Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Riddle - Why Are Kentucky and Korea Cousins?

"Smoke & Pickles" by Edward Lee   Artisan Press   292 pages   $29.95

Answer:  Because they both love barbecue and pickling.  Lee writes in his opening pages that both use marinades or bbq rubs and their foods reflect each other to Lee.  Soft grits remind him of an Asian breakfast dish called "congee;" beef jerky of cuttlefish.  Southern chowchow is a more upscale take on kimchi.  He said that buttermilk (of all things) has replaced miso in his recipes.

He gives pickling its own chapter and reminds us that he uses vinegar to speed up the process.  "Real" pickles are canned; hisbare not meaning they have a short shelf life (in the refrigerator, of course.)  But he goes on to say, they'll be gone before they get a chance to rot. 

I like oddities for consideration and here are two --

1 lb. jalapeno peppers
1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup of bourbon
1/2 cup honey
2 teas. coriander seeds
1 teas. yellow mustard seeds
2 bay leaves

Put on kitchen gloves and slice the jalapenos into 1/4 in. rounds and put them in a clean glass jar.  Put everything else in a saucepan and bring the heat up to a boil, then simmer it for five minutes.  Pour the mixture over the jalapenos and tighten the jar lid.  They will be ready to eat in three days so plan accordingly.

4 heads of garlic, cloves separated so that you can peel them and rinse them off.  Put them in a clean glass jar.  Pour distilled white vinegar over them until they are submerged. 

Mix together in a sauce pan (you're going to be heating it up)
2 cups soy sauce
2 cups water
3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
one whole jalapeno

Bring this to a boil, then turn off the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes.  Pour this liquid over the cloves of garlic in their little glass jar and tighten the lid.  Come back in six days when they'll be "done."

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