Pickled Archive

Saturday, January 24, 2009

chicken milanese + an escarole salad

chicken milanese

I have a new, colossal Food Network crush on Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and the first time I saw the show, I completely forgot every food personal crush that had come before. “Ina Garten who?” “Michael Chiarello? I never heard of him.” Because seriously, Anne Burell trumps all that came before. She’s got the kind of real cooking and fresh ideas you’d hope for from a television show, but too rarely get. I immediately want to make everything she does.

quick-pickled red onionschicken breading stationfrying the chickenfrying the chicken milanese

And if I saw chicken milanese on a restaurant menu, I wouldn’t order it. If you told me you were breading and frying chicken cutlets for dinner, I’d feign excitement but inwardly groan. Because if there are two foods in the world that will never hold my interest, they’d be chicken cutlets and anything that has been dredged in breadcrumbs and fried. I find the former bland and the latter makes everything taste the same, not that I need to learn how to form an opinion or anything. Yet, when Ms. Burell made it, I counted down the days until I could find an excuse to make it, which brings us to Tuesday night’s inauguration dinner party (where the caramel sauce was homemade, ahem, but that story for a different day).

escarole salad with pickled red onions

Continued after the jump »

Friday, January 11, 2008

pickled carrot sticks

pickled carrot sticks

Seeing that it is a whole eleven days into aught-eight, I’m going to stagger a guess that you’re sick of carrot sticks by now. But I don’t want you to feel bad about it. We all hit that wall between our ambition and the reality that being “good” all of the time is no fun from time to time. Hey, some of us walked right past the gym last night and proceeded to go shopping instead. I’m just saying.

carrots

But since carrot sticks are inherently good, and good for you things, I see no reason to throw them out with the resolutions bathwater. Because what if that, uh, bathwater was bright and tangy? What if had a buttery dill vibe? What if it had a kick of garlic? What if you pickled your carrot sticks? If you were me, you would not be able to keep your tongs out of the jar. I had one of those “oh, let me try one and see how they came out” moments before I went to work Thursday morning. Then I tried another one. And another. Um, I had pickled carrot sticks for breakfast–I am gross. But these are not.

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

dilled potato and pickled cucumber salad

greenmarket fingerlings

Everyone’s got a favorite potato salad, and this is ours.

I know most are aggressively forgettable, with so much slick and eerie uniformity in their texture that it almost seems that their creators knew people were never going to eat it anyway, so why bother? But if you do–bother, that is–you’re in for a whole other world of crunch, texture, tang, complexity and even, dare I say, flavor. I’ve made them with a slip of horseradish, with chopped hard-boiled eggs, celery and cornichon, I’ve tossed them in a mustard vinaigrette with red peppers, capers and olives, yet I haven’t done any of those things since I came across this one.

i think we know by now

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

pickled garlicky red peppers

pickled garlicky red peppers

Flashback: The Great February Pickle-athon: Inspired by Cathy’s fantastic account about pickling Brussels sprouts with fennel fronds on Serious Eats, I decided it time that I go beyond the giardiniera and the lightly-soused red onions and into the great thereafter of vacuum seals and factory-like precision. Of course, I didn’t use her recipe–why would I do that? I knew it would work! What fun could that be?–but one I’d seen several pickle junkies swear by on Chowhound.

february pickle-athon

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

giardiniera

giardiniera 1

I got a real hoot (yup, said it) out of Molly’s entry a few weeks ago as her significant other and mine are clearly plucked from similar brine, that is, packed with a penchance for the pickled. (I’ll be here all week.)

One of the first big family events Alex took me to shortly after we began dating was a 55th birthday party for his father, no small affair, at a Russian restaurant. Course after course, platters arrived with pickled celery, lettuce and – I kid you not – watermelon to accompany the smoked fish, dumplings, caviar and all sorts of gamey meats. Do I need to mention the vodka? No, didn’t think so.

Nobody warns you that the food will not.stop.coming, thusly, don’t bother eating more than two bites of any course if you wish to make it to the end. I think its part of the fun for them, luring these newcomers in and watching them nod off at the table after too many sour cream-laden crepes and a misbegotten belief that they can handle their vodka like those from the old country. In fact, one of his family’s favorite stories to retell is when Alex brought home a friend from grad school and his mother laid out her typical 20-dish, 6-course feast (“I am worried I will not have enough food.”) including their favorite, pickled tomatoes. The friend had bragged that he couldn’t wait to try them, as they sounded delicious, but nearly spat his first bite across the table: “I didn’t know it was going to taste like a pickle!” he frantically tried to cover his tracks with while they laughed and laughed.

Continued after the jump »