Saturday, July 30, 2022

20-Minute Pickles


I am addicted to Claussen Hearty Garlic Dill Pickles. Unlike most other pickles, they are fresh and have never been heated. Cucumbers are harvested and they go into the Claussen jar within days. While your regular grocery aisle will be filled with all different kinds of pickles, you'll have to make a special trip to the refrigerated section of the store to get your hands on a jar of Claussen Pickles. Oh, the crunch!

My love for pickles does not stop there. I also like pickling fresh vegetables. They are fast, tasty and are so easy to make. These pickled veggies are great with one of our very favorite meals, Korean BBQ Tacos. 

One of the key things about making these pickles is that you have to slice the veggies thin. I like to use a mandoline as it makes slicing fast and perfectly uniform. You can use a knife if you don't have a mandoline, but it's tedious and uniformity kind of goes out the window.

You can pickle any veggie that can be sliced. I like to stick with carrots, onions and cukes. The only other ingredients you need are likely already in your pantry...white vinegar, salt and sugar. So get slicing and 20 minutes later you can start munching on these fabulous pickles.

1-1/2 cups thin sliced red onions 
1-1/2 cups thin sliced carrots
1-1/2 cups thin sliced cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
4 tablespoons white sugar
4 tablespoons salt
3 jars with lids

  1. Fill each jar with a different sliced vegetable.
  2. Place a pot over medium high heat and add in the vinegar, salt and sugar. Simmer and stir until both the salt and sugar are dissolved. Once dissolved, remove pan from heat.
  3. Pour vinegar over the vegetables. Cover jar and let jars rest for 20 minutes.
  4. You can eat the pickled veggies immediately....or put them in the fridge where they will be good for the next 10 days.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Grilled Mojo-Marinated Skirt Steak


When it comes to cooking steak, I'm not a big fan of marinating. I much prefer a dry rub to ensure I get a really good crust on the steak when I grill it. But this recipe from Lan Lam is a really interesting one. Soy sauce and garlic gives the marinade a rich umami base. The marinade is later used as the basis for a sauce, where the flavor is really amped up with the addition of lime and orange zests and juices. Then she has a really clever trick to make sure the steak gets a robust crust...she coats it with baking soda and oil right before slapping it on the grill.


For the marinade
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the Steak
2 pounds skirt steak, cut with the grain into 6 to 8 inch-long steaks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the Sauce
Reserved marinade
1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 1/4 cup juice (2 limes)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest plus 1/2 cup juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag. Add steak and toss to fully coat. Seal bag and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Prepare grill for direct cooking over high heat.
  3. Remove steaks from marinade and transfer marinade to a small saucepan. Pat steaks with paper towel. Combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil with baking soda in a small bowl. Rub oil mixture onto both sides of steak.
  4. Make the sauce: Bring marinade to a boil. Transfer to a bowl and combine with zests,  juices and olive oil. Set aside.
  5. Grill steaks for about 3 minutes, then flip and grill 3 minutes more (for medium rare). Transfer steaks to cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut steaks on bias against grain into 1/2-inch slices (see photo above). Arrange slices on platter and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of sauce. Serve, passing extra sauce separately.

Wine pairing: Malbec