Getting into quite a pickle

grapesI remember the moment clearly - it was a Sunday morning, unremarkable on the surface. I sat in my study, watching past episodes of "After Hours With Daniel" (Boulard) while sipping coffee. A few minutes into a New Orleans episode I heard the words "Pickled grapes" and time stopped. "Pickled WHAT?" I grabbed the mouse and dragged the video back a minute to watch again. Pickled grapes. My mind reeled. I'd never even conceived a thought of such a thing. How would it work? What would it taste like? I watched the remainder of the episode hoping for a clue. Afterhours is pretty light on technique, so the mystery remained. I began searching and found few mentions, but one site looked reputable and offered a basic recipe. A shopping list made, and off to the produce market. I was in luck, they had 5 varieties of grapes, including black grapes which I'd never tasted before. Back to the kitchen and ready to work, I decided on straying from the path of the base recipe immediately, as it looked a bit tame for my tastes. After a few hours, I had five jars filled with five variations. Below are the recipes for my two favorites. stuffFor both recpies, mix ingredients and bring just to a boil in a saucepan, then remove from heat. allow the pickling solution to cool before adding it to the jars. This will prevent your grapes from wrinkling and losing their crunch. Use a pairing knife to slice the caps off the grapes for a clean appearance and add as many as possible to a mason jar without crushing. any grapes will do - however I found that the seedless reds held their crunch best and presented the most appealing color. Pour the cooled pickling solution to fill the jar, cap tightly and refrigerate for no less than 24 hours, preferably longer. I found my test subjects were best after 72 hours. Each recipe will fill 1 mason jar loaded with average sized grapes. Pickled Grapes - Rogue Estate Method #1 This batch was light, sweet with a hint of the mustard's tartness.
  • 40-60 grapes, washed, plucked and capped
  • 1 c White Wine Vinegar
  • 3/4 c Water
  • 1 c Sugar
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Allspice Powder
  • 1 Arbol Pepper (dried)
  • 6 Juniper Berries
Pickled Grapes - Rogue Estate Method #3pickled grapes These are slightly sweeter than #1, with a subtle warmth in their finish thanks to the Aleppo.
  • 40-60 Grapes, washed, plucked and capped.
  • 1/2 c White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 c Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Aleppo Pepper
  • 10 Juniper Berries
  • 10 Allspice Pods
As with any of the recipes published on the Rogue Estate, we welcome your variations and pairings in the comments. Enjoy, -///
A consummate nerd, yet still plays well with others.

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