Though I’ve been quite busy, it’s been mostly laziness that’s kept me from cooking these past few weeks. I haven’t been feeling much culinary inspiration and haven’t wanted to put in the effort required to find recipes I like and go shopping for ingredients. I’m living with my parents during my VISTA term (which ends in like 5 weeks!!) which means that they do most of the grocery shopping, but I often (inconveniently) need ingredients right before or after their grocery trip.
When I first found this recipe I was intrigued, but also a little weirded out. I’ve pickled stuff before, but pickled shrimp just seemed so strange, perhaps because I’d never heard of it here in the good ol’ Midwest. I was going to try this recipe out at a party I hosted a few weeks back, but was unsure of how it would turn out and didn’t have all of the ingredients at the time. Well, I finally got around to trying it and it turned out great. The shrimp were bright and tart, and delicious. I’m sure they’ll taste even better after sitting in the fridge for the next few days (if they last that long).
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup capers with their juices
- 1 tbsp Mrs. Dash seasoning
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Splash of hot sauce
- 12 oz cooked shrimp (I used frozen shrimp and defrosted in cool water)
- In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except for the shrimp.
- Add the shrimp and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least of 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve chilled..
Source: Adapted from the kitchn
I have long pondered the virtues of baby carrots vs. whole carrots (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but I do kind of have strong feelings on the topic). Baby carrots are convenient and great to pack in lunches or as snacks. BUT, I find that baby carrots are less consistent when it comes to taste and level of sweetness than are whole carrots (and they’re usually more expensive, too). Hence I’m more likely to choose whole carrots, peeling and cutting them up if I want to make them more portable. I used whole carrots in this recipe, though one can easily substitute baby carrots if desired.
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 (5- to 6-inch) sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped
- 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns, cracked
- 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Heaping 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Heaping 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 1 1/2 lbs carrots, cut into 3″ by 1/2 ” sticks
- In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar, water sugar, thyme, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, salt, and mustard seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let cool briefly. Stir in the last 1/2 cup of vinegar.
- Put the carrots in a large bowl, and pour the warm brine over them. Let the carrots and brine cool to room temperature.
- Wash whatever canning jars you’ll be using. I used three pint sized jars, and the carrots fit perfectly in them, and fit better in my fridge than larger jars. Use whatever works for you.
- When the carrots and brine are cool, place the carrots snugly in the jars (hands/fingers work well). Use a ladle to pour the brine over the carrots until they’re covered. If you don’t have enough brine, mix 2 parts vinegar and 1 part water to finish the job.
- Seal the jars tightly and refrigerate for a week (if you can wait that long!)
I eagerly await the outcome of the pickling process.
UPDATE: After one week, the carrots still taste pretty carrot-y (with a bit of a kick from the red pepper flakes). I’m going to give them another week or so.
Source: Adapted from A Homemade Life
I’ve found that it’s hard to be very imaginative when using imitation crab meat, so I went looking for some recipes and found one for a California Roll Bowl. It called for pickled ginger, and I being a pickling virgin and having so much fresh stuff sitting on the counter, decided to make my own.
- 8 ounces of fresh ginger root, peeled
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt,
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- You can cut the ginger into chunks and wait until after they’re pickled to slice them, but I prefer cutting them fairly thin before pickling them, so I used a mandoline (and ended up cutting my finger : ( ). Sprinkle with sea salt, stir to coat and let stand for about 30 minutes. Transfer the ginger to a clean jar(s).
- In a saucepan, stir together the rice vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then carefully pour the boiling liquid over the ginger root pieces in the jar(s), splitting up equally if using more than one jar.
- Allow the mixture to cool, then put the lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator for at least one week.
Source: Adapted from AllRecipes.com
California Roll Bowl
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1/2 cup imitation crab meat, chopped
- 2/3 cup cucumber, peeled, sliced, and cut into approximately matchstick-size pieces
- 1/4 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 a ripe avocado, diced
- About 1 tsp pickled ginger, chopped
- 3 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- a bit of wasabi paste (optional)
- Garnishes: sesame seeds, nori and/or furikake seasoning
- Combine all ingredients in bowl, adding avocado last so it does not turn to mush when mixed. Sprinkle garnishes on top and serve.
Source: Adapted from SparkRecipes