Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quick Spicy Dill Pickles

If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that I am pickle-obsessed. The pine armoire in the breakfast room that we use as a larder is quickly filling with chow chow, and pickled red onions, watermelon rind and okra. And of course cucumber pickles as well.

But I have good news. So far, the most delicious cucumber pickle I've run across doesn't require you to salt and drain the cukes to keep them crisp or to can them in boiling water. Instead, you shake the brine ingredients and pour over the cucumbers. That's about it. Now they won't keep as long, but that's not a problem. These things are so spicy/tangy/sweet you'll be looking for a reason to eat them at breakfast. Before you know it, you'll be needing to make another batch.

Quick Spicy Dill Pickles
Make 2 quarts.
From Food & Wine Magazine.

1 pound cucumbers (I used thin-skinned Persian cucumbers cut in narrow wedges to great effect.)
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5 percent acidity)

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

6 large garlic cloves, halved

4 to 6 long red or green hot chiles, halved lengthwise

16 dill sprigs

Pack cucumbers into 2 clean 1-quart glass jars. In another jar, combine the salt, sugar, vinegar, coriander and garlic. Shake until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add 2 cups of water and pour the brine over the vegetables. Tuck the chiles and dill between the vegetables. Add enough water to keep the vegetables submerged. Close the jars and refrigerate overnight or for up to 1 month.

* Food & Wine suggests these additional vegetables. The carrots and green beans sound yummy. Use 10 ounces for each quart jar. What I love about this recipe is that you could easily make a jar of asparagus and one of cukes using the same brine.

Asparagus, blanched 1 minute and cooled.

Broccoli stems, peeled and cut into sticks.

Carrot sticks, blanched 2 minutes and cooled.

Cauliflower florets, blanched 1 minute and cooled.

Green beans, steamed 2 minutes and cooled.

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