Friday, August 20, 2010
For week three of Preserve the Bounty Jenny challenged us to preserve something in vinegar. I love this challenge. The pickling possibilities are endless! My first creation - pickled garlic. I made one jar with thyme and chilies and one jar with thyme, oregano, mustard seed and chilies. The basic recipe is below. Adjust as you see fit - use any dried herb or seasoning blend that suits your fancy!
6-8 heads of garlic
2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup dry white wine (substitute water)
3 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp mustard seed
4 whole dried Thai chilies
1. Peel and separate garlic into cloves. Place into a bowl and set aside.
2. Sterilize two 500ml canning jars according to manufactures directions (I run mine through the dishwasher. The heat cycle does a great job at sanitizing).
3. In a large saucepan, bring vinegar, wine, salt, sugar, thyme and mustard seed to a boil. Stir to ensure salt and sugar is dissolved. Add garlic cloves to the mixture and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat. Remove garlic from vinegar mixture using a slotted spoon.
4. Fill each jar with garlic and two chili peppers. Ladle hot vinegar mixture into jars. Fill up jar to just below the neck, leaving 1/2 inch head space at the top. Seal with heated snap lid and band.
5. Let cool to room temperature then place in the refrigerator. Leave at least 2-3 weeks before eating. The longer they sit, the better. After opening, keep refrigerated. Will last in fridge indefinitely, as long as garlic is immersed in vinegar solution.
Note: What does it mean if your pickled garlic turns blue?! Apparently it's normal. A few of my pieces had a blue tinge to them, near the root ends. Garlic contains sulfate which reacts with copper, creating a compound that will trun the garlic blue. It is still safe to eat and should not affect the taste. To prevent the reaction, the garlic needs to be heated through to de-activate the sulfer (this is why you add the cloves to the boiled vinegar mixture before canning). Another way to avoid the blue is to use purified water if you rinse your garlic cloves as standard tap water may contain trace amounts of copper, and avoid using copper pots.