Marilyn Schlossbach’s Pickle Power

"Picklling," says Marilyn Schlossbach, owner of six busy Shore restaurants, "is a great way to extend your season of vegetables. Pickling removes water from the vegetables, concentrating the vitamins and making the vegetables even more healthy. The fermentation also helps digestion."

Marilyn Schlossbach, restaurateur
Shore restaurateur Marilyn Schlossbach
Photo by Marc Steiner Photography

Schlossbach, a self-taught chef and entrepreneur, buys as much fruit and produce as possible from farms near her restaurants. Pickling extends the life of these seasonal crops–everything from garlic and ginger to cucumbers and cabbage.

Schlossbach owns five restaurants in Monmouth County:

— Asbury Park Yacht Club, Asbury Park
— Langosta Lounge, Asbury Park
— Libby’s Beach Shack, Asbury Park
— Lightly Salted, Asbury Park
— Pop’s Garage, Shrewsbury

And one in Ocean County:

–Labrador Lounge, Normandy Beach

“We pickle on a daily basis," she says. "It’s really easy,”

Growing up in Belmar of Hungarian and Czechoslovakian descent, Schlossbach knew by smell alone when her grandmother was pickling cabbage, which she did often.

“As a kid I’d think, Eeww, what’s that stinky thing. I didn’t really appreciate her cooking until I got older."

If the pickling aromas were problematical for Schlossbach, the pickles themselves were, um, a piece of cake. It’s possible that given a choice betweenan an actual piece of cake and a homemade pickle, the young Schlossbach would have chosen the latter.

She loved pickles so much she would drink the juice right from the jar. Eventually, she even earned the nickname Pickles.

Now, at 49, Schlossbach serves her popular pulled pork with a saide of house-made Korean Kimchi, a mix of napa cabbage, daikon radish, scallions and ginger. She adds it to her braised short rib sandwich on traditional steamed Chinese boa buns.

Schlossbach also makes a spicy, pickled green-tomato martini at Langosta Lounge.

She makes her pickle batches in five-gallon containers, but for home use much smaller containers make sense.

For the brine, she advises, “find a basic pickling recipe online, and add whatever you want to it.”

Personally, she likes to give her pickling liquids an Indian flair, adding spices like cumin, ginger, turmeric, lemongrass and garam masala to the brine.

“You can add herbs from your garden, lemon peel, grapefruit, whatever you like," she says. "There’re so many things you can do. Think outside the box, and have fun with it.”

(marilynschlossbach.com)

Here are a couple of Schlossbach’s pickling recipes…

KIMCHI
Adapted from Marilyn Schlossbach

Ingredients:

6 pounds napa cabbage
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup water – plus more as needed
4 ounces daikon radish (peeled and cut into match sticks)
2 medium scallions – ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces, using the entire length
3 tablespoons Korean red pepper powder
2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger (a 1-inch chunk should yield about enough)
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
1 teaspoon Korean salted shrimp, minced
¾ teaspoon sugar
1 cup Mae Ploy (sweet chile sauce)

Directions:

1. Cut cabbage in half lengthwise, then crosswise in 2-inch pieces. Discard the root end.
2. Place in a large bowl.
3. Sprinkle with salt and toss until cabbage is coated.
4. Add cold water to cover – about 6 cups. Make sure cabbage is fully submerged.
5. Cover with plastic and let sit at room temp for 12 to 24 hours
6. Drain cabbage, rinse with cold water. Gently squeeze out excess water and set aside in a medium bowl.
7. Place remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir.
8. Add cabbage and toss until roughly coated.
9. Pack mixture tightly into clean 2 qt or 2 liter glass jars with tight-fitting lid and seal jar.
10. Set in a cool dark place for 24 hours.


SPICED ASIAN PICKLED VEGETABLES

Ingredients:

2 pounds kohlrabi, shredded Brussels sprouts, daikon radish, napa cabbage
2 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 piri piri peppers, cracked
3 tablespoons Mae Ploy (sweet chile sauce)
2 pieces fresh turmeric shredded (you can use ¼ teaspoon of powdered if you can’t find fresh)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Directions:

1. Wash and dry two-quart jars. Set aside.
2. Clean and trim 2 kohlrabi bulbs and ½ piece daikon. With mandoline or food processor, slice into thin sticks.
3. Shred 1 cup Brussels sprouts and ¼ piece of napa cabbage
4. Divide the shreds and sticks evenly between the jars.
5. Combine vinegar, turmeric, coriander seeds, water, honey, salt, ginger, garlic, black peppercorns, chilies and Mae Ploy in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
6. Once brine is boiling vigorously, remove it from the heat and carefully pour the brine over the vegetables.
7. Place lids on the jars and let them sit until cool at room temperature, then refrigerate.

*The jars will last at least a month or more unopened.

 

SUZANNE ZIMMER LOWERY is a food writer, pastry chef and culinary instructor at a number of New Jersey cooking schools. Find out more about her at suzannelowery.com.

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