making use of leftover jarred liquid
February 21, 2010 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Tips for making use of the leftover liquid contents of jarred goods (like roasted red pepper juice, pickle juice, cherry and lemon juices, etc.), please.

I'm hoping this isn't too naive or Ask Heloise for y'all, but I'm wondering about general tips for making use of leftover liquid in jarred goods--any jarred goods at all, specifically this or that, it's all good.

I finally got around to making muhammara thanks to an AskMe post last month about the best vegetarian dip ever, but I cheated and used jarred roasted red peppers. Whenever I use the jar up I always feel weird throwing out the colored, salted greasy juice the peppers have stewed in--it seems like it ought to be useful for something, but I have no idea what. This is true for pickle juice, preserved lemon juice, cherry juice, etc. etc. and I'm hoping for some recipes or ideas for using these things up. For example, it seems like making condensed cocktail syrup might be a possibility with fruit juices, but I don't know any specifics.

I'm pretty sure pickle juice might have been done before on AskMe, but I'm looking for tips on any and all jarred liquid, beyond pickle juice.

And yes, I'm aware of reusing wide-mouth glass jars as homemade vinaigrette shakers and storage containers. But other unusual tips for the jar's reuse are welcome too, I suppose.
posted by ifjuly to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
When my son was small, he figured that since sour lemon juice made lemonade, sour pickle juice could be used to make pickleade. We tried it. I don't recommend it.
posted by rikschell at 5:50 PM on February 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

In my experience, most anything can be thrown into bread or soup and will taste good at best and "interesting" at worst. Caution IANAG(ourmand).
posted by crazylegs at 6:01 PM on February 21, 2010

Best answer: With the pepper juice, you can put it with some nuts (like walnuts), some olive oil, and put it in an oven safe dish until the walnuts are toasted and the oil has infused with the pepper juice and nuts. Wait till it cools a little, then pour your nutty, sweet peppery goodness over a salad for a delicious dressing. If you want to make the dressing a little creamy, whisk in that last tablespoon of hummus left in the hummus container, that you haven't gotten around to finishing off.
posted by raztaj at 6:02 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

When my son was small, he figured that since sour lemon juice made lemonade, sour pickle juice could be used to make pickleade. We tried it. I don't recommend it.

depends on the pickles. once when I was in school I had a jar of my grandma's homemade garlic dills. after my friends and I finished off the pickles, we had a lot of juice left, which we found was astonishingly good with vodka.
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:09 PM on February 21, 2010

ps do not add sugar
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:09 PM on February 21, 2010

I saw something on Food Network that said that you can put more cucumbers in the jar of pickle juice, and eventually you will have more pickles. Seeing as I hate pickles, I haven't tried it myself. But it might be worth a shot, if you're a pickle person.
posted by somanyamys at 6:11 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Vegetable-type juices can go into beans, soups and stews. Don't add any salt before throwing in the juice - they're usually extremely salty. Probably not so good with really sour juices, although pickle juice can work really well with corned beef (again, watch out for excess salt - if the beef is really salty, skip the pickle juice).

Fruit-type juices (usually more syrup than juice) can be nice over hot oatmeal instead of maple syrup. You could also stir some into a glass of cold water, lemonade, or seltzer. Or try it in hot tea. Or drizzle over a thin slice of pound cake and eat with a dainty fork. Mostly I save it for oatmeal, though.
posted by Quietgal at 6:11 PM on February 21, 2010

Best answer: Oohh, muhammara. I love that stuff and make it all the time.

I use the oil from jarred red peppers as a final drizzle before baking pizza, and sometimes to sauté peppers and onions for mexican dishes. Cherry juice is awesome with sprite and a little whipped cream for homemade cream sodas.
posted by monkeymadness at 6:18 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can put a little olive juice in your martini.
posted by sallybrown at 6:19 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Savory or vinegary juices like pickles, olives, peppers, or pickled mushrooms, etc. are often good dressings on green salads, especially the flavored & herb infused ones. The oil from sundried tomatoes is great this way too, mixed with a little vinegar. Add other spices to taste. I've also used them with great success in cold grain dishes like tabbouleh or a cold brown rice salad: If a recipe calls for vinegar or lemon juice, substitute some pickle or olive juice for part of it & see what happens. I haven't had any failures yet doing this, and have had great comments on my potluck dishes (I don't usually share my secret ingredient). I've also used leftover jarred-good juice as meat marinades, with other spices added. Works great, and if you're a vegetarian you could use them as tofu or tempeh marinades as well. Though I haven't tried it (have been meaning to forever): I've heard you can make pretty tasty pickled eggs just by tossing some peeled hard boiled eggs into a jar of leftover pickle juice and letting it sit for a week or so. If you think of the leftover juices as a sauce or dressing, just like that bottle of Wishbone Italian on your fridge door, all of a sudden it's easy to come up with ideas. Oh... and drinking a couple of ounces of cold dill pickle juice is an excellent health tonic and hangover cure. ;-)
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 6:25 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I keep the oil sundried tomatoes are packed in and use it on anything that you might normally add both sundried tomatoes and oil to. (Pasta and roast potatoes so far work best.)

My mom used to make a layered drink involving I think, Fresca, orange juice, and cherry juice. You could also probably use it for fruity cocktails and it does layer very prettily. (Googling shows a few cocktail recipes where cherry juice is an ingredient, but you can also let your imagination run wild...I bet my mom's recipe above would work fine with vodka added too.)
posted by phoenixy at 6:26 PM on February 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

MFK Fisher recommended keeping leftover vegetable juices jarred in the fridge. As more accumulated over the course of a few days, adding a squeeze or two of lemon/lime and a dash of hot sauce and drinking it as a vitamin filled pick-me-up; a homemade V-8 juice if you will. I've tried it and found it surprisingly tasty and it gave a little boost of energy which was nice. Of course, as mentioned above, all (veg juice) can be added to soup for flavor; in gravy or sauce it would also be tasty.
posted by Allee Katze at 6:28 PM on February 21, 2010

Jar ideas: I have used empty pickle jars for making & storing kefir. Most of the standard pickle jars (I think 24-30 ounce-ish?) are an excellent size for this. I currently use a gallon-size pickle jar, still full of the pickles, as a heavy doorstop to keep the cats from getting in to the cabinet where our trashcan is. The smaller 2-4 oz jars from pimentos or capers or cocktail onions are handy to put lotions & toiletries in when traveling, or to keep single-servings of salad dressing or other condiments in when packing your lunches. My husband also keeps a couple of 2-oz jars around that he uses for measuring booze when making cocktails.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 6:32 PM on February 21, 2010

Any and all leftover juices in my household, up to and including pickle juice, are mixed with booze. Oils are used on salads. I like the marinade idea...very good...
posted by oflinkey at 6:34 PM on February 21, 2010

Pickle juice was used by an NFL team (can't remember which) playing an away game much further south than they were located, very early in the season (still hot), to avoid any issues with cramping and dehydration. I remember this as being joked about by the commentators, but throughout the game, the juice drinking team was fine, and the home team had repeated issues with cramps.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:43 PM on February 21, 2010

put the pickle juice in tomato juice. it's fantastic.
posted by sdn at 6:44 PM on February 21, 2010

The juice from maraschino cherries makes a pretty good grenadine substitute in drinks.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:25 PM on February 21, 2010

Olive juice in bloody marys. But be careful-- too much has a laxative effect (or so I've heard...)
posted by egeanin at 10:54 PM on February 21, 2010

I've used roasted red pepper oil and oil from a jar of olives to cook with. I wasn't sure about it, but the label said it was pure oil, and it worked fine. Maraschino cherry juice mixed with Sprite or ginger ale for shirley temples. Or a Booty Clappin' Angel.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 9:14 AM on February 22, 2010

The pepper juice and the sundried tomato oil would be great for thinning out hummus.
posted by rmless at 11:53 AM on February 22, 2010

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