Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pickled Plumb Pink

Oh, that's gorgeous, that is. And fast. And easy. And, if I have sufficiently sacrificed to the pickle gods, in about a week I will be enjoying the taste of those pickled eggs. And the beets. Just for the record, there are sliced beets in there, too.

Got this recipe from a fun web site owned by a nice fella named Drew Kime. He calls his place How to Cook Like Your Grandmother. This assumes one had (or has) grandmothers who were excellent cooks. (I'm raising my hand in the affirmative.) If you click on that link, you'll see photos of his pickled eggs after a mere week in the magic brine. There is also a link between the photos that will take you to the post with the recipe and several photos of the step-by-step he did last week.

His recipe is very simple: 1 cup each of vinegar, sugar and beet juice, heated until the sugar is dissolved and poured over 1 dozen hard boiled eggs, then stored in the refrigerator. Needless to say, I've tinkered with it just a teensy bit. I'll explain . . .

For one thing, he used plain beet juice but I had a can of pickled beets. The pickling liquid was already a bit sweet so I only added 1/4 cup of sugar to my broth. That seemed to be just right. I also played around a bit with the vinegar, using 2/3 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar. Tasty!

Then there was the matter of heat. I do love the spicy stuff, you know. I put in one of the Knorr brand mini-cubes which is supposed to equal one chipotle pepper. Just to top it off, I also gave a healthy sprinkle of Mrs. Dash chipotle seasoning. Took a sip. Oh yes. Very fine. Most excellento.

The eggs. Went to the market today and picked up 2 dozen eggs, figuring on using one dozen for this project. Now, you know -- you KNOW -- you never ever want to use really fresh eggs for hard boiling. Not if you want to peel them smooth and unmarred. So I loaded a dozen of the little beasties in the pan and poured the cold water over them. Oh shucky-darn. They all lay flat on the bottom like they were glued there. Totally fresh. Not even a hint of age.

I grumbled a bit and returned the eggs to their carton and pulled out the next dozen. They didn't seem to be all that much older but at least they stood up on their pointy ends and some of them even made token efforts to levitate just a bit. Okay. I probably should have waited at least a couple of days but I wanted to do this pickling thing TODAY. (Please, Lord, grant me patience and do it right now!)

It worked out pretty good. Only two out of the twelve ended up with chunky gouges in their hides. I'll just eat them first. In fact, those will be the ones I eat before the week is up and the fact that they're not perfectly smooth will keep me from feeling guilty about jumping the gun. I'll just claim to be tidying up the neighborhood.

What I'm anxious about is penetration. I've done pickled eggs before, once or twice, and the color didn't go in very far. I notice Drew's eggs absorbed the color (therefore the flavor) right up to the yolks. In cruising around reading through assorted recipes, the consensus seems to favor pouring hot pickling brine over the eggs to achieve maximum penetration. Makes sense to me but an awful lot of the recipes call for cold brine. We'll see. This time next week, I'll slice one of those bad boys open and then we'll know. Will the pink penetrate partly or will it penetrate profusely?

Oy, the suspense! The thrill of it! Reminds me of the old Saturday matinee cliff-hangers. Maybe I'd better check the popcorn supply.


John Bailey said...

Oh, wow! Pickled eggs! I *love* pickled eggs!

Drew Kime said...

Dee, I just love that. That barely even resembles my recipe any more. :-) And it sounds delicious.

And thanks for the tip on figuring out if the eggs are old enough. I never heard that one, but I can totally remember seeing some eggs stand on end. Great one.

Dee said...

John, you make me grin. Does this mean you'll be starting your own batch of pink pickledness?

Drew! How terrific of you to drop in. Thanks for the comments. Your remark about the age of the egg has me mulling over another post with that as a subject. "Stay tuned," she said in her best radio announcer voice.

bonnie said...

Mom used to toss eggs in the beet juice. I never tasted any as a kid and if I try it now I will be left alone to eat the kit and kaboodle as Wil won't even touch pickled beets!

Dee said...

Bonnie, you say that like it's a bad thing. Kit and kaboodle sounds good to me. (wicked grin)

kate et jim said...

Ooooo - I didn't get to read this post! I checked my e-mail and there it is, but where was I??? Hummm.

I had begun to read the most recent post and then this one was there.

Anyhoo - LOVE IT! I'll comment more on the next one!

Kate said...

Oh scrumptious! I'm about to go make me some of these, yes I am!