Yesterday Sam and Jeremy had the privilege of hosting the culinary club from Bay View Academy in Riverside for a two hour introduction to pickling vegetables.
The Bay View Academy culinary club gives girls that attend the school an opportunity to make some really amazing food under the leadership of World Language teacher and food enthusiast Pam Farmer. Once a month they take field trips to see how commercial kitchens operate as well as learn techniques that they can use for future culinary projects.
Pickling is a huge part of the kitchen at Chomp. A majority of the ingredients we use on sandwiches and burgers as well as ingredients in condiments are pickled. For example, we use our house pickles in our Chomp sauce and pickled yellow beets in our tarter sauce for the Catfish & Chips sandwich. Pickling the vegetables as opposed to just throwing the raw vegetable in adds much more depth of flavor, as well as sweetness or acidity depending on the vegetable.
We put the girls to work, peeling red onions, cutting yellow beets, and prepping the cucumbers to become pickles.
Here are a few of the ingredients we used to make the brines for the pickling. Garlic, coriander, red pepper, star anise, bay leaves, dill, red vinegar, white vinegar…a few of the basics.
Unfortunately pickling does not allow you to allow you to enjoy the fruits (or vegetables in this case) of your labor for about a week. Our pickles sit in a brine for 7 days before they are ready for consumption. The golden beets are about a 2-3 day brine. The red onions on the other hand can be fully pickled in about 2-3 hours. Luckily, we had a bunch of the product on hand so the girls had a chance to taste the finished product before leaving.
Here is the recipe for making the pickled red onions, enjoy!
Pickled Red Onion
Red Onion 5 Pounds
Salt 2 Cups
Sugar 4 cups
Red Wine Vinegar 1 gallon
Whole Black Pepper 3 T
Coriander Seed 3 T
Star Anise 8 each
Crushed Red Pepper 1 T
1. For brine, combine all ingredients minus the red onions into a stock pot, heat slowly, stirring often to dissolve and combine flavors. Heat about 1 hour.
2. To prepare onions, first peel all onions and cut in half through the stem to the root, place onion flat side down and slice into 1/4" thick julienne.
3. Once brine begins to cool slightly, strain and pour over onions and allow to rest until pickled.