Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cocktail Onions for the Cold Pack/Raw Pack May Food in Jars Challenge

I decided to try my hand at preparing pearl onions from scratch. I had been warned, nevertheless, I persisted. In case of failure or a flailing temper tantrum, I made sure I had frozen pearl onions on hand to bail me out and cover for the wee bag of pearl onions I tasked myself to process.

I was pleasantly surprised by, after a 3 minute boil and three minutes in a cold water soak,  how easy it actually was to peel the onions. What was even better was the fact that the "skins" weren't really skins but more so meaty, that I popped all the waste into the freezer for future broth making!

The draw back I discovered was that my back up plan didn't look as appetizing. The pearl onions I processed were crisp, clear, and white while the frozen onions were blemished, green tinged, or had inconsistent color. Here they are all together just before I sprinkled them with salt, covered them with water and soaked them overnight.

If you look closely you can see some are pure white. Any onion with green came out of the frozen package. Any cloudy onion was also from the frozen package. I sprinkled them with generous amounts of salt, covered them in water, and put them in the refrigerator over night.  The following afternoon I drained them, rinsed well, and packed them into hot sterilized jars.

I then prepared the pickle by combining the essentials of two or three different recipes from the Food in Jars website

and two of my favorite canning books Food in Jars and Canning For a New Generation. (albeit one was just being used as a weight).

~ 3 pound pearl onions
1 cup sugar
3 cups White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Mustard Seeds
2 to 3 Tablespoons Prepared Horseradish (I love the stuff)
Bay leaves - one for each jar
(I'm lucky enough to have a market that stocks fresh ones right now!)

1. Combine vinegar ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

2. Pour liquid over onions in jars.
3. Affix caps and boil in hot water bath for 15 minutes.

Yesterday, once fully cooled, I took them outside for their photo opp in a lovely silver tray. Unfortunately the sun went away and we were left with a grey, dark, damp back ground.

I look forward to trying them in a day or two!

1 comment:

Liz Ranger (Bubble Tea for Dinner) said...

they look beautiful! I know you're extra aware of less-perfect onions, but they all look like prime pickle candidates to me. Once I had a window box full of spring onion bulbs so I made a tiny jar of cocktail onions out of those, and I understand your satisfaction with peeling them! Hope they are delicous ^^