Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday's Twist: Pickled Grapes

Tuesday's Twist:  A basic recipe with a fun twist.  In other words, just another excuse for me to play around with weird recipes I've been dying to try.

Pickled grapes?  Yep, that's right.  Pickled grapes.  Stop giving me those strange looks.  Why would a girl who doesn't even like pickles make pickled grapes?  Oh wait, now I get why you're giving me those odd looks.  

Actually, I think I'm starting to like pickles.  Well, sort of.  So far I like some things that are pickled, but I'm not huge on pickles themselves.  I know, weird.  But since this new pickling trend has popped up I've tried pickled asparagus and pickled carrots.  I was quite surprised at how much I like them.  So surprised in fact, that I decided to try a few kinds of "pickle" pickles again as wells as pickled beets.  Nope, still don't like either of those.  At least not yet.  But what about grapes?

The idea of pickled grapes was so intriguing I just couldn't pass it up.  Since I've never made real pickles from cucumbers I can't tell you how this compares.  These grapes are pickled, but they don't have that stereotypical pickle flavor.  Red wine vinegar provides a zing of flavor with each juicy bite.  Infusing the brine with mustard seed, peppercorns, a bay leaf, a cinnamon stick and whole cloves creates a burst of flavor that's uniquely addicting.

Though I'll likely eat the entire batch straight from the jar I can imagine quite a few uses for these little guys.
-chicken, tuna or Waldorf salad
-pizza or flat bread with feta
- served with cheese and crackers
- in a wrap, quesadilla or grilled cheese sandwich
- a sweet and savory muffin or corn bread
- or as this blogger accidentally discovered, pickled grapes work well with chocolate

I have a feeling I'll like normal pickles eventually.  Until then I'll stick to pickling other fun things, like grapes.

Pickled Grapes
inspired by Brooklyn Supper.

2 cups mixed red and green grapes
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp whole mustard seed
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves

* Using a sharp knife, cut off the tip of each grape where the stem meets the fruit. (This allows for more flavor infusion.) Place grapes in a clean pint jar.
* In a small saucepan combine vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seed, peppercorns, salt, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cloves.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.
*Pour hot liquid and spices over prepared grapes.  Let cool to room temperature before covering with a lid and refrigerating overnight.  Flavors will increase as grapes sit.

Food for Thought: "You must pay for everything in this world one way or another. There is nothing free except the grace of God. You cannot earn that or deserve it." - Charles Portis 

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