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Pogue Mahone

An education in pickling, from pickle pro Sam Addison.

With an air of earnest affability, a soft Southern drawl, and a gentle smile, Sam Addison certainly doesn’t look like a mad scientist. But the scrawled pages in his timeworn “pickle notebook” tell a slightly different story. These are the scribblings of a man obsessed. “I’ve been making pickles for about 12 to 13 years,” Addison shared recently. “When I was a kid in high school, we had a garden and grew cucumbers, and my family made sweet pickles, but I wanted to try dill pickles. So, I started making them, and with each batch, I made detailed notes about taste and texture, and kept trying until I got it just right.” His painstaking efforts to create the world’s best pickle paid off. Before even finishing culinary school, Pogue Mahone Pickles took top honors at The Good Food Awards and Addison was accepting an award from culinary grande dame Alice Waters herself. Now, with an artisan food business that continues to grow apace, Addison considers himself more cucumber scout than mad scientist: “Sometimes, I feel like all I do is look for cucumbers. When I can find them here locally, of course I work with local farmers, but when I can’t, I have to find them elsewhere.” Addison’s standards are exacting—his cold pack process results in pickles that are super-crunchy, but the trip from vine to jar must take no longer than 48 hours. Other factors such as size, cucumber variety, and flavor are crucial as well, so sourcing is of the highest concern—in the coming seasons, Addison hopes to work with Austin Hydroponics to grow cucumbers to his specifications year-round, and Addison can spend more time growing his company. This is great news for Pogue Mahone devotees, who can now find meticulously-made, hand-cut Fresh Dill and Garlic, Serrano Lime, Jalapeño Mint, and Ginger Habanero varieties at five farmer’s market locations in Austin and in local food stores, including Whole Foods, with more retail locations on the way soon. These pickles are great right out of the jar, but ever the experimenter, Addison shares a couple of recipes with us, as well as ideas for tinkering with pickle juice to delicious effect.

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Quick Pickled Onions

Many different firm vegetables can be quickly and easily pickled right in your kitchen. These crisp and tangy condiments will add both flavor and texture to any dish that they adorn. If you have one or a few jars of Pogue Mahone Pickles around in any of our varieties, the leftover pickling solution can be used in place of making your own. Simply finish your crispy cucumber pickles, then toss in chopped vegetables of your choosing and soon there will be a new and wonderful treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Pogue Mahone Pickle Solution (Fresh Dill & Garlic, Ginger Habanero, or Serrano Lime flavor) OR
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar) in 5% acidity level
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 red or white onion, thinly sliced

Instructions:

  • If making your own pickling solution, combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar and salt have dissolved. Add your onions to the mixture and let sit at room temperature for one hour.
  • Use these lovely onions as a condiment on tacos, burgers, hotdogs, BBQ, braised greens, sausages, omelets…you get the picture.
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Pogue Mahone Deviled Eggs

  • 7 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Pogue Mahone Pickle Solution (preferably Ginger Habanero or Fresh Dill & Garlic flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pogue Mahone pickle slices for garnish

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. In a bowl combine the yolk, mayo, mustard, and pickle solution. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste (remember that you will be getting some salt from the piece of cucumber pickle that will go on top). Fill the egg whites evenly with yolk mixture. Garnish with a nice piece of ice-cold cucumber pickle just before serving.

Other great uses for Pogue Mahone pickles:

  • Toast pieces of bread and slather with fresh pâté from Austin’s own Pâté Letelier. Then top with pieces of ice-cold Pogue Mahone pickles. My absolute favorite is their PâtéMaison with lavender and honey paired with Fresh Dill and Garlic pickles.
  • Use fresh slices of our Serrano Lime cucumber pickles on you next Bánh Mì Vietnamese sandwich.
  • Chop our Ginger Habanero pickles, add some finely-diced onion, and use as a relish on your next hotdog or bowl of pinto beans.

Ideas for Pogue Mahone pickle juice:

  • Pickle vinaigrette—add one-part pickle solution to blender and slowly add two-parts oil. Serrano Lime pickle juice vinaigrette is delicious with greens, avocado, and mango.
  • Pickle martinis—simply shake Pogue Mahone pickle juice (Ginger Habanero, Serrano Lime, or Jalapeño Mint) with ice and vodka. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a pickle spear.
  • Add a spoonful to your classic tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, or deviled eggs. We won’t tell your secret…
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Building a charcuterie plate:

When building a Charcuterie plate at home, the most important element to keep in mind is balance: some elements that are intense and rich alongside items that are sharp and acidic. A good place to start is having three or four dry-cured meats such as coppa, salami, and prosciutto and one or two cooked meats like smoked ham or mortadella. Include at least two flavors of Pogue Mahone pickles, perhaps the classic Fresh Dill and Garlic along with one of our spicy concoctions; add a nice little nest of your pickled onions between the pickle rounds on the platter. Keep your pickles ice cold until just before plating so that they keep their crispy texture.

Credits

Photography by Jody Horton

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