With so many little cukes lying around, I figured the time had come to learn about the picklin'! So, always a believer in doing everything in a grand fashion the first time around...I am going to make pickles three different ways. I settled on Dill pickles (inspired in part by 2 bunches of dill from the CSA), bread and butter pickles, and an asian-style pickle, just to kick it up a notch.
Now, being lazy, and seeing as it is 100 degrees out and standing over boiling water is not my idea of fun, I have decided to make refrigerator pickles- They'll still keep in canning jars, but only be good when kept in the fridge, and for a few months, compared to proper canning technique which would keep on a shelf for up to a year. That will have to wait for another (cooler) day....
Ok, ready, set... pickle!
Dill Refrigerator Pickles- 2 Quart- size jars worth!
cucumbers, cleaned and quartered or halved, or even whole, 2-3, depending on size
1/2 tbslp Pickling Spice*
1 bunch dill
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 tblsp salt
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
Optional: 3-4 whole cloves of garlic
Buy in stores, or, as I did, make your own:
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp red pepper- cayenne
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tbsp whole clove
1/4 tsp celery salt
1. toast the peppercorns, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds over low heat- make sure to put a lid on them, they will jump out of the pan as they heat up! Stir them a few times, and after a few minutes, remove from heat.
2. Crack the seeds with the flat end of a knife.
3. Combine all the spices in a bowl.
1. Put the bunch of dill at the bottom of the jar. Cut cucumbers and add into the jars. If using garlic, slide in between the cucumbers.
2. In a sauce pan, combine the water, white vinegar, peppercorns, pickling spice, and salt. Bring to a boil, and let boil for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and allow brine to cool to room temperature.
3. Pour brine into jars, seal, shake lightly, and put in fridge.
Wait patiently for....2-3 weeks...
Pickles- Asian Style
2 medium size cucumbers, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
little bit of water to dilute
2 tsp tamari soy sauce
juice of 2 limes
handful of fresh cilantro
1 shallot, rouchly diced
1 whole clove garlic
1/2 tsp red curry paste
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cucumber, sliced into thin circles
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Layer shallot, garlic, cilantro in bottom of jar, then put in cucumber slices. Pour in the lime juice. In a separate bowl mix vinegar, sugar, and red curry paste, allow sugar to dissolve. Pour into jar to cover cucumber slices. Shake well and allow to marinate for a day or more!
Good news: Ready overnight, but flavors only get better with additional days!
Bread & Butter Pickles
2-3 medium cucumbers, sliced thin
1/2 white onion, sliced thin
2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp tumeric
1 clove garlic
1. Place a thin layer of cucumber and onion in a bowl and cover with some of the salt. Create a second layer and salt. Fill bowl with water to cover, and set aside 1-2 hours in fridge.
2. Rinse cucumbers and onion thoroughly with water and drain
3. In small pot, bring cider, sugar, spices, and garlic to a boil, and simmer 3 minutes. Let cool.
4. Layer cucumber and onion in jar, and pour brine over it. Seal and refrigerate.
Wait 2 weeks... and see what happens!