Thursday, July 31, 2008

Grace’s Overnight Pickles
Crunchy, tangy and the little sweet. It’s as simple as bringing a pot of vinegar, sugar and spices to a boil and pouring it down over salted sliced cucumbers. These pickles stay crunchy thanks to the extra step of salting the slices and letting them sit under ice for a bit. After you try my recipe check out the Cuke and Zuke Fest that Deb Puchalla, editor in chief of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine put together.

Actual prep time: 20 minutes

2lb of pickling cucumbers, also called Kirby, you can sub supermarket or English cukes
2 Tbsp kosher or other coarse salt
Ice to cover pickles

Pickling Mixture
½ tsp celery seed
1tsp mustard seeds
2tsp coriander seeds, bashed
2tsp whole allspice, bashed
¼ tsp ground clove
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp turmeric
pinch crushed red pepper
2 crushed garlic cloves

3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ Tbsp molasses

1. Slice 2 lb pickling cucumbers skin on, also called Kirby cucumbers, into approximately ¼ inch wide rounds. I have a fancy kitchen doodad that gives me a crinkle cut, but there’s really no need.

2. Toss with 2 tablespoons of coarse salt, top with lots of ice cubes and let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours. The salt draws out some moisture and keeps pickles crisp.

3. In the meantime, add pickling mixture to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and reduce to simmer for 4-6 minutes to dissolve the sugar.

4. Once cucumber slices have sat in the salt and ice for about two hours, drain, remove ice and rinse.

Place in heatproof, non reactive bowl, bring pickling mixture back to a boil and pour over pickles.

5. When they’ve cooled pack them into a clean glass or ceramic container and pour liquid over them and refrigerate. I like to use leftover pickle jars. The pickles are delicious once they’ve chilled, but do taste their best after a few days after marinating in all those wonderful spices and garlic. They’ll keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

If you want to try other simple pickle recipes I highly recommend Quick Pickles: Easy Recipes for Big Flavor by Chris Schlesinger a great Boston chef.


girlgamy said...

Grace, are these pickles more on the sour/dill side or sweet?
Either way they look yummy!

db said...

Hey Grace:

Looks delish. One question--is that 1 1/2 TBSP of sugar in the pickling mix?

Grace Piper said...

Thanks for catching that mister boh. It's 1 1/2 cup sugar, but I have to say it's not a super sweet tasting pickle. Know where near a bread and butter.
So tasty I hope you'll try it.