Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Adventures in Food Preservation: Part 3

Lacto-Fermented Veggies
Last week's class returned to fermentation, using sauerkraut juice or whey (products of the previous 2 classes) to ferment non-Brassica veggies and pico de gallo.  I visited the SD Public Market just before class to pick up my veggies from Suzie's Farm.  I stuffed a small jar with small carrots scrubbed clean and cut in half, and another jar with small golden beets, peeled and quartered.  I forgot to put my herbs and spices in first, so I then add a few peppercorns, fresh cilantro, a bay leaf (to keep the veggies crisp) and a dried hot pepper to the carrots, and peppercorns, fresh dill and a bay leaf to the beets.  I used cup jars, so I added 1/2 tablespoon of sauerkraut juice to each jar.  I made a brine by dissolving 3 tablespoons of course sea salt to a quart of water, and covered the veggies with the brine.

My veggies were packed tight so I didn't think I needed to weigh them down to keep them submerged in the liquid; I just set the lid on loose and put the jars in a cool, dark space.  Well, a few days later when i came back to check for mold, all of the herbs and spices (that I forgot to put in first) had floated to the top are were moldy.  So I removed them and the mold and put the veggies in the fridge.

Fermented Pico de Gallo (Salsa Fresca)
8 Roma tomatoes (they will keep their firmness), diced
1/4 very large onion, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 small hot peppers of unknown variety, minced (I wear gloves to do this as to avoid later touching my face with capsaicin hands)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 1/2 teaspoons whey or sauerkraut juice

After mixing all my ingredients and adding them to a quart jar, I wasn't sure if I had used sauerkraut or whey, so I added about 1/2 tablespoon of salt and added whey to cover the salsa in liquid, loosely covered with the lid, and stored in a cool, dark place. When I checked it a few days later, no mold, but it was bubbling over and making a mess, so it went into the fridge.  It tastes way too sour so I think I over did it on the whey.

Poor Man's Capers 
(I made this recipe times 4 in a quart jar for the whole class to split into small jars next week)
3/4 cup young nasturtium seed pods
1/2 head of garlic cloves
sea salt

Cover with salty brine and...

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