Refrigerator pickles are incredibly simple – no sterilizing jars required. Try green beans, cauliflower, bell peppers, jalapeños or onions, too!
This is the most fun I’ve had blogging in a long, long time.
Each year, the National Restaurant Association gets in the kitchen to explore the top menu trends for the coming year. For its annual What’s Hot culinary forecast, the NRA surveyed nearly 1,600 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation – to find which foods, beverages and culinary themes will be hot on restaurant menus in 2016.
And they’re letting me share those juicy details! Without further adieu, here are the top 20 food trends for 2016:
- Locally sourced meats and seafood
- Chef-driven fast-casual concepts
- Locally grown produce
- Hyper-local sourcing
- Natural ingredients/minimally processed food
- Environmental sustainability
- Healthful kids’ meals
- New cuts of meat
- Sustainable seafood
- House-made/artisan ice cream
- Ethnic condiments/spices
- Authentic ethnic cuisine
- Farm/estate branded items
- Artisan butchery
- Ancient grains
- Ethnic-inspired breakfast items
- Fresh/house-made sausage
- House-made/artisan pickles
- Food waste reduction/management
- Street food/food trucks
You knew there had to be a tie-in to my homemade pickles.
I’d already been planning on sharing my refrigerator pickles on the blog when I had the good fortune to read their predictions. I’d clearly put it off long enough, however, since house-made/artisan pickles will be trending next year. I think it’s a great idea (and here’s hoping we see more Bloody Mary bars to go along with them)!
I didn’t just make refrigerator pickles, either. I also pickled green beans, red bell peppers, red onions, carrots and jalapeños. Cauliflower is next on my list! I combined some of those, too; both green beans and carrots were spiced up with jalapeños, mixed the bell peppers and onions and tossed some crushed garlic cloves into a few jars.
Christmas gifts for neighbors, teachers and a few Bloody Mary-loving friends is now complete.
Whenever I make refrigerator pickles, they always go fast. Always. My 11-year-old is a serious pickle lover so I make them often for her. They’re so much better than what you can buy at the store. I can’t wait to see if my local favorite restaurants put some on their menu! My bet is Mokomandy will for sure. I’m heading there for dinner and a couple of their fantastic hand-crafted cocktails tonight so I’m going to slide in a customer suggestion :)
These refrigerator pickles are so, so simple. The hardest part – for me, anyway – is anticipating just how much brine I’ll need for the amount of vegetables I’m pickling. So much depends on what you’re pickling, the way you cut it and how tightly you pack each jar. I inevitably have to make a few more batches of brine since I’m clearly not good at gauging this in advance. But it’s so quick to make another batch that I don’t really mind. And there are those rare times when I actually get it right the first time around!
I like a simple brine made with just six ingredients. Occasionally I’ll use fresh dill weed but most of the time I prefer mustard seeds and black peppercorns. I skip those for the jalapeños as I prefer straight jalapeño flavor (and I cut the sugar to about half). But you can play around with it and make it however you like it most.
I would love to hear which food trends you’re most excited about! I have one more recipe coming off the list – this one for homemade Andouille sausage so don’t miss it!
- Assorted vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, carrots, cauliflower or green beans
- 2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf, I reuse this if I end up needing more
- Clean, trim and cut vegetables as desired. Pack firmly into mason jars. Set aside.
- Place all ingredients in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Pour over vegetables in jars all the way to the top. Allow to come to room temperature, then seal and place in refrigerator.
- Pickles will be ready after a few days and at their best after about a week. They can be stored in the refrigerator for about a month.