The Pickle Pig Rears its Head!

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!    

My very first pickles. I'm a proud mom!

 

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.     

Dilly goodness!

 

The dills were great! But…there is always a but…they weren’t exactly as I like them. I think the next time I will reduce the water to 10 cups and use 3 cups of vinegar. I will also definitely up the garlic level and the red pepper, the spicy factor was not up to my level. But all in all, these were really good! The recipe below is exactly how I made them, feel free to adjust via my untested recommendations!      

Well pickle wars was on! Lara arrived the next day with a slightly adjusted version of my bread & butters which, in my opinion, was on the track to being much better. She lowered the sugar level, and drained all of the “stuff” after 24 hours of marinating. Next up from Lara, pickled shallots. I am not the biggest shallot fan, they are a little too strong for me, but these were pretty good. I countered her shallots with beet pickled onions which I      

Beet pickled onions...48 hours to perfection!

 

free-formed from my now extensive (can 2 batches be considered extensive?) pickling expertise! These were perfect! I often sit at a salad bar picking the onions from the beet mixture, so this was the perfect fix! These did need an additional day to pickle so they would lose their onion-y potency. The recipe below is pretty approximate, since I did throw it together.      

So where will this pickling take us? I have no idea. All I know is that we have become obsessed, constantly talking about adjustments and what to pickle next. The hot peppers growing in my garden are sure to make their way into one of my jars eventually. However, because the are #29, I don’t want to waste them on just any recipe. What I do know, is that through pickling I have redeveloped my love for the creativity involved in cooking. It mesmerizes me that you can create something completely new out of a few ingredients. I also know exactly what presents everyone is getting for the holidays this year…Clear out your pantries!!      

       

Bread & Butter Icebox Pickles
Adapted from @doughmesstics Quick Refrigerator Pickles
6 c.  sliced cucumbers (chips)
1 c. Chopped cilantro (or to taste) ( we like a lot)
1 c. chopped green onions
1 c. white vinegar
2 c. sugar
2 tbs. Kosher salt
1 tbs. celery seeds
1 tbs. Mustard seeds
1 tbs. Turmeric
  • 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
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
Quick Dill Pickles Recipe
Adapted from Locodiner.com’s Spicy Garlic Refrigerator Pickles
5-6 lbs pickling cucumbers
 1 large, purple onion, sliced thinly
12 c. water
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

   

  

Beet Pickled Onions
Adapted from my brain
1 Large Vidalia Onion (sliced)
1 Medium Purple Onion (sliced
3 Small Beets (peeled and sliced into strips)
2 Large Garlic Cloves (peeled & thinly sliced)
1.5 c. White Vinegar
1/4 c. Cider Vinegar
1/4 c. White Balsamic Vinegar
1.5 c. White Sugar
1 tsp. Salt

   

  • 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

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7 thoughts on “The Pickle Pig Rears its Head!

  1. Pingback: Fall is Officially Here! Recipe: Apple Cider « Eat.Live.Blog.

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