Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pickling Sunday

My friend Jadd and I are having a pickled egg contest in November. I haven't made pickled eggs in a few years, so I thought I'd get some practice runs in and actually write down what I did. I am trying out 2 different recipe's. One being a standard spicy pickled egg brine and then a garlic-curry pickled egg. When I was looking up recipes online, I kept running into pickled sausage recipes as well, so I made that too.

First off, hard boil a dozen eggs or so. I did 1.5 dozen since I had some sitting in my fridge. Add the eggs to cold water and bring to a boil to avoid the eggs from cracking. I read a tip online that said if you add a few drops of vinegar to the water, if an egg happens to crack before it is hard boiled, the vinegar helps seal the egg so you dont get runny egg whites coming out of the crack. I tried this, but none of my eggs cracked so I'm not sure if it really works. Also another tip is when you go to peel the eggs, put them in a bowl of cold water and peel them under water. Makes egg peeling real easy.

For the spicy egg brine, I used a combination of white and apple cider vinegar to give it that extra little tang. I also added in a bit of water as most recipes I saw said use a 3:1 vinegar to water ratio. I can never find pickling seasonings in the store, so I just make up my own. I added in spices like salt, sugar, all-spice, cloves, peppercorns and so on. Put everything in a sauce pan and bring it up to a boil to get all the dry ingredients to dissolve. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

I then cut 1/4 of an onion, 2 jalapeno's, 2 habanero peppers, and 5 cloves of garlic. I layered the eggs and onions & peppers in one of my vacuum sealed containers. Pour the brine into the container and vacuum seal it up.

For the Garlic-Curry brine, I used white vinegar and water, salt, sugar, red pepper flakes and tumeric. The recipe called out for curry powder but I didn't have any so this is the closest thing I had. I added onion slices and 10 cloves of garlic diced to another vacuum sealed canister with the eggs. Pour the brine into the container and vacuum seal it up.

For the pickled sausage, you have to use pre-cooked sausage or cook it yourself before canning. I Chose Hillshire Farm smoked sausage. I cut it into 1/2" strips. I also cut up a jalapeno and onion. For the brine, I used a similar brine as in the spicy eggs, but less all-spice and cloves.

Now time for storage. I keep them in my wine cellar in my basement due to the fact the temperature does not change that much in there. I'll probably let them for for at least 2 weeks before I try them. At that point, decide if they need more time or not. I will have a follow-up blog on the outcome. Enjoy!

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