Pickled Garlic

Happy Tuesday Fellow Foodies!

If you know me personally, then you know that two of my favorite foods are pickled vegetables (Japanese-"tsukemono style) and garlic.

Today, while grocery shopping-at my local WinCo (yes that is a shameless plug for my favorite store), I came across some of the nicest garlic I had seen in a while. So I bought 3 heads of the stuff with the intention of pickling some of it.

What do you do with pickled garlic? GOOD QUESTION!

1. Seafood: Use pickled garlic instead of raw when cooking fish. Or blend it into mayonnaise and sour cream for a tartar sauce with zest.
Since one of garlic’s most famous pairs is tomatoes, make use of chopped pickled garlic in an aromatic shrimp taco dish. Cook down the flavor of the garlic by first sautéing in olive oil. Then add sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, and cayenne to cooked shrimp.
2. Meat: Garlic and lamb is a tried and true pair. Try stir-frying pickled garlic, onion, cumin, and sliced lamb. The vinegar naturally present in the pickled garlic will turn up the flavor of the entire dish.
3. Vegetables: When pan-frying vegetables, take advantage of the tangy yet savory flavor burst by chopping up pickled garlic and adding olive oil.
4. Potatoes: Finely chop pickled garlic and sprinkle into your favorite potato salad or use it as a topping for a new twist on the traditional baked potato.
5. Italian food: Pickled garlic without extra seasonings goes well in most Italian dishes.
6. Chili: The next time you make chili from scratch, use pickled garlic instead of raw, to pack a bit of a punch.
7. Salad Dressing: the obvious choice! Just employ the garlic infused pickling vinegar, and a clove or two of your garlic to jazz up any and all salad dressings.

Pretty much anywhere you use raw garlic you and substitute in the pickled stuff and add the extra zing of tangy vinegar.

This recipe is one of the simplest that I know of-as it only used 5 ingredients-and you can vary the flavor by introducing any herbs, spices, or other veggies to the pickling party.

Here is the recipe:

Julie's Super-Simple Pickled Garlic

1 Head of garlic
12 oz. rice wine vinegar (or white wine vin in  a pinch)
1-2 Tbs. Kosher (or pink) salt
1-2 Tbs. something sweet (white, raw, or brown sugar, corn syrup or honey)
1 Chili pepper of your choosing (strictly optional)

Separate the cloves from the head of garlic. Remove the bottoms of each clove and gently peel them so that they keep their shape. Now you have two choices; 1. you can place the garlic whole into a 12 ounce jar and proceed, waiting about two weeks for your garlic to finish pickling.

 2. You can thinly slice your garlic as I did today and enjoy your pickles tomorrow! It is strictly up to you!

Place the garlic-however you prefer it-into a 12 ounce mason jar. Add everything else, screw on the lid, and shake it up until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.

Place the jar in the fridge and allow your garlic to pickle for the appropriate amount of time as described in the above paragraph.

Variations:
1. Place the vinegar on the stove with the salt and one full cup of sugar. Boil and allow to cool before proceeding for a very sweet syrupy garlic.

2. Add extra chilies for pickled chilies and garlic mixed.

3. Add some fresh herbs like tarragon, thyme, oregano, and/or basil.

4. omit the salt and reduce your vinegar to 8 ounces and add 4 ounces of soy sauce and a couple table spoons of sesame oil for an Asian taste.

5. Pack your mason jar FULL of whole cloves, allow them to pickle, and give the jars are gifts!

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