Quick Pickled Green Beans + Bloody Mary

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Hi Folks. Hope everyone is having a great summer. I’m getting back to some quick pickling again. Not too long ago we bought a big bag of green beans, for potato salad and whatever else. But we couldn’t eat that many that fast so I decided to pickle what we had left. And I’m glad I did, they’re really good, makes a great garnish for a Bloody Mary so I posted that recipe as well. 

The ratio of green beans to liquid from the original recipe didn’t work out well, so I’ve made some notes in the recipe below that might be helpful. But don’t feel that you have to get everything super exact. After my second and third attempt I just started tossing a few things in here and there, adding the hot water and vinegar, it all works out, mostly, ha ha. I’m looking forward to trying this with other vegetables. One vegetable I’ve had pickled that I didn’t like was celery. The texture was too weird and it was hard to eat because it was so rubbery. I’ve had some excellent pickled mushrooms which I never thought I would like, but I do very much and plan on trying out some recipes. 

Initially I just photographed a plate of the pickled green beans, but it didn’t look very impressive, lol, then I remembered how good they were in a Bloody Mary so I whisked that together and I think the cocktail gives the green beans more visual appeal and context for photo styling purposes. 

Anything can look good!

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Quick Pickled Green Beans

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups white vinegar 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (1 for each jar)
  • A handful of fresh dill weed (and flowering dill seed if available)

Place the beans in canning jars (about 3 or 4 jars). Distribute the mustard seeds, crushed red pepper and dill among the jars evenly. Add a garlic clove to each jar. (I do it this way because when I worked from the original recipe, which was adding all these things to the pot, it was more difficult to distribute evenly in several containers)

In a pot, heat the vinegar and water to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the salt and sugar. Whisk until the salt and sugar dissolve.

Pour the liquid over the green beans. Add water to top off if needed (I ended up heating more vinegar and water because the ratios were way off, 1 lb of green beans is a lot!). Let cool, and then cover and place in the refrigerator. Allow the beans to pickle 24 hours before using. Pickled green beans will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

(Adapted from The Food Network)

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Bloody Mary

  • 6 ounces tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish 
  • A few drops worcestershire sauce
  • A few drops hot sauce
  • Fresh lemon and juice
  • 1.5 ounce vodka

In a glass whisk together tomato juice, horseradish, worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, squeeze in juice of about a 1/4 lemon, stir and taste. (adjust as needed, I like 1 teaspoon horseradish but Jeff likes 1/2 teaspoon) It’s all about preferred taste, but this is what I like.  Add ice, garnish with lemon wedge and pickled green beans! Makes 1 drink.

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New Year’s Cherry Bourbon Cocktail

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I was poking around our bookcase the other day and came across the book Imbibe! which I’ve never read, and still haven’t. But it did get me googling the author’s name David Wondrich, which brought me to Imbibe Magazine’s website (what a great site!) There are so many cocktail recipes it’s hard to pick one. I chose “The Dewberry Hotel’s Panic Button” definitely not for it’s name (although it's not hard to imagine a cocktail being named as such in 2017) but that it contained bourbon and two liqueurs that I’ve been wanting to try out for a long time. Amaro Averna, an Italian digestif, and Heering Cherry liqueur. I made the drink exact to the recipe, but it didn’t look like the drink in the article, however it tastes really good. Jeff thought it was sweet, but I didn’t find it too sweet, lots of earthy flavors with a taste of cherry that’s not overwhelming. I recommend using a large ice cube since they melt much slower than traditional ice cubes, here I used Tovolo Sphere ice molds, we have similar size large cube trays but these seemed to work nice for this style glass, plus they look like snow balls. Oh and just about the best maraschino cherries I’ve ever tasted are Bada Bing Cherries. Wishing you all well for the new year! Goodbye 2017, you were a really weird year. Cheers to 2018!

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New Year’s Cherry Bourbon Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounce Bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce Amaro Averna
  • 1/2 ounce Campari
  • 1/2 ounce Heering cherry liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Large ice cubes or spheres
  • Maraschino cherries

Shake all the ingredients with ice to chill, then strain into a glass holding a single large ball or cube of ice. Garnish with cherry.

Recipe adapted from Imbibe Magazine

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Watermelon Cocktail

I love summer and I love the heat, but it has been a bit crazy these past few days here in Portland with temps reaching 105°. This Watermelon Cocktail is perfect for these warm evenings, it’s so refreshing and one of the nice things about this cocktail is that you don’t need to add simple syrup because of the sweetness of the watermelon. One thing I want to mention is that the flavors (watermelon, lime and mint) seemed to get better as it rested, it might be a good idea to add the lime juice and mint to the watermelon juice before refrigerating it. I made it right in the glass but I could see this being made ahead of time so all you would have to do is add the vodka. I chose vodka because that’s what we had on hand, but I think this would work great with rum as well. Enjoy and stay cool folks!

Watermelon Cocktail

  • 4 oz Watermelon Juice
  • 1 shot of vodka
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • a few mint leaves
  • Makes one cocktail

Cut up the watermelon into chunks and place in blender a few chunks at a time and blend high speed until liquified, then continue to add the rest until you’re done. Pour Watermelon juice into a container and refrigerate.

Tear the mint leaves a bit and Muddle them in a rocks glass with the lime juice. Add the vodka and watermelon juice and stir well, add ice and enjoy.