Ever since hearing about the beau’s trip to SE Asia last week, I have been craving ethnic foods like no-bodies business. “Erin, what do you want for dinner tonight?” “Asian, Thai, Chinese, sushi, Indian!” With an Asian flare in mind, I decided to play around a bit with curry brines for this here pickled kohlrabi recipe. I liked the idea of adding a coconut flavor, but nixed that idea as I wasn’t sure a) how the coconut flavor would come across, and b) because I wasn’t convinced of the safety of canning coconut or coconut sweeten milk. Instead (with the input from several foodie friends), I opted for this sweetish curry maple kohlrabi recipe. The amount of maple syrup that you add is completely up to you. I initially added only 3tbsp for 3 pints of pickles, but after tasting my brine decided to double the amount for a stronger maple punch. Eat these pickles straight from the jar, as an appetizer to any Asian meal, or sliced atop your favorite Chinese chicken salad. Kohlrabi courtesy of Heron Pond Farm located in South Hampton, NH.
Have you ever been to a food swap? I was talking canning with a new foodie friend this past weekend and mentioned the Portland, ME food swap and how I wanted to attend the next event. We got to talking and discussing food swaps in more detail and quickly came to the conclusion: let’s just start a food swap here in Portsmouth, NH… 24 hours later and not only was the Seacoast Food Swap FB page created (with 70 likes within the first 3 days), but also a venue, volunteered help, flier, and an event date nailed down. High five for making things happen! To be honest, when I somewhat irrationally created the FB page at 1am this past Sunday, I didn’t really know what I was committing myself to, nor did I fully understand what a food swap entailed. Luckily with a little bit of digging, my understanding and excitement for the bartering/silent auction event only grew. Whew! On that note, if you live in or around the Seacoast region and are interested in attending the Seacoast Food Swap event in July it should be a great time. You can find out more about the event through the Facebook page or by contacting me directly. You know I’ll be there slinging my wares.
Today’s honey pickled kohlrabi recipe was kind of a last minute “crap I have an extra 2 pints worth of chopped kohlrabi but I’ve ran out of the main recipe ingredients” type of recipe. As I typically do, though this time may have been a bit more frantic as the hot water canner was set and ready to go, I consulted the magical world wide web for kohlrabi pickle inspiration… Sure enough, traditional chinese honey pickled kohlrabi was one of the top search results and I had all the ingredients plus some. As the recipe notes, I added star anise while preparing the brine but ended up removing the pods before canning as I wasn’t sure how well the overwhelming anise flavor would bode. Enjoy!
A few years back, I challenged myself to buy one new unfamiliar item each week from the Baltimore farmers’ market. Being quite inexperienced in the kitchen at that time (let’s be honest, I’m still pretty inexperienced), there were plenty of options to choose from. I started with easy and familiar items like eggplants, radishes, and turnips. One Saturday I came across a veggie that I had never seen before, a veggie that looked like what I would imagine an underwater alien beet would look like. I only bought a small bunch and I recall inquiring about the mystery vegetable. I could have sworn the farmer said it was called cholerae… For those of you who know anything about my area of research, a veggie called cholerae is more than exciting, yet also quite terrifying! Long story short, I got excited about experimenting with my chosen veggie of the week, let it sit in the fridge for 5 days, forgot it’s fake name, and never stepped up to the challenge. Weird veggie: 1- Erin: 0. Failure!
This past week, I was at The Black Birch in Kittery, ME and was lucky enough to sample some of their house pickles. A very nice assortment exhibiting various levels of vinegar spiced flavor. Onions, carrots, cucumbers, the works… and one crunchy pickle I did not recognize… surprise (I know the anticipation was killing you), it was that alien beet veggie, correctly called kohlrabi. You better bet that when I spotted 4 bunches of purple kohlrabi at the Wake Robin Farm stand yesterday at the Portsmouth farmers’ market I had to buy all of them with one thing on the mind: RE-MATCH! The underwater alien beet kohlrabi put up a very strong fight, it was probably one the most difficult vegetables I’ve every peeled, but the pain and suffering resulted in an honest win and these awesome mustard spiced kohlrabi pickles. Crispy, and chock full of flavor I think these pickled kohlrabi sticks would be a great accompaniment to any indian or mediterranean dish. Enjoy!