Posts Tagged ‘pickling’

Olives, three ways

Olives! Available as a crop to swap. I got about 1kg (and then another 1.3kg later) from one crop swapper of mostly black olives. I swapped a hairy winter melon cross, about 1.7kg.

My dream olive is a green sicilian olive from Darling Mills Farm; or a smoked olive picked up from the Orange Grove market.

I tried three ways of preparing my olives.

1. heavy salt brine
(1 litre water, 1 cup liquid)
To tell the correct amount of salt, you float an egg in it. The first egg chosen was a little long in the tooth, so I then used a slightly younger egg (3 weeks old). Then I read up at skillcult, how to make a Sicilian style olive, but more importantly, proportions of salt to water was given.

2. A dry salt pack

This I got from milkwood permaculture. You put a layer of olives in your jar, then cover with salt. Repeat.

I was at a little loss as to what to do with the olives that had slightly bruised or bad bits. My source of the olives said to throw them out, because they turned mushy. My maltese neighbour told me that she put them all in , warts & all. I made a slight compromise, chopped the bad bits off, but then I fermented them separately in a heavy salt brine. I figured that with the extra exposed surface area, they would take less time to ferment.

Here they are (left to right, as above):

Olives, two ways

I’m already having trouble from stopping my olives from floating to the surface, and my weights are obviously not weighing them down.

I also notice the bubbles of the fermentation process coming to the top. About a week in, I tried one of the olives. When I cracked open the lid, I noticed the aroma was starting to smell like the familiar ‘olive’ type smell, but it was still quite bitter. I also noticed that the colour actually starts leaching a little out from the partially green and black olives, so they turn more green.

With a later batch of green olives (swapped for a pumpkin, which I swapped previously), even though I know that they weren’t the Sevillano type, I thought that I should ferment them the skill cult way.

3. Skillcult way
One litre water. 1/4 cup salt. 1/4 white vinegar. I chucked an orange leaf in to add a little tannin, to follow in the steps of my neighbour.

I can’t wait to try the finished products!

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The Pique of Pickled Chillies

I had a kilo of long red chillies sitting in my fridge, purchased about a month ago. I had intended to make another batch of nahm prik pao (chilli jam) from David Thompson’s Thai Food cookbook. This takes to a total of four recipes that I have cooked from this book. I actually have had a Laotian friend go through this tome and bookmark all the recipes that she would cook on a regular basis. The chilli jam was one of them.

Pique, from Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Pickling:

“The simplest hot sauce of all – and one that is immensely popular in the West Indies – is a vinegar in which hot peppers have been stepped. In Puerto Rico a rum bottle full of pique sits on every restaurant table, displaying long, thin peppers in assorted colors.”

Pickled Chillies, from Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens, focuses more on the chillies. It doesn’t have the extra flavour additives like garlic and peppercorns that the Pique recipe has.

One focuses on the Vinegar, one on the chillies.

So instead of making nahm prik pao, I decided to make the simplest preserved chillies recipe of all. Stick ’em in vinegar!

Wash, boil, and the dry off in a 100 deg C oven your jars so that they’re sterilised.

I found that the vinegar/liquid quantities in Adam’s recipe not enough to fully cover my deseeded chilli slices. From the looks of it, this would have also been a problem with Linda’s recipe. I had to make double the quantity of liquid. I used a combo of no-name brand supermarket vinegar and apple cider vinegar.

Here is the final product:

Pickled chillies

They look so pretty, I am now regretting tossing the rest of the chillies into the compost bin!