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Better vinegars perfect pickled eggs

Applegate fermentation expert Kirsten Shockey recommends white vinegar as a cleaning, not a cooking, solution.

Commonly used in home canning, however, white vinegar often is made with non-food ingredients, including wood pulp, says Shockey, interviewed for a Sunday story. If you make vinegar at home, as she advocates in “Homebrewed Vinegar,” the issue is moot. Or substitute rice wine or white wine vinegar for the same clean, clear look as white vinegar with better flavor, she says.

Cooks who really want to elevate this recipe for pickled eggs, a popular pub snack the world over, can make the pickling solution with Champagne vinegar. Even without that flourish, salt and vinegar in this application produce “egg perfection,” according to food writer Daniel Neman, who contributed this recipe to Tribune News Service.

Pickled Eggs

Tribune News Service photo

1 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon peppercorns

10 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

2 dried whole chile peppers

1 cooked beet (optional)

12 hard boiled eggs, peeled

In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf and dried peppers (or pickling spices) with 1 cup water. Add the cooked beet for a beautiful magenta color, if desired. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain liquid through sieve or cheesecloth, if desired.

Place eggs in a 1-quart jar with lid. Pour hot liquid over eggs. Cover jar with lid. Refrigerate for at least 2 days before using. Pickled eggs will keep for 1 month in refrigerator.

Makes 12 servings.

NOTE: Instead of using peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf and dried peppers, substitute 2 teaspoons pickling spices.

Recipe from eggs.ca