I thought I wrote about homemade dill pickles earlier this summer. Turns out I didn't. I've made pickles several times, the most recent using a recipe from the book "Charcuterie" by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. It was far less satisfactory than the recipe I had used before. The pickles were way too salty and had to be soaked in fresh water for several hours before being truly edible.
Our favorite farmer's market, Heinies in Arvada, CO, has had fresh (and drying) dill stalks. I bought some pickling cucumbers and some dill there today. I don't remember where I got my recipe. I've modified it from the original, largely because I have a pickling spice mix. Therefore I don't have to add bits and pieces of aromatics and spices; they are all in the mix.
The number of cucumbers is arbitrary. I happen to have a wonderful multi-sided jar that will accomodate 15. Adjust the ingredients according to how many cucumbers you buy.
15 pickling cucumbers
3 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup pickling salt or kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tbsp pickling spice (available at specialty markets)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced with seeds
8 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly smashed
1 bunch dill
In a large stockpot bring water to boil. Add cucumbers, immediately remove from the heat and drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
Combine pickling liquid ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Place cucumbers in a large, non-reactive, container with the remaining spices and vegetables. Pour hot pickling liquid over cucumber mixture and let cool. Tap down solids until liquid rises to top. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Transfer to a sealed conainer and refrigerate for 3 days before serving.
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