The words “canned goods” are generally used to refer to foods that have undergone some sort of preservation method (be it a brine, vinegar marinade, fermentation, etc.), that are stored in jars (or cans). They can be used in times when fresh food is scarce. Today, the use of refrigerators have made these preservation methods lose their original purpose. Preservation methods are no longer as necessary as they were in so many houses from long ago. By learning to preserve food, however, we also discovered that chemicals change original flavors. Even though we really like the flavor of fresh food, we have also learned to love the taste of these foods after they have been transformed through the preservation process, and we have learned how to create new recipes with them.
Think about using a fresh pineapple to make a salad, and how rich is tastes when preserved in syrup, to make a cake. Or think about how tasty a cucumber is as an appetizer, but it’s also delicious when made into pickles to serve alongside hotdogs. That’s why we need to hold on to this art of preserving foods. It enriches our cuisine, which is why I’m going to give you a few recipes so that you can choose to preserve food as well. Don’t forget to post comments about your favorite preserves, or how any of these recipes below turned out.
Pineapple in syrup
- 1 pineapple
- 500 grams sugar
- 1 liter water
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- Start by cutting the pineapple up. Remove the peel and cut out the center. You can use a special instrument made to do so, or simply use a knife. Cut them into slices or into cubes.
- Place the sugar and water into a pot. Heat until the sugar dissolves, then add the cinnamon stick.
- Heat the syrup to boiling. Test it to make sure it’s not too thick. If it is overly thick, add a bit more water.
- Add the previously diced pineapple, and once again bring to a boil until the pineapple is soft.
- Once the pineapple is ready, store in previously sterilized jars with a hermetic seal.
- Cover tightly and place in a pot of boiling water. Heat for approximately 15 minutes, then either enjoy your pineapple in syrup, or store it.
- 2 cucumbers
- ¼ c. water
- ¼ c. sugar
- ½ c. vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp. dill
- 2 to 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. chili flakes
- 5 whole peppercorns
- Salt to taste
- You can use any variety of cucumber that you like. First cut the cucumbers either in slices or into cubes. If they’re small enough you could even leave them whole. If you’re going to slice them, try not to slice them too thin so that they retain their rich, crunchy consistency.
- Place the cucumbers in a colander or a sieve, and add the salt. You should add quite a bit of salt so that it can extract the moisture in the cucumbers. Don’t worry, they won’t be too salty.
- Let the cucumbers set for approximately 15 to 30 minutes in a bowl or deep container, allowing the water that the salt pulls out to run out.
- Prepare the pickling mixture: in a bowl, add the vinegar and water.
- Add the rest of the spices: the bay leaf, the peppercorns, the chili flakes and the sugar.
- Cook until everything is dissolved and started to boil.
- Wash your cucumbers to remove any excess salt that you added, then dry well. Add the cucumbers and garlic, alternating with the dill, in a previously sterilized container. Arrange these ingredients in layers until you fill the jar.
- Add the mixture that you brought to a boil, then close the lid on the jar. Allow to set at room temperature, or until the next day, until it cools. This will give your cucumbers the texture and the flavor you want.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 carrot
- ¼ onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 c. water
- 1 c. vinegar
- ¼ c. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. cumin
- ¼ tsp. thyme
- 1 to 2 bay leaves
- Salt and peppercorns to taste
- Separate the cauliflower florets and cook by boiling or steaming, until soft.
- In a deep pot, add the olive oil and then adding the garlic cloves, previously peeled.
- Sauté the garlic, then add the carrot and onion, sliced. Sauté until golden.
- Add the bay leaves and previously diced cauliflower.
- Add the spices: cumin, pepper, salt and thyme, and mix everything well.
- Lastly, add the vinegar and water. Bring to a boil and boil for approximately 15 minutes.
- Store in a hermetically sealed jar. These can be eaten immediately, warm, or they can be stored in the fridge and eaten cold.