10 May 2013

Smoked & Pickled Green Onions

At our store, The Boulevard Market, I have hosted a seasonal series of Preserving Classes for the last few years. We create wonderful preserved foods using canning, freezing, smoking, pickling, fermenting, drying and occasionally "air exclusion" as a way to preserve the bounty of Michigan spring, summer and fall harvests. On my part, it's been fantastic to try lots of new preserving techniques and recipes, in small batches, that I might not otherwise have made. On the part of the attendees, you get to sample the finished recipes (so you know if it's to your liking) and we pair it up with other foods so you've got some serving ideas, we also keep the batches small.

Whew...all that being said, I'm forever purchasing new cookbooks/magazines/publications for inspiration and new techniques. I recently scooped up "The Preservation Kitchen" by Paul Virant with Katie Leahy as he included some really interesting recipes and is located in the midwest. I also love that fact he included many recipes to go with his preserves and that is a treasure, as creativity can often be missing with hunger.

The Smoked and Pickled Green Onion recipe was one I featured at last month's class and I have blown through the jar I made in less than 2 weeks! Here's the recipe, my way (sorry for the liberties Mr Virant):


30 green onions, cleaned and tossed with a teaspoon of vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup Champagne Vinegar
1 ¼ cup water
3 Tablespoons Honey
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
6 Sprigs thyme

Bring vinegar, water, honey and salt to a boil, turn to low to keep hot.

You can use a traditional smoker to smoke onions, or the cheaters way, which I did. I filled the bottom of an old 9X13 pan with applewood chips to just cover bottom of pan. I put the pan on the grill racks of my gas grill and heated to very hot. As soon as the wood in the pan started to smoke, I place the green onions on the rack above the pan and cooked them about 12 minutes until a bit softened and slightly yellowed.

Sterilize a quart jar or 2 pint jars, warm lids. Pack hot onions into jars, add a few sprigs of washed thyme and fill with vinegar combination, leaving a ½ inch headspace.

Finger tighten rings and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes, or allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate up to 2 months.

Here are some photos of my cheater smoker. There is no need to purchase any fancy smoker box. I routinely use an old 9X13 pan for light smoking grilled food. (Remember this is not the same technique for preserving food by smoking) Since I have plenty of fruit trees that I grow without pesticides, I save my apple, pear, plum trimmings and allow to dry in the shed or garage for use in the traditional smoker or on the grill.

I fell in love with Mr Virant's Salsa Verde for using these onions;

1 cup S&P Onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh italian parsley
1/2 cup fresh tarragon, chervil or chives (or a combo)
2 Tablespoons capers, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

At the class I made a fresh chevre (goat cheese) quiche to pair with...delicious!!

I hope you take a bit of time to preserve your own harvest this year! There is nothing in the world like opening a jar of summer during the nastiest of January days!

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