No matter how scaled back a shoot might be or how specific and limited the shopping is there is inevitably excess food left over that is never used. What crew and client don't take inevitably ends up in my fridge. After a week or 2 of shooting my fridge is packed with both a huge assortment of produce and far more than even I could eat alone. What doesn't end up being incorporated into my own meals and weekly dinner parties ends up in jars with vinegar and spices. I've definitely tried to pickle things that aren't typically pickled. Some for ill but most for good. My friends often comment about the enormous amount of pickles in my fridge and lately I've considered investing in a fridge entirely for my pickle addiction!
I come from generations of sustenance farmers. Pickling and canning were not the novelty of today during my childhood. While my parents were not farmers when I was a child we had very little money and at the end of the summer seasons we spent many weekends canning and storing food for the winter from our garden. Okra, corn, green beans, peppers, and probably the least favorite among the majority of our family aside from my father, eggs!
This pickle follow in the same spirit of preserving the bounty and not wasting. The "Must-go" is a reference to my Aunt who always made "Must-go" soup. Always delicious, but never the same, as it was literally anything left in the fridge that was still salvageable went into a pot and was made into soup. This recipe is exactly that. Everything here was something I had on hand, and this "recipe" can be adjusted for any variety of things you'd like to pickle. The brine is bright and flavorful with a hint of heat from fresh Serrano chiles and is easy to scale.
Makes 4 about quarts
4 large Red, Orange or Yellow bell peppers or combination of
2 Red Onions
1 Bunch radishes
2 Serrano chiles or Jalepenos
For the Brine:
9 cups of Apple Cider vinegar
3 tsp of whole black pepper corns
3 tsp of whole coriander seeds
18 Cardamom pods
3 tsp of yellow or brown mustard seeds
8 bay leaves
15 all spice berries
1/4 cup of sugar
3 teaspoons of kosher salt
1. Place all the ingredients for the brine in a sauce pan and heat over high heat until it comes to a boil. Cover and allow to the aromatics to steep in the hot vinegar while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Halve the bell peppers, seed them and remove the veins. Slice them into 1/4" thick slices.
3. Halve and peel the onions, cut off the root end and cut them into 1/4" half moons lengthwise
4. Cut the tops off the radishes and depending on their size, quarter or halve them
5. Slice the chiles into 1/4" rounds. If you want less heat use jalapenos or deseed and de-vein the chiles. Or omit completely
6. Stuff your sterilized containers tightly with all the peppers, radishes, onions and spicy peppers. Bring the brine back to a boil and poor into the containers. Let cool completely and store them in the refrigerator. You can use them immediately but as with most pickles time makes them better. Give them a week for the flavors to marry.
I find that hot canning bell peppers so they are shelf stable makes them mushy and not palatable, but you are welcome to try. Let me know if you find success with it!
These will keep for 6 months in the fridge, if they last that long!