Saturday, September 8, 2007

[DANSK] Pickles Here, Pickles There, Pickles, Pickles Everywhere!

Back when I told you about Pariserbøf, I briefly mentioned pickles, our rather, the thing we Danes call pickles. I think it might go under the name mustard relish or picalilli out in the big world. It is a complete necessity when making Pariserbøf, but also makes for a mean quick remoulade (again, the Danish kind - French may think us calling this remoulade bordering on an insult!) if you chop it up finely (or buy the finely chopped kind, of course) and mix it with a little mayo.

Basically, it's an assortment of vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, onions - some people add celeriac, cucumbers, green beans, bell peppers, too) in a mustardy, spiced (not necessarily spicy) sauce. It's usually something I buy, but when rummaging through my old magazines at the beginning of my vacation, I found a recipe in my favorite Danish food magazine. Slowly, it dawned on me that "hey! I can make this myself!" And not have all the E-numbers. There is already a way of avoiding the E-numbers, but the brand I found without them will cost you an arm and a leg (45 kr./about $7-8) for a small jar. Which is no good when you tend to eat an entire jar in one sitting.

So I bought the best Danish cauliflower and organic carrots and onions money could buy, found the big bottle of vinegar and set to the job. Now, I am the proud owner of three half litre jars and one 3/4 l. jar of pickles. It's mighty great pickles. And here's the recipe:

Gastro's Pickles - adapted from the October 2006 issue

750 g. carrots, peeled
750 g. cauliflower
500 g. onions
500 g. salt
3 l. water

Cut the carrots into 1x1 centimeter cubes and divide the cauliflower into small florets, roughly the same size as the carrots. You can go smaller or larger here as you like, just adjust the cooking time later on. Peel the onions, then cut it into 12 wedges (depending on the size of your onions - mine were a small medium size - very precise, aren't I?)

Dissolve the salt in the water. Pour this over the cut-up vegetables, and leave in the fridge to salt for 12 hours minimum.

For the sauce:
1 ½ apple cider vinegar
1 kg. sugar
3 tablespoons paprika
1 ½ tablespoons cayenne pepper (the original recipe calls for 3 tablespoons, but I'm a whimp)
3 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons turmeric powder
3 tablespoons mustard powder
(you can up or down the amount of spices to your liking, naturellement!)

30-40 g. corn starch (maybe more)

Mix everything but the corn starch in a big, shallow pan. Bring to the boil and boil for 3-4 minutes. Thicken the vinegar-mix with corn starch dissolved in a little water. You want a consistency sorta like mayo, 'cause you really need the sauce to cling to the veggies, once they're mixed. I needed to use a lot more corn starch than originally called for, to get that texture. The sauce wont thicken particularly once it cools. Believe me, I thought so and went ahead and jarred everything, just to have to re-boil and re-thicken the sauce. It's just not necessary for you to do the same :)

The pickles will keep for about 6 months in unopened jars in the fridge. Yes, my fridge is pretty full. Which is good, 'cause I think I feel a craving creeping up...


Kevin Kossowan said...

How ambitious of you!

Newyorkerbyheart said...

Hej Zarah Maria!

Jeg har tildelt dig en pris, klik ind på min blog for at læse mere :)
........og hvor ser de i øvrigt lækket ud....

Mange hilsner

Wendy said...

Other than with just a spoon what do you typically eat this with? :)

Cathy said...

Oh Zarah, those sound so good! And I wouldn't call 1 1/2 tablespoons of cayenne the list bit wimpy! What are E-numbers? Calories?

Tea said...

I must try these! (I don't think I ever met a pickle I didn't like). I wonder if it is somewhat like the British Bramston Pickle? Do you spread it on toast or make sandwiches?

Julie said...

I want to know what E numbers are too! And these look delicious.

good food said...

Hope you won't get too bored, Zarah, when I repeat myself about your fabulous photos...

I will probably fabric your beans sometime in the near future (your recipe sounds delicious) but all the work for making pickles - although I love, love pickles - I don't think I'll try it out until I'm retired ;)

Zarah Maria said...

Kevin - I am nothing if not ambitious! Heh - not!:)

Birthe - Nej altså, en til!! Jeg rødmer!:)

Wendy - see, when I was writing this post, I actually did start thinking what the heck would I eat this with other than the aforementioned Pariserbøf. And I don't know. Nothing sprang to mind (besides remoulade) But I guess there is a couple other Smørrebrød you would use it for - if I remember, I'll be sure to update!

Cathy - E-numbers are the "code" they use for different kinds of colorings, starches and additives around here - they're things that are sometimes used for preservation purposes, or to color correct (or change) food items. Sometimes, they're totally okay (I even think salt has an E-number) but other ones a horrible, allergy-provoking stuffs. I'd rather just avoid the nasty ones, you know?

Tea - let me know if you do, and how you like them. From what I read on Wikipedia on Bra(m?)nstom Pickels, it could be sort of the same. And not to say you couldn't make sandwiches with them, but I don't think it would be something I'd personally enjoy. I don't know anyone that do. Except for when used as a remoulade, on top of leverpostej or spegepølse (Danish liver pate or cold cuts) But as remoulade, it's mellowed out a bit, usually with a dairy product. Hmm. I don't know enough about pickles, I think!

Julie - thanks! And see the explanation above!

Trine - never! Nothing like a little blushing, is there? And regarding the pickles - they aren't really that much work, as they are spurts of doing things with waiting in between. But hey, it's nice to have something to look forward to in retirement, isn't it?;)

S. said...

I adore making homemade pickles. Way to go!

AHSC said...

Thank you for the recipe. My husband is British, we found jars of picalli here in CA. But to get to make it so much beter I am sure!! I've looked at the ingrediants a number of times to try to formulate something similar. So this is fantastic! Branston Pickle is similar.


Paige said...

Oh yum! I was an exchange student in Denmark a few years ago and fell in love with remoulade. Every time I go back I buy a bottle, but I can never quite eat it fast enough, which is probably a good thing for my weight. I look forward to this home-made version that I can add to mayo once-in-a-while, but otherwise enjoy in a bit lighter fashion.

Ulf Gorm Rasmussen said...

Just a Q concerning the recipe:
"1 ½ apple cider vinegar". Bottle, liter, dl? And also, if I want it more yellow do I use less cayenne- and paprikapowder? Thanx for your recipe!