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  • Serves: 1 Guide

Preparing Pickled and Fermented Foods

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Canning

 Ingredients List

  • The many varieties of pickled and fermented foods are classified by
  • ingredients and method of preparation.
  • Regular dill pickles and sauerkraut are fermented and cured for about 3
  • weeks. Refrigerator dills are fermented for about 1 week. During curing,
  • colors and flavors change and acidity increases. Fresh-pack or
  • quick-process pickles are not fermented; some are brined several hours or
  • overnight, then drained and covered with vinegar and seasonings. Fruit
  • pickles usually are prepared by heating fruit in a seasoned syrup acidified
  • with either lemon juice or vinegar. Relishes are made from chopped fruits
  • and vegetables that are cooked with seasonings and vinegar.
  • Be sure to remove and discard a 1/16-inch slice from the blossom end of
  • fresh cucumbers. Blossoms may contain an enzyme which causes excessive
  • softening of pickles.
  • Caution: The level of acidity in a pickled product is as important to its
  • safety as it is to taste and texture.
  • * Do not alter vinegar, food, or water proportions in a recipe or use a
  • vinegar with unknown acidity.
  • * Use only recipes with tested proportions of ingredients.
  • * There must be a minimum, uniform level of acid throughout the mixed
  • product to prevent the growth of botulinum bacteria.
  • Select fresh, firm fruits or vegetables free of spoilage. Measure or weigh
  • amounts carefully, because the proportion of fresh food to other
  • ingredients will affect flavor and, in many instances, safety.
  • Use canning or pickling salt. Noncaking material added to other salts may
  • make the brine cloudy. Since flake salt varies in density, it is not
  • recommended for making pickled and fermented foods. White granulated and
  • brown sugars are most often used. Corn syrup and honey, unless called for
  • in reliable recipes, may produce undesirable flavors. White distilled and
  • cider vinegars of 5 percent acidity (50 grain) are recommended. White
  • vinegar is usually preferred when light color is desirable, as is the case
  • with fruits and cauliflower.
  • In the making of fresh-pack pickles, cucumbers are acidified quickly with
  • vinegar. Use only tested recipes formulated to produce the proper acidity.
  • While these pickles may be prepared safely with reduced or no salt, their
  • quality may be noticeably lower. Both texture and flavor may be slightly,
  • but noticeably, different than expected. You may wish to make small
  • quantities first to determine if you like them. However, the salt used in
  • making fermented sauerkraut and brined pickles not only provides
  • characteristic flavor but also is vital to safety and texture. In fermented
  • foods, salt favors the growth of desirable bacteria while inhibiting the
  • growth of others. Caution: Do not attempt to make sauerkraut or fermented
  • pickles by cutting back on the salt required.
  • Alum may be safely used to firm fermented pickles. However, it is
  • unnecessary and is not included in the recipes in this publication. Alum
  • does not improve the firmness of quick-process pickles. The calcium in lime
  • definitely improves pickle firmness. Food-grade lime may be used as a
  • lime-water solution for soaking fresh cucumbers 12 to 24 hours before
  • pickling them. Excess lime absorbed by the cucumbers must be removed to
  • make safe pickles. To remove excess lime, drain the lime-water solution,
  • rinse, and then resoak the cucumbers in fresh water for 1 hour. Repeat the
  • rinsing and soaking steps two more times. To further improve pickle
  • firmness, you may process cucumber pickles for 30 minutes in water at 180
  • degrees F. This process also prevents spoilage, but the water temperature
  • should not fall below 180 degrees F. Use a candy or jelly thermometer to
  • check the water temperature.
  • Pickle products are subject to spoilage from microorganisms, particularly
  • yeasts and molds, as well as enzymes that may affect flavor, color and
  • texture. Processing the pickles in a boiling-water canner will prevent both
  • of these problems. Standard canning jars and self-sealing lids are
  • recommended. Processing times and procedures will vary according to food
  • acidity and the size of food pieces.
  • ======================================================= === * USDA
  • Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539 (rev. 1994) * Meal-Master format
  • courtesy of Karen Mintzias
  • From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini


Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05

Title: Preparing Salad Greens
Categories: Salads, Info
Yield: 1 Servings

Start your salad with a good mix of your favorite greens. Place the greens
in a sink full of cool water and remove any damaged leaves. Swish lightly
to remove any dirt, then wait a few minutes while the dirt settles to the
bottom. Lift the greens into a salad spinner and spin dry, or shake them
gently in a colander to remove excess water. Dressing won't stick to wet
leaves, so take extra care to dry the greens transfer them to a dry tea
towel, which you can then roll up and keep in the refrigerator until you're
ready to make your salad.

For longer storage of washed greens, place them loosely in a plastic bag
with a few single sheets of paper towel to absorb extra moisture. Loosely
tie the end of the bag.

When you are ready to prepare the salad, tear the greens into bite-sized
pieces and place them in the salad bowl. We prefer a wooden bowl and, like
a cast-iron frying pan, keep it seasoned and try to avoid using soap to
clean it. We even make the dressing right in the bowl, adding the
ingredients at the bottom with the greens on top, all to be tossed together
just before serving.

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