The Daily Brine

Rick's Picks offers 12 varieties of hand-packed and all natural pickles, made in season with produce from local farmers.

Quick Pickled Shishito Peppers

Around these Rick’s Picks parts, we love ourselves some Shishitō Peppers! I go nuts for them each summer, putting all of our market associates on notice to “just buy them for me” whenever they’re seen at the market. A summer season pepper, I was thrilled to see them make an appearance at the market last week to welcome Spring. I couldn’t resist. I’m glad I did, the next day they were all gone.

Pan seared with a little extra virgin olive oil in a hot cast iron until blistered and wilted, immediately sprinkled with kosher salt, and finished with a squirt of lemon is the way to go when preparing Shishitōs!!! In fact, this was the only way I’d had them prepared, until I ran acrossthis recipe in the Los Angeles Times online. I was curious.

I “jujjed” the recipe a little by adding baby onions, garlic, red Fresno peppers, and a couple Meyer lemons. All of which were welcomed flavor companions to the smoky-sweet Shishitō. Shishitōs are the roulette of game of peppers. Generally mild mannered, the numbers and experts vary, but it’s said that one in ten are actually spicy.

I say, give or take. (smile)

Quick pickles are made for immediate texture and flavor satisfaction rather than long term preservation purposes. The saturation of the brine and seasonings into the vegetable (or fruit) are expedited. As such, their essence may not be as concentrated as if they were preserved. Still, the benefits of quick pickling are numerous.

We encourage our customers to reuse leftover brines from our pickles to quick pickle everything from mushrooms, and pearl onions to carrots or zucchinis.

With minimal effort and experimentation, you can bring a boost of great flavor, texture, and extra veggies to any meal. We enjoyed these Shishitōs alongside grilled skirt steak.

Onward to warmer weather!

Inspired by The Los Angeles Times

Yield 1 – ½ quarts of Pickles

The Method: The Ingredients: The Brine

12 oz. (1 bottle) rice vinegar

12 oz. water

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon of mixed peppercorns

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1 teaspoon of coriander seeds

1 star anise

5 cardamom pods

2 cloves of garlic, peeled.

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

The Method: The Ingredients: The Vegetables

10 pearl onions

50 Shishitō peppers

6 red Fresno peppers

2 Serrano peppers (halved)

The Madness: The Assembly

In a medium pot, blanch the pearl onions in simmering water, about 45 seconds. Drain the water, set onions aside to cool. The blanching of these tiny onions will make them much easier to peal.

In the same pot, simmer the rice and balsamic vinegars, water, peppercorns, cumin and coriander seeds, the star anise, cardamom pods, garlic cloves, sugar and kosher salt until fragrant, 5 minutes. Turn off and set aside to cool.

In a large heavy bottom skillet or cast iron pan, toast the Serrano halves, Shishitō and Fresno peppers for approximately 7 minutes, turning occasionally. Allow the peppers to develop a light toast on them.

Peel the pearl onions.

In one or two nonreactive airtight containers (large enough to hold 1½ quarts of brine and vegetables) with covers, layer the toasted peppers, garlic cloves and pearl onions. Pour the seasoned vinegar brine over the vegetables. Seal tightly and refrigerate. Allow pickles to sit at least 4 hours to meld. Make sure that the brine comes to room temperature before refrigerating. Pickles will keep refrigerated for 2 – 3 weeks.

FORP #1: Charlie Sahadi, Sahadi’s Fine Foods

A brand new segment is being introduced here at Rick’s Picks: FORP!  “FORP” stands for “Friends of Rick’s Picks”, and it is intended to highlight our nearest and dearest friends; the people that make fuel the lifeblood of our passion for pickling.

One might argue that Charlie Sahadi is the original FORP (Friend of Rick’s Picks).  The relationship between Charlie and Rick Field goes back all the way to the inception, back when Rick was starting to experiment with his own pickling in his kitchen.  

Rick was a customer at their Atlantic Avenue location, where he would buy spices for his pickles.  As time went on and the company grew, Rick never stopped using Sahadi products, and began ordering larger and larger quantities.  To this day, Rick uses spices from Sahadi’s, maintaining a crucial friendship in the lifeblood of Rick’s Picks.



Charlie is passionate about his store.  The specialty food store carries a plethora  of ingredients, from mixed nuts to spices of every color.  Not only do these ingredients make great pickles, they are the basis of any great meal.  As Charlie says, “A great meal starts with top quality ingredients and simple cooking that brings out the flavor.”  For the Sahadi family, a great food experience consists of many small dishes that compliment each other.  Charlie’s daughter suggests a falafal bowl with tahini, maza with wine, spinach and cheese, or some Phat Beets with shaved red onion and feta cheese.  

Oh, and Charlie’s favorite Pick?  He’s a Phat Beets guy.  “It’s not too sweet and makes a great salad.”

Deviled Eggs Phat Beets Style!

Always retro, always beloved, always the first appetizer to go; these lovely pickled beet dyed deviled eggs will bring color and conversation to your menu. When you’re wondering what to do with that extra jar of Phat Beets brine, try these. Who says dying eggs is just for kids at Easter?

Yield: 12 deviled egg halves, approximately 4 servings (You will want more than one!)

Inspired by The Kitchn

Note: You’ll need at least 12 - 48 hours of lead time on this recipe to get proper saturation of the hardboiled eggs.

The Method: The Ingredients

1 15oz jar of Rick’s Picks Phat Beets

1 15oz jar of reserved brine from Rick’s Picks Phat Beets

7 eggs, hard-boiled

1 ½ tablespoon of Rick’s Picks With Relish

1 teaspoon of favorite mustard

¼ cup of mayonnaise

½ teaspoon of sweet paprika, divided

½ teaspoon of kosher salt

The Madness: The Assembly: Pickling the Hard Boil Eggs

This recipe has a two-step process. First we pickle the hard-boiled eggs, then we devil them.

The best way to hard-boil eggs I’ve found is to start with a medium saucepan that has a lid. Carefully add eggs, and enough cold water to cover the eggs by approximately 1”or so. Bring the water to a boil under high heat. Once the water begins to boil, turn off the heat, cover the saucepan with its lid and allow the eggs to sit for 10 minutes. Don’t open the lid. Drain the eggs. Either place the eggs into an ice bath, or cover with cold water. Once the eggs have cooled, peel and set aside 6 of the eggs, placing the 7th into the refrigerator for later use. Unshelled hard-boiled eggs keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

Now on to the pickle process: Strain into a medium bowl a jar of Phat Beets, separating the brine from the contents of the jar. Be sure to keep and incorporate all of the great ginger, onion, and rosemary pieces from the jar in with the strained Phat Beets. Add the additional jar of reserved Phat Beet brine to the strained brine. Set aside.

In an airtight quart container or canning jar alternate layers of the strained contents of the Phat Beets jar with hardboiled eggs. You will have enough room to have three layers of both eggs and pickled beets. Add the two jars of reserved brine to the layered quart of phat beets and hard-boiled eggs. Be sure that there is enough room in the container to allow the brine to fully cover all of the eggs and beets. Place the lid on the container, and let this mixture sit refrigerated for 12 to 48 hours.

Once the eggs have brined, remove them from the quart of Phat Beets. Slice each egg in half, being careful to wipe your knife between cutting each egg. Remove the yolks into a medium bowl. Return to the refrigerator to retrieve the 7th hardboiled egg. Peel and mash well the entire hard-boiled egg with a fork. This reserved egg will act as filler for the 6 yolks. Add the mashed egg to the bowl of yolks. Add relish, mustard, ¼ teaspoon of paprika, salt, and mayonnaise. Stir and mash the egg mixture until its texture is to your liking.

Using a small spoon, add the egg salad mixture into the beet colored egg whites.

Garnish each deviled egg with a cube of Phat Beets, and a sprinkle of paprika.

Happy Holidays, from us here at Rick’s Picks!

Kool Gherks & Saxelby’s Pawlet Grilled Cheese Sandwich

As far as FORP (Friends of Rick’s Picks) go, Saxelby’s Cheese Mongers is right up there with Family. I ventured to Essex Market last Saturday with the dream of a compliment to a Kool Gherks grilled cheese sandwich in tow. We were making lentil soup. Saxelby’s immediate recommendation of their Pawlet was spot on. Freshly sliced, I imagined that the tart lingering finish of the Pawlet would be great on a charcuterie platter with the Kool Gherks, but I had plans.

Soup and a grilled cheese sandwich waited!

The aromatic whole gherkin with dill and pickling spices, coupled with the earthy nuttiness of the Pawlet was a match made in pickle and cheese heaven. Hot off the cast iron with the crunch of toasty bread, the Pawlet and Kool Gherks finished one another sentences as the perfect warm gooey blend.

When you’re in the mood for a little twist on your comfort food, this is your sandwich.

The Method: The Ingredients

1 jar of Rick’s Picks Kool Gherks

1 rustic loaf of sourdough bread

1/2 lb. of Saxelby’s Cheesemongers Pawlet cheese 

1 tbsp. of unsalted butter

1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil

The Madness: The Assembly

Slice the bread into 1/2” thick portions.

On the base of the sandwich bread, we placed sliced pieces of the Pawlet cheese. We then piled thinly sliced Kool Gherks rounds onto the cheese. For good measure, we topped the pickle slices with additional cheese before finishing off the sandwich.

In a large skillet melt 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter with 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add sandwiches to heated skillet. Either press the sandwiches with a weight (I use a mini cast iron skillet), or carefully press your sandwiches with a spatula. Allow the sandwiches to brown, approximately 2 - 3 minutes. Flip your sandwiches. If you find that your pan is a little dry of butter and oil, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil. Repeat your browning process until the Pawlet is melted; and both sides of your sandwich are beautifully grill cheesy brown.

Remove sandwiches from the pan, slice, and serve immediately!

Enjoy!



sladewilson:

Got my @rickspicksnyc Phat Beets and Kool Gherks plus my Olive A’Sudden. #saladtime (at Assassin’s Lair)

sladewilson:

Got my @rickspicksnyc Phat Beets and Kool Gherks plus my Olive A’Sudden. #saladtime (at Assassin’s Lair)

Rick’s Picks Recycling: LEFTOVERS!

When homemade leftovers have to go somewhere air tight and space efficient. Besides, it helps to remember which pickle you used in your recipes by saving its jar!

Sassy Muffuletta

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What’s better than an old school cold Italian sub from this place?

Answer: A homemade New Orleans Mardi Gras inspired Muffulettasandwich with goodies from these kind folks, complimented by my new favorite tapenade. An unctuous olive salad made using two of our favorite products at the office, Pepi Pep Peps, and our newest launch, a delicious giardiniera, the Rick’s Picks Sweet & Sassy Mix.

You’ll want to dig in!

Inspired by O Magazine

Yield: Serves 4 to 6, Generously!

The Method: Ingredients

1 15oz jar of Rick’s Picks Sweet & Sassy Mix, drained and brine reserved

1 15oz jar of Rick’s Picks Pepi Pep Peps, ½ cup of Pepi Pep Peps reserved

6 oz green pitted olives

6 oz black pitted olives

1/4 cup of sweet and spicy banana peppers

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp dried Italian seasonings (optional)

5 anchovy filets (optional)

Pinch of kosher salt

1 Italian bread, rustic loaf or round, preferably seeded

3 tbsp. oil from olive salad (or more, to taste)

3 oz capicola ham, thinly sliced

3 oz Genoa salami, thinly sliced

3 oz mortadella, thinly sliced

3 oz provolone cheese, thinly sliced

3 oz Swiss cheese, thinly sliced


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The Method: The Tapenade

Coarsely chop contents of entire jar Sweet & Sassy Mix (brine and thyme stems reserved), ½ cup of Pepi Pep Peps (generously collect all of the good garlic bits), green and black olives, banana peppers. Mince anchovy filets. Combine all in a medium bowl, mix well. Add extra virgin olive oil and all reserved Sweet & Sassy Mix brine. Be sure to remove all of the thyme leaves from the brine, pulling off all of the leaves. We want all of the good bits. Add kosher salt.

Allow the tapenade to sit and meld. Being in a hurry, I couldn’t wait the two days, preferably one week melding time recommended for the tapenade; however, I would highly suggest allowing your tapenade to sit covered refrigerated for at least 2 hours.

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The Madness: The Sandwich Assembly

Halve loaf of bread lengthwise. Our bread was a long rustic loaf Italian about twelve inches (12”) in length. Generously spoon the tapenade and its brine on the top side of the loaf. Spread out the olives and pickle salad all over the bread. Set aside. Coat the bottom side of the bread with three (3) to four (4) tablespoons of the tapenade’s brine and olive oil liquid. Use your discretion. The idea is to have the liquid lightly saturate through the bottom side of the loaf without making the loaf soggy.


The easy, more practical way of assembly would be to layer the tapenade-pickle laden side of bread with overlapping slices of ham, salami, mortadella, provolone, and Swiss. However, by this time, I was completely enamored with this sandwich. I wanted to gawk at its rich magnificence for as long as possible. I took the road less traveled, and set the tapenade topside of the loaf aside, and layered the oil laden side with alternate rows of the meats with the cheeses: salami, Swiss and provolone cheeses, capicola, Swiss and provolone cheeses, mortadella, Swiss and provolone cheese, and with a little help successfully assembled this good eats!


A little more patience is required before enjoyment of this hand meal. Wrap the entire sandwich in clear plastic wrap. Squeeze out as much air as you can, forcing the olive oil/brine/tapenade sandwiched meats together. Now is where patience is indeed a virtue. Allow your wrapped sandwich to sit, at least one (1) more hour.

After the hour, unwrap. If using a round loaf, slice it into wedges, or if you’re using a long loaf, cut into large sliced sections.

Isn’t She Gorgeous!?!?

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Beer Table: 15 Minutes with Rick Field

beertable:

Rick’s Picks began making pickles from locally-sourced, seasonable vegetables back in 2004. Since then, the business has grown to become a nationally-recognised brand known for its original and eclectic take on this traditional and humble foodstuff.

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We’ve been selling a range of those…

Rick’s Picks Recycling Drive

Here at Rick’s Picks, we value taking care of our planet. Whenever we can think of ways to reuse products instead of throwing them into a gross landfill, we’re pretty stoked.  For this reason, we’re going to start Rick’s Picks Recycling Drive.  We will continuously provide you with creative ways on how to reuse leftover Rick’s Picks products, so you can reduce your negative impact on the environment and save some cash in brined-out flair. 

For our first installment:BULK SEASONING CANISTERS

As you can see from glancing over this blog, our pal Deittra loves to cook.  If her soft gingerbread served with a dollop of warm orange glaze that she brought to the Rick’s Picks holiday lunch-in is any indication to the rest of her cooking, I’d say she’s a pretty great cook. 

What makes great cooking is great ingredients.  For the home chef that aspires to experimentation and creativity, the bulk section is the mecca of mealtime.  You can get as much or as little as you’d like, usually at a much cheaper cost than the prepackaged variety.  What better way to carry and store your bulk spices than with a Rick’s Picks leftover jar?  They seal nicely, are the perfect size, and it will remind you how awesome those pickles actually were. 

Deittra got her spices at the vast landscape of spices that is Kalustyan’s.  The availability of spices there will blow your mind.

Lady & Like: Beet & Goat Cheese Sandwiches

bellaamore:

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The back of this beet jar literally begs you to pair these with goat cheese. Rick, you and I are kindred souls. Kindred souls indeed. _________________________________________________________________

So here’s the thing. I thought that Whole Foods was lame for a hot minute…