For years, my boyfriend has affectionately referred to me as a “Pickle Pig”. I like pickles…a lot. I can, do, and will sit down with a new jar and get up with an empty jar of pickles. As a matter of fact, I did that just last night while trying to strike up the motivation to write this post!
I digress…A couple of weeks ago, I was on Twitter when a post from @doughmesstic about making some quick ice box pickles. I have always wanted to dabble in pickling, but never had the patience to let something ferment for 10 days+. So this was the perfect recipe for me! And that was the day the fun began…
My first experiment came out well. I hyped the whole process up to my co-worker Lara of Good Cook Doris. She was happy to join me in the first official taste-testing. The results – Yummy! For this particular recipe, I thought the sugar could be lessened a little, and there is a certain flavor in the back of the taste that I don’t love. I think it was the turmeric, but I can’t quite figure it out. I will adjust the next batch, and we will see what happens.
Well the pickles must have been good, because the flood gates opened! Lara sent me this link for Loco Diner’s spicy garlic dills. Now this is WAY more up my alley! I have always been partial to the salty, vinegary dill deliciousness! I will note, it is not like me to follow recipes. I generally use them as a guideline and do my own thing as the mood strikes me. However, I felt when making something like pickles for the first time, where there is science involved, I needed to be fairly exact. Once the first couple of batches were complete, I figured I could mix things up a little.
- Crinkle cut the cucumbers into the desired thickness
- In a bowl, combine cukes, cilantro & onions
- Fill jars with cuke mixture
- In a non-reactive pot, using utensils you don’t mind staining, add vinegar, sugar, and all spices.
- Stir well
- Slowly bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently
- Let slow boil for 1 minute
- Cover your pouring area with a cloth or towels, this stuff will stain!
- Ladel the mixture into the jars over the cucumbers (be careful, it is very hot!)
- Put a lid on your jars and allow to marinate for at least 12 hours
2 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. salt
2 bunches of dill, stems trimmed, coarsely chopped
2 tbs. whole peppercorns
2 tbs. dill seed
2 tbs. mustard seed
2 tbs. dried, minced garlic
**1 tbs. hot pepper flakes, optional (This is a lot. If you don’t want your pickles spicy, just add 1 teaspoon of pepper flakes or none at all)
3 bay leaves
10 cloves of garlic, sliced
- Slice your cucumbers to desired shape/slice and place in a very large bowl (I made spears, slices, krinkles, and halves)
- Mix in sliced onions
- In a separate bowl, mix peppercorns, dill seed, mustard seed, dried minced garlic, pepper flakes and bay leaves
- In a large pot, over medium heat, stir together water, vinegar, sugar, salt, dill, fresh garlic slices
- Slowly add in the spice mixture
- Stir frequently while bringing to a slow boil
- Allow mixture to slowly boil for 1 minute
- Slowly pour hot liquid over cucumbers
- Sit pickles on the counter until they reach room temperature. At this point you may transfer to plastic containers with lids.
- Allow pickles to marinate for a minimum of 24 hours
- In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, add vinegars, sugar, salt and beets
- Bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently
- In a bowl, mix together onions and garlic
- Allow the liquid to boil slowly for approximately 3 minutes, or until the beets are your desired tenderness
- Adjust the flavors of the sauce to your taste
- Once boiled, remove the liquid from the heat and allow to cool slightly (approx 2 minutes)
- Pour liquid over onions
- Cover and leave on the counter until mixture is room temperature
- Refrigerate for 48 hours before eating