One of the things I love for snacking is pickled carrots. I can’t explain it but there’s nothing better than a bowl of pickled carrots while watching tv. I recently discovered I like the spicy ones with eggs and tomatoes. It’s weird – I know.
The jar on the left, with the dark something at the bottom, is the spicy carrots. That dark spot is a jalapeno. I cheated with these. I bought a jar of pickled jalapenos that had a fair amount of carrots in it from the farmer’s market. The lovely older woman gladly told me her recipe so I could break up the jar so I could make pickled carrots. She only added the carrots because she likes them and they help the jars not look so empty for the market.
I can’t share that recipe with you because I just took enough notes to make up the “new” batch. Our results were not identical either. I started with cutting up a ton of carrots using a mandoline slicer that I borrowed from my dad. I used a 1/2 inch setting. That poor slicer has cut up about 15 pounds of carrots and 15 pounds of beets, along with however many odds and ends. Later, I’ll be using it to cut up cabbage for sauerkraut. I really need to get me one of these.
I opened the jar of pickled peppers (that is so much fun to say – you should try it). I broke up the peppers so there was 1-2 peppers per new quart jar. I split up the garlic and then added my own so that each jar had 2-3 garlic cloves. There were a few pieces of broken bay leaves so I put those in the jars with some new bay leaves. Then I split the brine up between the jars, reserving just a little bit for the pile of carrots floating in the bottom. The brine didn’t fill my jars even a quarter of the way but that worked well since I still needed to add the carrots.
All of the pickled carrots I have done this year, I have used raw carrots that I pack into the jars as tightly as possible. The end result is a slightly cooked but tasty carrot. To finish off the brining process – I poured over a mixture of half white vinegar and water. I waterbathed the batch for 20 minutes which allowed the carrots to get a little tender.
The end result of this batch was a nice crunchy pickle with a hint of heat. It didn’t quite have the same intensity as the ones I bought at the farmer’s market but my family seems to like them better so I am not complaining.
Last night’s pickles were sweeter and my favorite version of pickled carrots – an asian inspired pickled carrots. I packed five quart jars with cut carrots. Then I cut up a good pound of fresh ginger. I wanted to use up the ginger and thought of pickling it as well. I realized I could get two birds with one stone by cooking the ginger in the brine and then canning it separate. I forgot to take a picture of that but I’ll try to get it in tomorrow’s post on pickled garlic.
Because the method I was using last night is different from the recipe, I put enough spices in the brine to give each jar a single recipe amount (3 allspice, 4 clove, 4 peppercorns x’s five jars). It wasn’t perfect but in the end I was able to split the spices up in the jar. I did have to make up several batches of brine since I couldn’t get them to fill each jar. I believe that a single batch of brine from the recipe will fill a quart jar so remember to increase it to the number of jars you have.
I did end up using some white vinegar at the end and I don’t think it really changes the flavor significantly. We did mark the jars so we can test that later.
The recipe below is the one I use for the Asian carrot pickles. I realized there’s no mention of what size jars in the recipe. The truth is I haven’t canned these pickles in the past. I make a huge batch and store it in tupperware in the fridge. There’s no point in wasting a jar when the batch won’t stay sealed that long. This time I wanted to have one jar for the fridge (I cheated and used an old lid for the one I wanted in the fridge so it would get the cooking time but not be sealed) but I wanted the rest for storage. I also used sliced regular sized carrots instead of baby carrots. Our store has 10 pound bags of carrots for about $2.50 – would you pass that up for baby carrots?
Asian Pickled Carrots
1 pound baby carrots
1/4 cup peeled and julienned ginger
3 whole allspice
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 whole cloves
4 whole peppercorns
In saucepan, cook carrots in small amount of boiling water for 3 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain and place in jar. Add ginger and allspice to jars. In saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Pour over carrots. Seal and waterbath jars for 20 minutes.
– this time I put raw carrots in the jar and brought all the brine ingredients to a boil before pouring over.