Last weekend I picked the final harvest of banana peppers from our summer garden. I know Fall is a lovely time of year, but I am not quite ready to say goodbye to warm weather and sun ripened tomatoes.
My husband and I were excited to try growing banana peppers for the first time this year, and when we found a simple pickling recipe that could be used across multiple kinds of produce, we realized we had to try our hand at making simple refrigerator pickles. Unlike traditional pickling, refrigerator pickles are fast and safe, requiring no special equipment or intricate sanitizing or sealing processes.
I love creating my own unique combinations of pickling spices - a mélange of whatever strikes your fancy when you open your spice cupboard. What makes these particular peppers so special is the use of both Black and White Wynad Peppercorns. If you have not yet tried Wynad Pepper, you must. Plain old black pepper will never be the same once you taste the depth and warmth that Wynad offers. Simply put, it is delicious. What makes these peppercorns so unique is their harvesting - they are left on the vine to ripen, then lovingly harvested by hand when each berry has reached perfection. The result is a pepper worthy to be paired with home-grown produce that has been grown with equally attentive care.
The basic recipe for refrigerator pickles is below - try on produce of your choice, such as radishes, small onions or of course banana peppers!
Bring 1 cup water to a boil, adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt (I used Grey Sea Salt - Fine), 1 tablespoon of sugar, and your choice of spices (try a mix of cardamom pods, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, whole cloves, cinnamon stick, Turkish bay leaves, dill weed, and both Black and White whole Wynad Peppercorns.) Boil for a minute or two, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
Place sliced or whole vegetables in mason jars (approximately 2 cups of produce), and pour liquid over produce, covering vegetables. Seal jar and place in refrigerator. Let sit for 1-3 days before opening. Keep in refrigerator for up to one month.
On weekdays, breakfast is not a top priority in my home. It has always been dinner that is the main event - a time to catch up on the events of the day and connect.
Breakfast, on the other hand, is always on-the-go. A quick bowl of granola or yogurt and fruit. Avocado on buttered toast could not be more simple, making it the perfect easy breakfast that is wonderfully satisfying.
Toast bread of your choosing, spread generously with butter. Top with thick, ripe avocado slices sprinkled with any flake salt (I like our new Alaska Pure Alder Smoked Sea Salt) and a generous turn of freshly-ground Parameswaran's special Wynad Black Pepper. It's that easy, and you won't be dissapointed!
I don't think I could ever grow tired of good blueberry muffins. Simple in concept and creation, the blueberry muffin best captures the happy mélange of tart and sweet - fresh fruit bursts in between bites of moist, satisfyingly dense cake. Pair with a cup of rich French press coffee and the flavor balance could not be more complete.
This weekend I was in downtown Philadelphia at a local market and found a pound of berries for an irresistible bargain. These were ideal - small in size, sweet in the middle with crisp skins that added the perfect amount of tang. Blueberries are in their peak this time of year. Seek firm berries that are not too large.
It had been a while since I had whipped up a batch of muffins - I forgot how simple they really are. Ideal for a quick breakfast or afternoon coffee break, these muffins also freeze well, but you'll most likely have no problem polishing off the whole batch!
The recipe below features didi davis food Lemon Sugar. I love the way this sugar gently melts atop the muffin as baking occurs; the result is a gratifying muffin with a crisp, sweet top, followed by the subtle yet complex tartness of hand zested lemon.
by Chef Didi Davis
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups flour ¾ cup sugar ½ tsp salt 2 tsp baking powder ¾ cup milk or half and half 2 eggs 1-2 tsp vanilla 1 stick butter, melted 2 cups fresh blueberries didi davis food Lemon Sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together in a bowl, making a well in the center. In a second bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Add melted butter to this mixture, stirring quickly. Pour into the well of dry ingredients and stir together with a spoon, adding the blueberries.
Pour batter into greased muffin pan. Sprinkle muffin tops liberally with didi davis food Lemon Sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Summer is in full swing, and the days are long and hot. Its the perfect time of year to put your garden grown herbs to good use and make a batch of refreshing herbal simple syrups.
This blog post was a big hit last summer and its simply too good not to share again. Enjoy these pleasing herb and citrus pairings on their own, or used as a mixer in your favorite summertime cocktail.
Himalayan Pink Salt Himalayan Pink Salt is a pure, strikingly beautiful dark pink salt. The dark pink salt, unlike the ubiquitous lighter Himalayan Pink Salt varieties, can only be found in a few mines in Pakistan. This natural salt looks as beautiful on food as it does on your table in a bowl, a salt shaker, or salt mill.
Danish Viking-Smoked Salt Danish Viking-Smoked Salt is made in a style devised by the Vikings, thanks to the efforts of one man in Denmark, who took it upon himself to rekindle this millennium-old tradition.
Bali Sea Salt Choose from varying textures of Bali Sea Salt - fine grain or pyramids. Both offer a delightful crunch and satisfying sea salt taste.