On The Menu: Picklè Partay with Nico de Leon + Jessica Wang

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This week we are getting ready for the That Food Cray !!! Food Fest on Saturday 11/11 from 2-5pm. Here we chat with Nico De Leon + Jessica Wang of Pique- Nique about their upcoming pickling workshop.

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Check out more details on the upcoming That Food Cray !!! Food Fest on 11/11 from 2-5PM! 

Tell us a little bit about yourselves and what you do!

JW: I am a fermentation enthusiast, I have a background as a pastry chef, i’m on a journey starting my own pickle company and am currently working as a savory cook at LASA.

ND: I’ve been in the food industry for the last eight years, cooking at various kitchens between LA and SF. I’m currently the Sous Chef at LASA. I am a pickle enthusiast, but have barely scraped the surface, on my journey of fermentation!

Can you tell us something we might not know about pickling?

JW + ND: Most people don’t know that there is a difference with fermented pickles and vinegar pickles. Also that fermented pickles are a great source of probiotics, something that is necessary for a healthy gut!

Any favorite recipes?

JW: Chinese style scrambled eggs with tomato.

ND: Day old brown fried rice with whatever i find in my refrigerator.

Tell us more about the two recipes you will be covering for the That Food Cray !!! Marketplace

“IT’S BEAN TOO LONG, ATSARA”

Long Beans, Carrot, and Grape Achara

Yield: 2 quarts

4 Cups Rice Vinegar

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

3 Tablespoons Salt

1 Teaspoon Black pepper (optional)

1 ea Bay Leaf (optional)

1/2 ea Cinnamon Leaf (optional)

2 lb Long Beans (available from most asian farmers or groceries, cut into 1 inch pieces)

1 lb Carrots (we prefer colored and heirloom for these as well, but anything works, except frozen!!!)

1/4 lb Red Onion (thinly sliced)

5 ea Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced)

1/5 lb Grapes (non gmo!)

In a non reactive sauce pot, combine the sugar, salt, vinegar, ginger, and optional black pepper to boil then turn the heat off. Let steep until cooled and strain.

FYI this is NOT a traditional achara recipe but the beauty with food is you could be influenced by something and apply it to anything! Hence this recipe.

Clean and prep your vegetables (and fruit) first. Cut the head of cauliflower into florets and save the core for another use, slice the carrots into rounds, and wash and de stem your grapes. Place into washed and sterilized glass jars or non reactive containers, pour cooled pickling liquid over your vegetables and store refrigerated for up to six months.

“PSYCHEDELIC SAUERKRAUT”

Yield: 2 quarts

2 Heads Cabbage (white or purple)

1 Tablespoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Caraway seed

For the best sauerkraut, use firm heads of fresh cabbage. Discard outer leaves (hopefully by composting or find use elsewhere), rinse cabbage under running water and drain. Cut heads in quarters and remove cores (again, compost or repurpose). Shred or slice to a 1/16 in thick. Toss cabbage in a bowl with the salt and really press it together. Get a non reactive jar/container and pack tightly. The salt should draw out enough liquid from the cabbage to cover. Weigh down using a stack of plates to make sure cabbage is submerged. Cover the top with a clean kitchen towel and secure using twine or a rubber band. Store in a low lit to dark area at about 70F-75F for up to 6 weeks but no less than 2. Make sure to remove any scum from the top of the mixture to avoid any mold.

What are some dishes that pair well with them?

JW: The sauerkraut could taste good with ANYTHING. A couple examples for instance: a vegetarian option, it would be good in a sandwich or accompanying a rice bowl.

ND: The atsara is traditionally a pretty sweet pickle with a nice balance of acid so anything that's really savory or fatty will pair nicely, the pickle will help cut the fat and create a nice balanced bite (i.e. a sausage, steak, bbq, pork chop, pork belly...you get the idea.) It would also pair well in a sandwich or with charcuterie and cheeses too.

Can you tell us what we can expect from your demonstration on Saturday?

JW + ND: A step by step process on our “PSYCHEDELIC SAUERKRAUT” and our “IT’S BEAN TOO LONG, ATSARA.” We’ll explain our process, and show the differences between a fermented pickle and a vinegar brined pickle, and the pros and cons of both types of pickles.

Lastly, what's next for Piquè Niquè

JW: All I’m gonna say is, “THE FUTURE IS FERMENTED!”

Follow Nico De Leon on IG

Follow Jessica Wang on IG

Follow  Pique- Nique on IG