Pickled Ramps in a Flash

Ramp season is over but you may want to save this recipe!

pickled ramps, pickled wild leeks, pickled wild onion

I held off posting this article until we had a chance to sample the results of this recipe. Last night we tasted the pickled ramps we made a few weeks ago first by chomping into a whole one then adding them to our nightly salad. These puppies are incredible and I’m glad we made several jars. We’ll be using these pickled ramps up in no time and pining for next years harvest.

Ramps (allium tricoccum) or wild leeks or wild onions are delicious. Grilled, raw, or otherwise the ramp has a deserved reputation for being one of the most sought after foraged foods. This year we decided to make pickled ramps from the harvest.

We are fortunate to have a ramp patch in the woods above Tess Creek, just behind the horse barn. The pickings were a little light this year for some reason, certainly not due to over picking them. We are always careful to leave a good amount so the patch can recuperate. Last year we went real easy on them, two years ago we didn’t harvest any.

This year however, my brother Tom and I went foraging for ramps. He knows of a spot not far from our home were they are plentiful. Within forty-five minutes of arriving Read more

2 Step Strawberry Vinegar

Enjoy this strawberry vinegar in less than a week

Strawberry Vinegar

Last year as I was making dinner salad I looked at the fresh strawberries I had just cut for the salads. I started thinking how I might be able to have that flavor all year round. In a flash it came to me…strawberry vinegar.

We love flavored vinegars and in addition to this one we make fig-balsamic as well. They simply add another tastes component to your salads and bring a hint of summer back to your winter meals.

Here’s some pointers and the recipe. First, use the ripest strawberries you can find. Real tasty with strong strawberry flavor. That’s it. One pointer is all you need. All right, here’s another. The recipe is easily doubled and you probably should double it.

Here’s the fun part. This is so simple and quick to make you should try other fruits as well. Peaches would be great, red raspberries, black raspberries, or any fruit with a strong taste and some color. As the vinegar ages it will take on more of the color. The strawberry vinegar turns a nice light red to pink color.

As the fruit macerates the vinegar pulls the color and flavor from the berry. Once the the berries are pale in color the vinegar is pretty much finished. You will want to strain it as some point as the vinegar breaks down the cell structure and leaves little bits of fruit on the bottom of the jar. But don’t worry, the great strawberry taste is locked in!

 

 

 

Easy Strawberry Vinegar
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2.5 cups
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups white vinegar
  • 8 ounces fresh ripe strawberries
Instructions
  1. Chop the strawberries and put them in a quart jar. Cover with vinegar and let sit for one week. Once the color is out of the berries the vinegar is pretty much done.

 

 

Six Stir Fry Tips and an Aluminum Swan

Plus one wicked hot stir fry wok!

stir fry swan

When I attended the Culinary Institute of America one of my favorite classes was Asian Cuisine. What red blooded American boy wouldn’t want to cook on a 110,000 BTU wok? Professional woks stations are like an F-18 fighter jet standing on end with the afterburner blowing away trying to melt metal pans.

One day we took the wok off the 30 inch “Godzilla” burner, which I believe was 110,000 BTUs, and cranked the puppy to high. Two foot flames shot out of the burner. We also had three other woks, which burned at 90,000 BTUs that could crank out the heat as well.

The average output of a home stove is about 7,000 BTUs, about 1/8th the power of the “little” woks we used. Electric stove tops are measured in kW (kilowatts) and average about 2 kW, roughly the same as 7,000 BTUs. If you are cooking on an electric stove top you need a different type of wok than a full rounded bottom, one that makes full contact with the heating element. Read more