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Quick Pickles: Easy Recipes with Big Flavour Paperback – 1 Jun 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Printing edition (1 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811830152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811830157
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.5 x 22.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,037,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

About the Author

Chris Schlesinger is the chef/owner of the East Coast Grill and Raw Bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Back Eddy in Westport, Massachusetts. Hewas the 1996 winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef in New England. John Willoughby is the Senior Editor of "Cooks Illustrated" magazine, a regular contributor to most major food magazines, and teaches a graduate-level course in food writing at the Radcliffe Seminars at Harvard University. For the past six years Chris and John, who both live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have written a monthly feature for the Dining section of the New York "Times". Dan George, an attorney who lives in Westport, Massachusetts, is a caterer and the official Pickle Chef at the Back Eddy restaurant.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Trim and discard the blossom ends of the cucumbers, then peel the onions and cut both into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Excellent One Subject Book by Great Team. Recommended 9 Jun. 2004
By B. Marold - Published on
Format: Paperback
I think I would enjoy a book from Chris Schlesinger and Doc Willoughby on just about any culinary subject, based on their excellent `How to Cook Meat' and even more so on this tasty little book `Quick Pickles' on what may loosely be described as refrigerator pickles, as no heat-based preservation techniques are involved. I should note that while Schlesinger and Willoughby are certainly the big names on this briny marquee, the third author, Dan George, is probably the most important contributor of content. George is a lawyer by training, but his real passion and skill is in cooking, especially in cooking pickles. In addition to his role as a litigator, he is billed as the `pickle chef' for Schlesinger's restaurant `Back Eddy' in Westport, Massachusetts where pickled this, that, and the other thing are a big feature of the cuisine. What this means is that this book is not the result of Schlesinger and Willoughby's wanting to make a fast buck by attaching their name to a book about a subject on which they have no expertise.
As revealed in the introduction, pickling, at least some of the most traditional pickling techniques, belongs to two venerable culinary traditions.
The first and more important theme is that of methods used to preserve food before the advent of mechanical refrigeration. In this vein, pickling vegetables joins curing meats with salt and preserving foods by drying as a means of retarding spoilage by bacteria. That most of these techniques are still in use is a testament to the fact that they are also methods for enhancing flavor by removing water and adding salt or vinegar or both to the food.
The second theme is that as a method for preparing foods, pickling is in the same class of techniques as the baking of artisinal breads, beer making, vinegar making, and cheesemaking. All these techniques involve fermentation of sugars or starches into alcohol or acetic acid by the action of yeasts or other microorganisms. This means that in spite of the title `Quick Pickles', pickling procedures simply proceed at a much slower pace than a roast, sautee, braise, or even a marinade. Some recipes may take hours, but others, especially those involve fermentation often need days.
One big surprise is in the number of different pickling subjects and methods. There is a lot more here than dill pickles and Kimchee. The chapters of recipes are:
Fresh vegetable pickles where the stars are cucumber, chiles, corn, onions, zucchini, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes beets, squash, and turnips. The authors do not cover gherkins or cornichons as the vegetables on which these pickles are made are simply not grown in this country. Pity.
Fresh Fruit Pickles, the most common of which are from watermelon and rhubarb. It is more surprising to see pickles made of grapes, peaches, citrus fruits, pineapple, and mango. The secret to pickling soft fruits seems to be in the use of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and spirits, preferably bourbon.
Fermented Pickles, like breads raised with natural yeasts, are the artisinal versions of pickles. This is the land of Kimchee and sour pickles and procedures that run for many days. These are the pickles you fish out of great wine barrels in 19th century general stores.
Oil Pickles are the big surprise in this book. The most familiar oil pickled products to western palates are olives done in a North African style. The true star of this chapter is the technique that comes from India. The famous spice mixes of India such as garum masala plus lots of mustard, garlic, and chiles are heavily used here. Greece and the Middle East are other sources of oil pickles.
Pantry Pickles give us many of the recipes we are most likely to expect in this book, including purple pickled eggs, pickled horseradish, and pickled cherry peppers. Some recipes produce interesting edibles in a few minutes, but all give better results after a few days.
It is just a little surprising that after presenting both East Indian and Pennsylvania Dutch specialities, there is no mention in the book of either chutneys or chow chow or any other pickle relish for that matter. I do not think this is a weakness in the book, but it should temper buyer's expectations by knowing they will need to find a book on relishes to get recipes for these preparations.
While this book offers great recipes, great background, and great applications for pickles, it also happens to be a great book to read. I suspect the Schlesinger and Willoughby team is so successful in it's combining a very talented chef with a very talented culinary journalist. It also does not hurt to have the inspiration of a passionate pickle chef.
Highly recommended recipes that are easier than you may expect, but do not be surprised at the need for one or more days for the products to reach their best taste.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Use this as a guide to start experimenting on your own 5 Nov. 2001
By C. Walker - Published on
Format: Paperback
This really is a neat book. It has a lot of basic and inventive pickling recipies. I had never pickled before and this proved to be a good way to get started. These are quick pickles, as the title states, so you can make em and eat em within a couple of days or less. The flavors in these recipes can be intense, but after you make a few batches on your own, you'll start to get the hang of how all the ingredients meld to create such unique flavors, and you'll be able to understand how to make adjustments here and there to suite your own tastes. It's great to make a bunch for a cookout and impress your buddies. Another great book by Chris and Doc. Now go forth and pickle till thou hearts content!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
great book but one complaint 10 Nov. 2003
By Roz Ross - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. I've made about 10 of the pickles and all have been very good or great except the watermelon rind pickles which maybe just aren't my thing. I recommend buying this book for the recipes. I would give it 5 stars but reduce my rating to 4 for an unusual reason - within 2 weeks of flipping through my book, the pages separated clear away from the cover/binding - a plain old poor glue job by the printer I guess. The publisher sent me a replacement copy upon request, but this copy separated body from binding just like the first - same print edition I guess. Hopefully the first edition of this great book is gone so you can buy one from a new printing with better quality control on the binding.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Love the book, hate the binding... 17 Nov. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book, the recipes are easy and fun to make, although I agree with a previous review that many of these recipes will require experimentation to adjust the flavors to your own personal tastes as many of the recipes are quite intense. I also had the same problem with the binding as another reader - the book basically fell apart almost immediately. I really hope that this problem has been or will be addressed in any additional print editions.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Wow, what a great surprise! 27 Sept. 2009
By old frog - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm the kind of guy who loves pickles of all sorts. I'll eat a jar of bread and butter pickles, dill pickles, pickled okra, marinated mushrooms, pickled green beans, etc... The sour salty goodness just calls out my name. I'm also a decent cook. When I read some reviews of this book here on Amazon I was intrigued but a tiny bit skeptical. Wow, what a great surprise. The book is easy and fun to read and I was makng "Fresh Dill Cucumber Pickles" from page 37 within days. The beautiful wife was given the first taste and ate every piece of red onion and four pickles at one sitting. Sweet/sour success! I've tried several variations since and am getting more ambitious. This book has set me on delicious culinary adventure. Try it!
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