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Favorite pickle recipes

FABULOUS CAJUN PICKLES

This spicy recipe comes from the Pickle People, wholesalers in Long Island, N.Y.

  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pickling spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 50 small kirby pickling cucumbers (about 4 pounds), each about the size of an index finger, well scrubbed
  • 10 cherry peppers, quartered (we left this out)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced (don't seed)
  • 1/4 large sweet white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 clean quart jars (or 8 pint jars) with lids andbands

In 2-quart measuring cup, measure water. Stir in salt, vinegar and seasonings until salt is dissolved. Stir in garlic.

Pack cucumbers and equal parts cherry peppers, jalapenos and onion into jars. Ladle in spiced brine, covering vegetables. Screw on lids and let pickles ferment at cool room temperature for 3 days. Refrigerate another 5 days, and they are ready to eat. They will keep up to 3 months, refrigerated.

Makes about 4 quarts.

Adapted from "Pickled" by Lucy Norris

BEST-EVER BREAD-AND-BUTTERS

If you prefer, you don't have to process these. Instead, pack into clean jars and refrigerate. They'll take a day or so to develop their full flavor.

  • 4 pounds small (3- to 4-inch) pickling cucumbers, well-scrubbed
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole mus- tard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups halved and thinly sliced small onions
  • 11 to 12 hot pint canning jars with new lids and screw caps

    Cut cucumbers into 1/8-inch-thick slices, discarding the ends. You should have about 12 cups.

    Layer cucumbers and salt in a large glass bowl or crock. Cover with ice cubes. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, until cucumbers are very crisp and cold, adding more ice if needed. Drain well and rinse. Drain again.

    Stir vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, ginger, celery seeds, turmeric and pepper in large heavy nonaluminum Dutch oven. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat; boil 10 minutes. Add cucumbers and onions and stir well with 2 spoons. Increase heat and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat.

    Pack into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Run small rubber spatula inside jar to remove air bubbles. Add more syrup if necessary. Clean jar threads. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in boiling-water canner.

    Makes about 11 pints.

    Adapted from "Farm Journal's Freezing and Canning Cookbook"

    GRANDMA RUBIN'S KOSHER DILLS

    Dill heads refer to the seed heads on the mature plants, not the green fronds. If not available, use a tablespoon of dill seed and some dill fronds. I prefer the pickling spice from Penzeys. I often cut larger cukes into spears to make new pickles or half-sours. Remove them from the brine with clean tongs after 1 or 2 days, pack as directed and refrigerate. These pickles will continue to age in the refrigerator.

    • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds small pickling cucumbers, well-scrubbed

    • 8 cups water
    • 1/3 cup kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons pickling spice (Grandma always removed the excess allspice and cloves)
    • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    • 8 cloves garlic, peeled, brown ends trimmed
    • 2 small fresh or dried hot peppers, plus 5 more peppers to pack in the jars
    • 6 to 8 heads dill
    • 5 clean pint jars with clean lids and bands

    Place cucumbers in large bowl. Cover with ice water and refrigerate 1 hour to crisp.

    In 2-quart measuring cup, measure water. Stir in salt, vinegar, pickling spice and peppercorns until salt is dissolved.

    Put cucumbers in pickling crock or large glass or ceramic bowl. Scatter garlic and 2 of the hot peppers over. Pour in brine and stir to mix. Place dill on top, pressing it into brine.

    Place a clean, unchipped small plate on top and press down gently to submerge cukes in brine. Cover with a clean towel. Let stand at cool room temperature 1 to 2 days for new dill spears or 3 to 4 days for old whole dills.

    Pack pickles into jars. Add a clove of garlic from the brine and a hot pepper to each. Ladle brine into jars, covering the pickles. Do not add dill. Cover and refrigerate. Pickles are ready to use now. They will keep about 3 or 4 months. Brine may be cloudy, and that's OK.

    Makes about 5 pints.

    SWEET PICKLE SPEARS

    Be sure to use small, firm cukes for this recipe. We made this with sweet onions from our garden, and the slices were especially delicious. Don't use freshly picked onions; cure them first by drying them in a shady, breezy spot for a few days.

    • 2-1/2 pounds 3-inch pickling cucumbers, well-scrubbed and quartered into spears (about 12 cups spears)
    • 4 cups cider vinegar
    • 4 cups sugar
    • 1/4 cup kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
    • 3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 6 heads dill
    • 2 medium sweet white onions, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 12 1/2inch-thick slices
    • 6 hot pint canning jars with new lids and screw caps

    Place cucumbers in large bowl. Cover with ice water and refrigerate 1 hour to crisp.

    In large saucepan, stir vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, celery seeds and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cover and keep warm.

    Place 1 head dill and 1 slice onion in bottom of a hot jar. Pack cucumber spears into jar as tightly as possible without squashing them. Place an onion slice on top, tucking it along the side.

    Ladle hot vinegar mixture into jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Run small rubber spatula inside jar to remove air bubbles. Add more vinegar mixture if necessary. Clean jar threads. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in boiling water canner.

    Makes about 6 pints.

    Adapted from "Farm Journal's Freezing and Canning Cookbook"

    Thursday, August 21, 2003

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