This one is easy. And surprising.
These pickle pastrami bites are made with just three ingredients: pickles, pastrami, and cream cheese. Umm, kind of the simplest thing ever. But you know me. Even if it’s simple, I have to complicate things.
Pickle season is approaching (I’m getting excited). So we’re going to complicate this recipe just slightly and proceed as though we’re using homemade lacto-fermented pickles. Like the ones from this recipe. I mean, we could be using homemade cream cheese too or homemade pastrami. It’s up to you how complicated you want to make this simple recipe.
Unfortunately, my small children won’t eat my homemade pickles. But pickle pastrami bites? Well loved by all. It’s kind of like reverse preschool preferences. You know how normally children like all of their foods separated completely? Well, it’s kind of the opposite here. This is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. There’s some strange magic that happens when you pair these three ingredients together: they bring out the best in each other.
How to get the crispiest pickle:
If you decide to ferment your own pickles, I highly recommend taking a look at our recipe. When you read it, you’ll see that I’ve included several recommendations for how to avoid the dreaded mushy pickle. But I will just mention here that the biggest factor that I have found is temperature. The best pickles are made in a cool environment.
Unfortunately, pickle season lands right in the middle of the warmest part of the year. Inside our house just yesterday it reached 80F easily. But I don’t want to have to turn on the air conditioning just to babysit a batch of pickles.
If you’re making pickles (or other veggies you want to keep crisp), you will want to keep your ferment at about 65-72F. If you can find that temperature range in your house, perfect. If not? I recommend you check out the Cave. The Cave will maintain the perfect temperature range through either heating or cooling. If you have a large batch of pickles, it’s better to keep them cool in a Cave rather than turn your entire house into a refrigerator.
How to make Pickle Pastrami Bites:
Note: This recipe is not my own. It comes directly from a family friend (Micah) who once brought these to a gathering. We’ve been making them ever since.
- 1 quart of dill pickle spears (recipe here)
- 8 oz cream cheese (recipe here)
- 3/4 pound sliced pastrami (you want it thick enough that you can spread cream cheese on it, but not overly thick)
- Slice your pickles into uniform spears. James likes to cut out the seeds. I keep ’em in. It’s up to you. It does, however, help if the pickles aren’t overly wet.
- Cut your pastrami slices. You’ll want them sized so that there’s enough meat to encapsulate a spear of pickle. In the example below, you will see that there’s quite a bit of leeway here (I used two completely different sized slices). Whatever works is fine.
- Add the cream cheese. Smear each slice of pastrami with a healthy smudge of cream cheese.
- Wrap it up. Also of great importance here: you’ll have to sample a few while you’re making them. Just, you know, to be sure that you’re getting the right ratio of ingredients down.
That’s all. What more can I say? These are surprisingly really good. And probably the best way to enjoy your homemade, probiotic-rich, fermented pickles.
Let me know what you think! And don’t forget to check out the Cave! We’ve got three more weeks on our Kickstarter campaign. We’re going strong, but we’ll need a few more pledges to reach our goal.