homemade "crunchtastic" pickles

so, after our foray to new york for the long weekend (more on that – specifically the food – in upcoming posts), our pickles had pickled and were ready for the tasting. in fact, i was thinking about them on the way home. after eating out for four days, we were ready for a homemade snack-type dinner upon our arrival. with nothing else to do that night except to go to bed (unpacking clearly out of the question), we did what every sane, hungry and sick-of-restaurants traveler would do: we scavenged and found three pieces of bread, some cheddar cheese, 1/2 an onion, canned tomatoes and some chicken broth. Grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup it was. And pickles.

I was really nervous. Homemade pickles, homemade pickling spice? I'd never had such a thing. And I was a little scared ... the brine was cloudy, and had the remnants of the spice mix floating. I could clearly see the dill, which i generally don't care for (though i adore dill pickles). Tentatively, I removed a sliced pickle and took a bite.

POW!  There it was in all it's pickle glory. Crispy, crunchy, vinegary, salty, spicy and dill-herby. (Claussen ain't got nothing on this.) When I make them again – and I say when intentionally – I'll cut the red pepper in the spice mix in half. But, if you like spicy, then you'll like these (if not, then nix the spice).

"Crunchtastic" Pickles
Shown to the right on a yummy burger with a side of sauteed spinach
2 large cucumbers (about 8" long), sliced into rounds at whatever thickness you like your pickles
1/3 c pickling spice (recipe to follow, makes about 1/3 c)
2 cloves of garlic, halved
1/3 c white vinegar
1/3 c kosher salt
2 c cold, filtered water
1 tsp dried dill
1 bay leaf (break it into thirds if you can)
3 clean pickle or spaghetti-sauce jars with lids

  1. Wash pickes and arrange evenly among three jars with the garlic cloves. Set aside.
  2.  Mix water, salt and vinegar in a bowl (one preferably that is easy to pour from). Stir until salt is disolved. Taste. Should be sour, and kind of salty like the ocean. Add more vinegar if you think it needs it. Add pickling spice, bay leaf pieces and dill; stir vigorously. Before it settles, pour the mixture evenly among the jars. Add more water if needed to fill the jars.
  3. Then shake those jars like there's no tomorrow. Let them hang out in the fridge for a few days, shaking ever now and again to get the spice in all the nooks and crannies.

Homemade Pickling Spice, just mix and go!
  • 2 tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 2 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (use less if you can't take the heat)
  • pinch cinnamon
And that's it. If you're a pickle lover, then you must try this. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment