‘Chopped’ host Ted Allen Kicks Pickling up a Notch

IMG_0842Shopping at bustling farmers markets yields great results. Early morning finds vendors enthusiastically setting up tables and filling their bins with premium produce. When growing your own vegetables is not an option, visiting local farms and markets is the next best way to ensure freshness. If you have questions regarding proper storage and cooking methods for the foods your are purchasing, farmers are more than happy to give advice and in some cases already have printed recipes prepared for shoppers.

This year we have asked several friends, foodies and cookbook authors for their pickling secrets and the recipes have been pouring in. Stay tuned through mid-August as we publish our finds and create videos chronicling our adventures through the markets and in the kitchen creating delicious canned goods. Our first set of recipes comes from ‘Chopped’ host Ted Allen as he kicks pickling up a spicy notch or three.

Always remember, the freshest ingredients yield the best results.

Refrigerator Pickles

  • Difficulty: Very Simple
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Serves 32

cucumbers stockBrine:

·         10 cloves garlic, peeled

·         2 cups white vinegar

·         6 teaspoons kosher salt

·         Several sprigs fresh dill1 teaspoon celery seed

·         1 teaspoon coriander seed

·         1 teaspoon mustard seed

·         1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns


·         6 Kirby cucumbers, quartered lengthwise

·         6 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

·         A handful of green beans

·         A few pieces of cauliflower

·         2 jalapeños


1. In a medium saucepan, boil 4 cups of water; reduce to a simmer and add garlic. Cook 5 minutes. Add vinegar and salt; boil. Stir until salt dissolves. Remove from heat.

2. In two 1-quart Mason jars, add dill, seeds and peppercorns. Using tongs, remove garlic from brine and add to jars. Pack jars with vegetables and chilies.

3. Bring brine to a boil and pour over vegetables, to cover. Cool, cover and refrigerate. The pickles are best after a few days and keep for up to 3 months.

Nutrients per serving: 33 calories, 2g protein, 6g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 32mg sodium

Ted AllenFood Network’s “Chopped” Host, Ted Allen chatted with AARP to share some of his favorite pickling secrets. This recipe can be complimented with Allen’s famous Deviled Eggs, for an appetizing and hearty meal. The seasoning replaces the bland flavors of our everyday veggies, while providing us with a savory and satisfying vinegar twist. **link at end of post.

Ted Allen's Brine Dandy Recipes Deviled Eggs With Cheddar, Chipotle and Chives

  • Difficulty: Very Simple
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Ted Allen Brine Dandy Recipes Deviled Eggs With Cheddar, Chipotle and ChivesServes 12

·         1 dozen large eggs

·         1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

·         1/4 cup mayonnaise

·         1/4 cup sour cream

·         2 tablespoons chopped chives

·         6 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, or more to taste

·         1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

·         Pinch of kosher salt


1. Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water by 1 inch, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes; then drain and immediately plunge the eggs into an ice bath to cool.

2. Peel the eggs, slice in half lengthwise, and scoop out the yolks. Put the whites on a platter. Pass the yolks through a sieve in a medium bowl, or just mash with a fork. Mix in the cheese, mayo, sour cream, chives (reserving 1 teaspoon for garnish), chipotles, paprika and salt.

3. Use a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip to pipe the filling into the whites — or, if you’re less fancy, use 2 spoons. Sprinkle with the reserved chives. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving, which should be within one day.

**AARP The Magazine sent us our first pickle recipe and graciously gave us permission to re-print the recipe ( Thank you AARP Magazine! ) this write up is featured in the June/July 2015 issue.

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