Pickles ‘n Cheese

2007.Nov.14 Wednesday · 3 comments

in Food & Recipes

“pickles ‘n cheese”
A exclamatory remark, with no real positive or negative connotations. Can be used both in support of, or againt any other statement or situation.

Can also be:
Pickles and cheese
Pickles & cheese

Man 1: Alright, I totally aced that test!
Man 2: Pickles ‘n cheese!

Urban Dictionary

Buenos Aires – Where’s the cheese they cry! Really, they do. After all, I started it, posting about taking a cheesemaking class and all – and giving great detail on how to make ricotta, and then an amazing cream cheese substitute. And then I simply abandoned them. Not the cheese, the readers. I really haven’t abandoned the cheesemaking. I finished the course on the basics, and then set about acquiring the various accoutrements and additives and such, and about two weeks ago, made my first in home pasta blanda cheese – i.e., a soft cheese. It’s aging – it needs another week before we cut into it. And I didn’t want to go through just photos and info about the class, I wanted to follow my own cheese(s) through their whole development. So, expect something in about a week on the first cheese, along with the details on the process for making it. Hard cheeses and semi-soft will be awhile – both because they’re a little harder to make, and take longer to age (which, of course, means much longer term for gratification).

Meanwhile, with the same professor, a friend joined me and we started working on various methods of preservation – not ourselves, but foodstuffs. You know, canning, smoking, brining, etc. – all stuff that I know bits and pieces about, but for the most part in the restaurant world, never had much time for. We started simply – basic canning in light brines, broths, vinegars, etc. – we made lovely beets in a simple salt and sugar solution, carrots in spiced broth, eggplant in herb oil… I, of course, couldn’t be satisfied with something that simple… though they’re delicious ways to do things, instead, I went and made a big batch of my fiery hot Szechuan pickles – with the addition of a little peanut oil just to have enough liquid to fill the jars – and using the little gherkin sized cukes that are currently appearing in the market.

He has an interesting method for pasteurization of jars, different from what my mother used to do when I was a kid – I remember her boiling mason jars in pots filled with water for long periods of time – mostly jellies and jams. This is a bit more involved in terms of paying attention, but takes far less time – you pack the jars near to full and put them in pots of water that come up to just the level of the solids in them – still open. Bring the water up to just below a boil and hold it there. Insert a thermometer into the center of the jars, and wait for the temperature to reach between 165-170°F. Remove the jars one by one, and first, using a clean knife or something similar, make sure to run it down the insides to get any trapped air bubbles out, then top the jars off with the liquid used to fill them (having saved some and kept it hot), put the lids on and tighten them until they catch – don’t over do it – and then back into the hot water for 15-20 minutes more at that temperature. Cool them out of the water, not in the water – if you know a bit about food safety, you know you want things to pass through the “danger zone” of temperatures much more quickly than they will cooling in a bit pot of water – it’s all well and good for a jelly, but not for a broth or something that contains proteins. And here, my first efforts at home…

Jars of szechuan pickles


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paz November 15, 2007 at 23:47

I’d love a jar of those pickles! Nice labels.


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