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    « Hello Tiny Carrot. You're not alone in this big ol' world. | Main | Canning Pacific NW Albacore Tuna »
    Saturday
    Jan142012

    Cajun-style Pickled Green Beans & Carrots

     

    What is it about that colorful city called New Orleans that gets under my skin? I've visited many times, and each time, I fall in love with NOLA all over again.

     For me, New Orleans is an irresistible combination of live music, phenomenal food and rich culture, all set in a place so photogenic that the only time I set my camera down is when I need both hands to eat a Po' Boy sandwich.

    As if I needed one more reason to visit New Orleans, my youngest son is moving there in a few short days. He'll be joining my middle son, who attends Loyola University.

    When I miss a place or a person, I tend to do what other cooks do...I head to the kitchen and get busy. This morning I started putting together spices that remind me of Louisiana, like cayenne pepper, celery seeds, black peppercorns, and a clove or two of garlic, and before I knew it I was on my way to a batch of Cajun-style Pickled Green Beans & Carrots; a jar full of flavors reminiscent of the South. 

    For one quart jar of pickled veggies, start with a total of 1-1/2 pounds  green beans and carrots. I prefer very thin organic baby carrots for this, purchased with their greens still attached so I know they're fresh & sweet.

    You can use more of one or the other -- green beans of carrots -- if you'd like, or just do all carrots or all beans.

    Wash them, and trim them to fit the jar. I like to use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the stem end off the green beans.

    Be sure the carrots and/or beans aren't sticking above the shoulder of the jar. You need space for other things, like garlic, spices and brine, and you don't want the veggies to touch the sealing lid either.

    Pack the jar as full as you possibly can.

    The veggies will shrink a tad bit during processing.

     See how pretty the jar looks once its full of veggies?


     Make a brine by adding together in a sauce pan:

    1 cup white vinegar

    1/2 cup water

    1 teaspoon white sugar

    1 teaspoon pickling or kosher salt

    Heat to boiling, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt, then immediately remove pan from heat once the sugar and salt are no longer visible. Set brine aside to cool.

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Add directly to the jar:

    1 bay leaf

    1 or 2 cloves of garlic

    6 black peppercorns

    1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

    1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

    1 dried Arbol chile, if you have it

    Note: it helps to use a chopstick to tuck the bay leaf, garlic and Arbol pepper - if using - along the side of the jar.

    ~~~~~

      Pour brine over the vegetables.

    Wipe the rim of the jar if needed, and place a sealing lid atop the jar. Next, screw a ring onto the jar finger-tight and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Once properly sealed, the pickles will keep for one year on the shelf. You can also skip the processing step and store the pickled veggies in your refrigerator, but they won't have the same flavor since the processing adds to the way the veggies soak up the brine.

    For now, keeping myself busy by cooking will have to do, but I'm already checking SEA to MSY airfare, and the musical line-up for the spring 2012  New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

    Have pickles, will travel.


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    Reader Comments (4)

    What a pretty pickle! I'll be featuring it on my News of the Day today.

    Hi Beth,

    Thanks so much for featuring my Cajun-style Pickled Green Beans & Carrots in your super-fun blog (http://awordfromauntb.blogspot.com/)

    I'm sorry I didn't get back to you right away, but I'm a long way from home right now and so my response time is a bit off.

    I just looked at your Facebook page (Aunt B's Kitchen) and of course I hit "Like" immediately. Your positive attitude shines through and I look forward to seeing your updates on my Facebook News Feed.

    Please keep on crafting, creating and spreading the word about all the goodness in the world.

    Have a wonderful day ~

    Brook

    June 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    Hello! I have posted this beautiful picture to my facebook page and have had a great deal of "likes!".
    I was wondering how long I should keep on the shelf before eating? Do they need to sit for a few months like pickles or can we eat them right away?

    thanks again!

    July 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBianca

    Bianca I've been so busy preserving I haven't been on my website much.

    If you preserved them using the Boiling Water Bath method, and the lids sealed successfully, you can keep them for one year in a cool, dark place.

    If you just poured the brine over them, they should be good in your refrigerator for a few months.

    If you processed them with heat, you can eat them 24 hours later. If you're letting them pickle in the fridge, it might take a week or two for them to taste pickle-y.

    GO TRY ONE RIGHT NOW! :)

    Thanks for reading (and sharing) my blog.

    Have a great day,

    Brook

    August 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens
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