Recipes and Conversation from the Kitchen with Steven Bonin

Executive Chef and Owner of Bench Kitchen

Pickled Red Onions

 

 

The sandwich is cheesy and looks good but is it balanced? Adding crunchy quick pickles add texture and much needed acidity to this Grilled Cheese with Roasted Poblano Peppers

I had the idea for this blog one day when I was putting together the features for the week.  I try to come up with some original and interesting sandwich ideas and pull inspiration from a variety of sources.  Sometime I just search the internet for food ideas whether its a specific sandwich, a side dish or even sometime a main.  Often, I have an idea that would be really delicious but probably would not work as a sandwich.  After years of owning a busy sandwich shop I know what works and what doesn’t.  If I wanted to sell features all day long, we would cover them all in cheese and bacon with spicy aioli or pickled jalapenos (I would eat that sandwich right now in fact).  Thankfully, we have many, many regulars who frequent us three or even four times a week!  To keep them from getting bored, we need to keep the features moving by keeping them fresh and exciting.  We need to use seasonal ingredients and think about how to best balance flavours and textures.

I start with a protein or vegetable I want to use and then work on adding acid or spice or crunch to the sandwich.  Occasionally, it is a function of using up what is in our pantry at the shop but sometimes I will search out a specific idea that I may not know exactly how to execute.  That is where google and search engines come into play.  I can find almost any recipe I am looking for but I have not yet come across a sandwich specific site.  That is where the concept for this blog stemmed from.  I wanted to create a database for the “extras” that help build an amazing sandwich.  As the idea evolved, I decided to include soups, salads and more because I also wanted to share some of the recipes for other amazing things we do at shop .

This recipe for pickled red onions will be the start of what I will be grouping as “sandwich essentials”.  This group will include things like pickles, sauces or other interesting textural components to bring your sandwich to the next level.  This first recipe is a super important “base” recipe that can be used to make a variety of quick pickles.  You can substitute the vinegar, vegetable or spice to customize your pickle for what you need. For example, for pickled Jalapenos, we change the red wine vinegar to white vinegar and add 1 g of allspice.  To make pickled fennel, we use apple cider vinegar and add 1 g of red chili flakes to the recipe.  The possibilities are endless and you can add anything you want!  Try adding orange rinds or cloves to your pickling brine.  Making a quick pickle will extend the life of the seasonal vegetable you love and add an interesting twist to your sandwich.  I have included some pictures of feature sandwiches that we have added Pickled Red Onions to.  A creamy and chunky chicken salad needs that acid and crunch from the pickled onion to cut through the richness of the aioli.  Our amazing Ham used in a sandwich with Buffalo Hot Sauce, Blue Cheese Dressing and Arugula Needs that punch you get from pickled red onions to round it all out.

Let us know in the comments how you like to use Pickled Red Onions.  Whether its a sandwich or a salad, I love learning new ways to use a versatile ingredient like this.

Pickled Red Onions

A versatile quick pickle
Prep Time 15 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 50 g Red Onion Sliced
  • 125 g Red Wine Vinegar
  • 6 g Cane Sugar
  • 4 g Sea Salt
  • 1 g Brown Mustard Seed
  • 1 g Black Peppercorn

Instructions
 

  • Combine vinegar, salt and spices and bring to a boil
  • Remove from heat and stir in sugar
  • Once sugar is dissolved, add onions and let sit for 15-20 minutes
  • Transfer pickle and brine to a container and keep refrigerated
Keyword Condiment, Pickle
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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