pickles2A few weeks ago, we received a comment from Jack who made a few tweaks to our favorite recipe for homemade half-sour pickles.  His version added onions and turmeric to the mix, which we expected to give the pickles a more pronounced vegetable flavor.  Considering how popular our pickle post has been, we were eager to see how Jack’s variation differed from the original.

We stopped by the H Street FreshFarm Market and made a beeline for Richfield Farms’ stand at the rear of the market.  Their cucumbers have proven to be perfect for pickling in previous efforts, so we wanted to use them again this time.  While we were there, we may have picked up the ingredients for a batch of gazpacho, too…have we mentioned how often we make it in season?

Jack’s recipe and our thoughts after the jump. (more…)

img_7184Maybe it’s a Jersey thing, or possibly a guy thing.  Either way, I love me a good sandwich.  There are few foods that I approach with such eager abandon as a sub piled high with fresh-sliced cold cuts, slathered with mustard and topped with lettuce, tomato and other assorted veggies.

But there are sandwiches…and then there are sandwiches.  Oh, I’ll still gladly tuck into just about any combination of meats, cheeses and bread you offer me, but there’s really only one sandwich I actively crave.  For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you when I first became aware of the one they call the Cubano, but since that day it has been the sandwich by which all other sandwiches are judged in my eyes.

Details on this not-s0-guilty pleasure – including how to make them at home – after the jump. (more…)

in-a-pickle-standToward the end of last year, Elizabeth and I were walking through Eastern Market when we noticed a new vendor.

Okay, ‘noticed’ is kind of an understatement.  I believe my exact words were, “Ooooh!  Pickles!”

I’m starting to realize that I say “Oooh” a lot more than I would have thought…

Be that as it may, what stopped me in my tracks was something that Washington had been sorely lacking for quite some time – a source for good, old-fashioned, deli-style pickles.  img_7182Don’t believe me?  Check out the number of pickle-related threads on Chowhound that read like dill-soaked cries for help.

When I stopped bouncing up and down like a six-year old, we I decided we would check out what the stand had to offer.  Sure, they might say they had old-world, handcrafted pickles…but were they worth buying?  If you remember my attempts at homemade half-sour pickles last summer, you know how eager I was to find out.

Relishing the results of our visit after the jump. (more…)

One of my most distinct early food memories is strange, to be sure.  I was on a vacation to Busch Gardens with my family, and I was feeling lousy.  Maybe it was the heat or maybe it was something I ate, but I remember feeling sick for most of the morning.  Eventually, my parents decided it was time to stop and get something to eat.

Needless to say, the prospect was less than appealing for me.  I made my way through the cafeteria-style line and saw only one thing that I thought my stomach could handle: a whole garlic pickle.  Why did I think this was a good idea?  Who knows.

Whatever the reason, it turns out I was right.  Not only was I able to eat the pickle, which was fresh, crisp and redolent with garlic and dill, it completely cured me!  I was able to enjoy the rest of the day in the theme park, and I have always credited my recovery to that delicious garlic pickle.

Since then, I’ve gone out of my way to try all kinds of pickles whenever the opportunity has presented itself.  I’ve tasted half-sours, garlic dills, kosher dills, gherkins, cornichons, bread-and-butters and new pickles.  I once tried a horseradish-infused vodka martini at least in part because it was garnished with a pickle.

But now I’ve taken my love of cured cucumbers to a whole new level – I’ve finally made my own pickles.  As it turns out, my favorite type of pickle (half-sour with plenty of garlic) is surprisingly easy to make at home.  More images and the recipe after the jump. (more…)