Thursday, June 24, 2010
Summer Quick Pickles
This recipe will blow your mind. You will never buy pickles again. There was a summer where I made a vat a week. I went to a food swap in Brooklyn recently and was told later that someone I swapped with liked them so much she was rationing them out to 1 or 2 pickle slices a day. Crunchy and spicy with a little sweetness it's great with everything from BBQ to a cheese plate. I like them out of the jar for breakfast. :) Try the onions and garlic on your next grilled hot dog.
This recipe came from my tinkering with Chris Schesinger's Famous Back Eddy House Pickles. When I lived in Somerville, Mass. his East Coast Grill restaurant was one of my favorites. As soon as you sit down in the restearnt your brought a little dish of these pickles. I've simplified it by not sauteeing the onion and garlic. I also don't bother with sliced carrots and peppers, though by all means go for it if you like. If you are interested in experimenting with more delicious quick pickles I absolutely recommend his cookbook Quick Pickles, Easy Recipes with Big Flavor. I've gotten alot of use out of it.
Actual work time is no more than 1/2 hr.
3 lb of pickling cucumbers
3 Tbsp salt
8 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
2 onions, sliced
4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
4 bay leaves
1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbsp black mustard seeds (FYI you can use any mustard seeds you can find.
2 Tablespoon Dijon, I'm sure any good mustard would work
2 tsp whole allspice, cracked (put on a cutting board and press down very hard with your heaviest pan)
2 tsp whole coriander seeds, cracked
Prep the veg:
Slice cucumbers into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rounds. Remove both ends, some people say if you leave the blossom end in the pickle it could turn the batch bitter. I haven't seen any science on this, but just in case I slice them off. Maybe someday I'll do a head to head with two batches.
Toss slices with the salt in a large bowl and top with some ice. I never have more than one tray actually full in my freezer so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Put this bowl in your fridge for 3 to 9 hours.
Remove from the fridge, rinse the slices well and set aside in a non-reactive heat proof bowl. I use a large mixing bowl.
Make the brine:
In a non-reactive pan dissolve the sugar in the vinegar over medium heat. Stir in spices. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Pour your boiling syrup over cucumbers and onion/garlic mix. Let it cool before refrigerating. I would wait maybe 4 or 5 days for best flavor, if you can wait that long. This will keep about a month in the fridge, but I doubt it will last that long once you've tasted them.
Your kitchen could smell like vinegar for about a day. I tend to toss my box fan in the kitchen window blowing out and that takes care of it. One day of your place smelling a little like vinegar is worth these terrific pickles!
You can vary these spices depending on what you like. I've been thinking of tossing a few serrano chili peppers poked with a fork a few times in with the cukes.
Let me know if you make them! I know you'll love this easy recipe.