How Craig Kanarick Uses Pickles (and Pickle Brine) in the Kitchen

published Jun 18, 2015
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(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

Who cooks and eats here: Rebecca Odes and Craig Kanarick, and kids
Where: Manhattan
Rent or Own? Owned for five years
See the kitchen tour: Rebecca and Craig’s Family Kitchen in Manhattan

When I talked to Craig Kanarick, founder of Mouth, about his family kitchen in Manhattan, inevitably the conversation turned to pickles. He started Mouth, he told me, with the ambition of building the greatest pickle store in the country. But the pickle obsession isn’t just a work thing; the love begins at home. “We’re a pickle family,” he told me.

Here are a few of Craig’s current favorite pickles, and some smart ways he uses the whole jar — not just the pickles.

Pickles came into the conversation as I asked him which ingredients help him and Rebecca get dinner on the table fast. And yes, pickles are actually an aid to quick dinners.

“The beauty of all stuff,” he told me, “is the finished pickle brine ends up as a salad dressing, or a dirty martini, or a brine for a chicken, or as liquid to braise a pork shoulder.” His Southern pork shoulder brine and braise immediately lit me up to the possibilities of cooking with pickle brine.

More on Using Leftover Pickle Brine

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

4 of Craig’s Favorite Pickles (for Now, Anyway)

It is impossible for Craig to pick actual favorites from the dozens of pickles in the Mouth shop, but here are a few he highlighted — along with smart ways to use them in cooking.

  • Pickled Baby Corn – “This is made by Cherith Valley Gardens in Texas. It’s special — corn is so sweet, so great as a pickle. Baby corn are just fun. They’re like puppies — they’re just tiny and cute!”
  • Old Bay Pickles — These are made by Epic in York, PA, and Craig loves them with a sandwich.
  • Drunken Tomatoes — These pickled cherry tomatoes from Doux South are made with red wine in the brine. “They’re totally unique,” Craig says, “and the brine makes an interesting cocktail. They’re just great to snack on.”
  • Pickled Thai Basil Jalapeños — These are by Gordy’s in Washington D.C., and the addition of the Thai basil, Craig notes, gives the pickles something different than basic Mexican jalapeños. “Great on a turkey burger or chopped up in an egg salad.”

All sound so delicious — as one pickle fiend to another, I’m excited to try some of these!

Thank you so much for letting us peek into your kitchen, Rebecca and Craig!

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All photos by Pablo Enriquez