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Jul 27, 2007 06:29 PM

Cornichons recipe?

Anyone know of a good recipe for cornichons? I've searched this board without finding it except mentioned as an ingredient. (One person said they'd made them, but no further info. I think they were looking for a chicken liver recipe to go with them!)

Thanks in advance for any leads.

ETA: I should add I've seen recipes for both hot and cold methods. I'd like opinions from those whove canned them which method yields what sort of results, pros/cons, etc.

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  1. I do have a recipe in an old cookbook. The problem is finding the cucumbers.

    1. heat methods will produce mushy pickles, especially cornichons. White french vinegar, mustard seeds, and some pearl onions may be all you need other than the little cukes- I assume that you have those? Maybe a touch of sugar to cut some of the acidity, but cornichons should be very tart.

      1. Sorry, I should have said I'm growing kirbys this summer, and have plenty. JDM, if you live anywhere near KC, you can have some. What's your cookbook with the recipe? Thanks, cheesemonger, for the info on cold vs. hot methods.

        4 Replies
        1. re: amyzan

          I typed "how to make cornichons" into google, and the first link was to a seed catalog with this info under their Parisienne Cornichon de Bourbonne cucumbers:

          "Here's how to make your own cornichons: lightly rinse the little cucumbers. Rub skins with a kitchen towel. Pack into a sterilized glass jar with one tablespoon kosher salt, 15 to 20 tiny, peeled silverskin onions, one very hot pepper, a few peppercorns and fresh tarragon. Fill jar with white wine vinegar. They’ll be ready in a week and keep for months in the fridge."

          Sounds fine, but all the good cornichons from France I used to get had plenty of mustard seeds, and no pepper, but perhaps some black peppercorns. Since you have plenty, get multiple jars and experiment and figure out which you like best!

          (I got more recipes using those search terms, fyi)

          1. re: cheesemonger

            Brilliant, thanks cheesemonger! I actually buy seeds from that site, so I'll use their recipe first. I didn't pull that up when I googled "cornichons recipe," so I'm so glad you took the time. It completely slipped my mind that they have recipes in their catalog.

            1. re: cheesemonger

              all of the French recipes I have are some variation on this -- but no hot pepper.

              The jar of Amora Croq'Vert (one of the top brands of cornichons in France) sitting in my refrigerator says (after cornichons and vinegar) -- mustard seed, onions, peppercorns, coriander (seed) and allspice (piment de Jamaique).

            2. re: amyzan

              From Auberge of the Flowering Hearth...
              wash your cucumbers and put them into a crock. Soak overnight in heavily salted water. Next day, drain and dry them well. Pack them into a clean crock (or heat proof jar). Cover them with a good (at least 6% acid) vinegar. Pour off the vinegar into an enameled pan, add 1 half cup more vinegar and bring to a rolling boil. Pour the vinegar over the cucumbers and let this sit, covered, for 24 hours. Repeat three times.
              After the third time, allow to sit for at least 6 weeks before eating.
              Adding grape leaves to the crock is also recommended to aid in crispness.
              Personally, I always put tarragon in mine as well.
              I would love some cukes, but I am no where near KC. THanks!

            3. Sorry to be months reporting back, but I wanted to let you all know the cornichons turned out well. We broke open the first jar this week and are enjoying them. I made a couple different varieties, one spicier with a chile de arbol and garlic, and that seems to be our favorite. By the end of the growing season, I was throwing out cucumbers, I was so sick of them. With the cornichons this tasty, though, we are sure to plant more cukes next year and may experiment with varieties, including the one in the Scheepers catalog.

              3 Replies
              1. re: amyzan

                Amy, which method did you use in the end?


                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                    Yes, they were crisp, and I used the cold method. I did different jars, using grape leaves, garlic, chile, and pickling spices. I found we liked the ones with all three plus the mustard seeds, bay leaves, peppercorns, etc. the best, but they were all sour. It seemed like the ones with the grape leaves were a little more crisp, but I opened one jar at a time so didn't do a side by side taste test.

                1. There are some folks at the Napa Farmers' Market this year who are cucurbitaceae geeks. They sell beautiful little cornichons. The guy told me to wash them and scrub the spines off, salt them and put them in a strainer to drain their copious fluid for 90 minutes, then drain them and pack them in a mason jar with two handfuls of mustard seeds and a handful of peppercorns, then fill to the rim with white vinegar. Wait a week and that's it! I did that and they were very strong, so I added a few cloves of garlic and little water and waited a few days. Now I want to eat the whole jar and they are crisp and yummy. Prep time was about 10 minutes.