Rick grew up making pickles with his family as a kid before becoming a tangy, brinemaster. "Making those pickles on the farm in Vermont was as much fun as eating them, and that pleasure stayed with me as I grew up," Rick said was a smile. Rekindling the passion and starting Ricks Picks after a career as a TV producer was simple. "I had no other choice," says Rick. "In a very short window of time, I lost my job in TV, broke up with my girlfriend, turned 40 and won a pickle contest." Rick switched gears and went back to his pickling roots.
Each jar of Rick's Picks is hand-packed and all natural, made in season with produce from local farmers. Rick States, "I sum it up like this, Ricks Picks makes pickles for people who cherish the traditions of home canning and appreciate the innovative spirit of the food world today."
Rick's pickled concoctations are oddly unique. Windy City Wasabeans, which are green beans pickled with soy sauce and wasabi. Smokra, or smoky paprika with okra. Phat Beets, rosemary-scented pickled beets. These and other vinegary vegetables are part of the line called Rick's Picks, a psychedelic root cellar that puts the produce of spring and summer in jars, along with the sweet sensation of the seasons. For the WhupAsp, he's decided on tangerine juice, hot cherry peppers, and white peppercorns. Hotties, which include Sriracha and habanero powder in the brine are not his last creation. He's always coming up with new products.
Rick even has his own recipe for fried pickles.
Start with a jar of Rick's People's Pickles.
Fried (People's) Pickle Recipe
- Lay a paper towel on a plate. Put each slice on the towel and top with another paper towel. Let sit for at least ten minutes. (Reuse the leftover brine. Drop in a peeled hard boiled egg or green beans or some thinly sliced carrots. Refrigerate for a couple days before eating.)
- Heat two inches of vegetable oil in a ten or twelve inch pan. We used a cast iron skillet.
- Dust the pickles with flour on each side.
- Beat two eggs in a bowl.
- Dip the pickle slices in the eggs then roll in cornmeal. We used cornmeal Rick bought in Vermont, but I'm thinking they'd also be good with Marino's Polenta.
- Fry for about ten minutes, or until they turn golden brown.
Rick on TV with Martha Stewart showing how to make Phat Beets. Rick even explains why he chose the 'Phat' name.
Rick was asked why artisanal products are on the rise and here's his response.
"I think artisanal products are on the rise for a couple of reasons. Many people associate them with an earlier, simpler time when technology was not so omnipresent. We all spend way too much time these days staring at screens, and craft-based products that have a tactile presence generate a visceral reaction in the internet age. Also there are cultural connections people make with artisanal things that remind them of their heritage."
Interesting in getting your hands on the Rick's Picks Phat Beets? Rick's Picks Phat Beets are included in the March 2016 Subscription Pairing.