Friday, June 21, 2013

Asier (Danish Pickles)

I  made a taste of my childhood last week.     A Danish delicacy called Asier.   Of course for some reason we called them Lizards, why I have no idea.

Now these aren't your run of the mill pickles, and unless you find a specialty deli that carries them, or know a nice Dane who makes these, you've probably never even tasted them.

Cucumber to make Asier Pickles



I have to add a caveat here.   Usually you use larger cucumbers than these for Asier,  but I was given these ones and since I've been craving 'Lizards'  for awhile, I decided to make some Asier pickles. And I'm not about to turn down free cukes, especially freshly grown, yummy cukes.  And they were good, I ate a couple before they made it into a salad or into the jars.    If you happen to have a cucumber plant or three and some of the cucumbers got away from you and grew and grew and grew, you can always make Asier.   I've made them from cukes that got as long as my forearm, yup, that big.

 And all you do is peel them, and scoop out the insides before slicing them.
Cucumber to make Asier Pickles

However,these they were not as big as they could have been, but I figured I'd eat them anyway, however they turned out.
Asier (Danish Pickles)

OK, so I opened a jar and tasted them.   I did wait a week for the flavours to meld and mature, a little.  They do taste better if they have a chance to age for a few weeks, but...

If memory serves me correctly, I got the spices down right.    Now to go hunt down nice nice Leverpostej and some rye bread and LUNCH!!!

And I did get some more Cukes from Frances this week and made some more Asier, which is a good thing cause I've made inroads on the ones I made a couple of weeks ago.    OK, so I ate a couple of jars already.   But they were little jars.  Really...
Asier in jars, ready for processing

The full recipe is at the end of this post.



 This is after being salted and left to sit overnight. 

 Take each cucumber half and rinse in cool water and then wipe them dry.    Set aside while you prepare the vinegar and sugar.
Bring the vinegar, sugar and pickling spices to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes while you prepare the cucumbers.   Oh and make sure your jars are clean and hot.   I wash mine in the dishwasher and use the heat dry.  Not only do I have clean sterilized jars, they're hot when I pour the pickling liquid and cukes in them.  Less breakage that way.

As the pickling liquid is simmering, and after wiping your cukes down, take each one and cut them into diagonal strips.    I have no idea why they have to be in diagonal pieces but that's how my Mom did it, so that is the way I do it.  And now you have to as well.
If you want to that is.







Add the sliced cucumber to the simmering liquid and cook for about 6 or so minutes.  You don't want to cook them too long or they will get soft.
Asier pieces in pickling liquid.
And no one wants a limp pickle.

  
I very stupidly gave away my canning pot a few years ago and had to use a regular pot for these.  But I did make sure that there was a good inch of water over the top.    I'm now on the lookout for another canning set up.   I'd forgotten how much I enjoy making pickles.

 Next up is Corn Relish.  But that's a post for another day.

Asier (Danish Pickles)
And there they are, ready to go into the pantry and stay out of the light for about 1 month or so.   They taste better when they've aged a few weeks.   Trust me on this.



yield: 6 small jars (1/2 Pint or small Jelly jars)print recipe

Asier (Danish Pickles)

prep time: 1 hourcook time: 30 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 30 mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 cucumbers, 12 inches long or longer
  • 1 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice (or make your own, recipe below)
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric (for color)
  • 1/4 cup Salt (for sprinkling on cucumbers, use more if needed)
  • Dill (1/2 tsp per jar)
Pickling Spices Mix
  • 3 bay leaves, broken up a little
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns (bruised a little)
  • 1 tsp. mustard seed
  • 3 cloves
  • 4-6 thai chile peppers (you can also use Horseradish roots here for the 'heat' and flavour)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel the cucumbers and then cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, leaving the outer shell intact. Sprinkle inside and outside with salt and place on a large rimmed cookie sheet over night. This draws the liquid out of the cucumbers and helps to preserve them as well. Take each cucumber half and rinse in cool water and then wipe them dry. Set aside while you prepare the vinegar and sugar.
  2. Bring the vinegar, sugar and pickling spices to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes while you prepare the cucumbers. (Oh and make sure your jars are clean and hot. I wash mine in the dishwasher and use the heat dry. Not only do I have clean sterilized jars, they're hot when I pour the pickling liquid and cukes in them. Less breakage that way)
  3. . As the pickling liquid is simmering, and after wiping your cukes down, take each one and cut them into diagonal strips. I have no idea why they have to be in diagonal pieces but that's how my Mom did it, so that is the way I do it. And now you have to as well. If you want to that is. Add the sliced cucumber to the simmering liquid and cook for about 6 or so minutes. You don't want to cook them too long or they will get soft. 
  4. After simmering them, pack them into the jars. I managed to fill six small jelly size jars, with this latest batch of cucumbers. Strain out the pickling spices at this point if you like. I take most of them out. Then pour the pickling liquid into the jars, leaving some head space. Sprinkle a little dill into the top of the jar, and make sure you have one of the chile peppers* in each jar. Use a funnel for this, and make sure you wipe off the lips of the jars with a clean wet cloth. Any sugar or pickling liquid left on the lip will prevent you from getting a good seal. Seal with the lids and process them in a hot water bath for an additional 15 minutes. Make sure you have at least an inch of water above the jars for processing.
  5. * You can also use some Horseradish root in place of the Thai Chile Peppers
Created using The Recipes Generator








Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Sid, your Asier looks great :) Not too long ago there was a Lady who wrote to me asking about Asier, I'll send her your link.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. The Asier tasted great, well, the first batch I made did. The second batch is in the pantry and aging now. And please feel free to share this link with the other Lady.

      Delete
  2. My mom always took a little taste of each one, because one bitter asie will spoil the whole lot.
    Elsebeth, DK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't remember my mom doing that, but it makes sense to me. A bitter cucumber would ruin the whole lot. I've been enjoying my Asier so much. There is just nothing like some homemade Leverpostej with some lovely Asier on top.

      Delete
  3. So glad I found this recipe. We used to make these years ago when my Svigermor was alive. Our son requested them this year so I "googled" Asier and up came your website. All done and ready for the fall when the Leverpostej and roast pork are on the table.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you found this recipe as well. Just one caveat, the thai peppers do make it spicy, but I love spicy, so that's good for me.

      Delete

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