This summer I have been experimenting with pickling. It all began when I was asked to cater a “South Carolina” themed luncheon. A family was making a move from Texas to South Carolina and wanted to introduce some of the foods from that region. One of the things I was asked to make was Pulled Pork. I have made pulled pork many times and I thought “sliders” would be fun and easy to eat. It wouldn’t be hard to put a S.C. spin on it…but I wanted to add something special…
I did a little research and decided I would make some pickled vegetables to go with the sliders. I chose to work with red onion, fresh jalapenos, and carrot matchsticks. I have to say, the results were YUMMY! I love to cook with onion—in fact, I rarely cook without onion, but I absolutely can’t stand raw onion. That being said, these pickled red onions were outstanding; pretty, pink, crunchy and sweet-tart. The jalapenos and carrots also retained their crispness and added just the right texture and vinegary balance that the rich, sweet pork needed.
I hope you’ll give these a try! You’ll be amazed how easy it is and how many ways you’ll think of to use them!
Quick & Easy Pickles
Makes 4 cups pickling liquid. Enough for three, 24 ounce jars.
You can pretty much pickle any vegetable in this brine–be creative!
2 cups natural (unseasoned) rice vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
8 tablespoons granulated sugar
Approximately 6 cups finely sliced or julienned vegetables
Heat the rice wine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar (you can adjust sugar to your taste) in a saucepan over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Turn off the heat. Tightly pack the jars with their respective vegetable and pour the hot liquid over the top to cover. Leave about 1/2 inch head-room at the top of each jar. Fit with a lid and allow them to cool before storing in the refrigerator. You can eat these pickles after a few hours, but I think they are best after at least 2 days.
They will last for a long time in the refrigerator…but I bet you eat them up pretty fast!