relish

Serve with poultry or pork or use as an ingredient in muffins or scones.

1 bag (3 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 tangerine or thin-skinned orange
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
3/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Sort cranberries and place in saucepan. Cut unpeeled tangerine or orange into 1-inch chunks; remove and discard seeds; finely chop. Add copped tangerine, apricots, brown sugar, granulated sugar, molasses, raspberry vinegar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla to cranberries; stir to mix. Cook uncovered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries are soft and begin to pop. Let cool. Cover and chill up to 1 month. Makes 3 3/4 cups.

Kappie's Sweet Pickles from Dill

Give store-bought pickles the homemade touch. They keep well and don't have to be stored in the refrigerator.

1 quart dill pickles
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon whole allspice
Few drops green food coloring

Drain the dill pickles and then into chunks or slices. Heat the remaining ingredients together and pour over the pickles. Stir now and then. You can return pickles and the new liquid to the pickle jar, seal and keep for a long while. Makes 1 quart.

Carrot Coins

These coins keep well for as long as 4 weeks and they're delicious with pork, beef, poultry, BBQ, sandwiches. You name it! Even the kids will like them, vitamin A and all.

1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 cup tomato soup, undiluted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook carrots in small amount of boiling water, or microwave until just barely tender; drain. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over carrots. Eat immediately or keep in refrigerator 3 to 4 weeks. Makes 3 to 4 cups.

Marinated Mixed Vegetables

This colorful dish is great at a barbecue or picnic. It goes well with pork, poultry, sandwiches, and hot dogs.

3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon pepper
1 can (16 oz) French-style green beans, drained
1 can (17 oz) English peas, drained
1 can (12 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 jar (2 oz) chopped pimento, drained or 1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 green pepper, chopped
1 bunch scallion, thinly sliced

Combine vinegar, salt, sugar, water, pepper and green beans in saucepan; bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Cool. Combine peas, corn, pimento or pepper, celery, green pepper and scallion and stir in. Cool, cover and refrigerate 12 hours, stirring occasionally. Makes about 6 cups.

There is more than one way to slip vegetables into the diet!


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