Thursday, August 29, 2013

Spicy Pickles

If you've been keeping up with my garden updates, you'll know that I've been blessed with a healthy cucumber crop. At one point, there were three GIANT cucumbers in my fridge that were just sitting around and I thought I'd make pickles instead of letting them go to waste.
There are a million ways to make pickles and a million different recipes. I'm not saying my way is best but I do think my way is delicious. It's also really easy.

Ingredients:
2 lbs cucumbers
½ red onion
8 cups water
½ cup sea salt
5 sprigs dill
1 jalapeno
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Start by adding water to a pot.

Add salt, peppercorns, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, and a good handful of dill to the water. Place the pot over a low heat and stir the mixture. Heat it just long enough to dissolve the salt (which should only take a few minutes) and then set aside to cool for about 10 minutes, at which point, the liquid should be lukewarm.
If you're using pickling cucumbers or kirby cucumbers, you can leave them as-is; just trim off the ends. I was using gigantic cucumbers from my garden so I lopped off the ends and then cut them into spears. My cucumbers weren't particularly seedy, as they were still young (despite being giant). However, had they been seedy, I would've trimmed out the seeds, as I am not a fan.
Chop up the onion and the jalapeno and layer everything in a jar. I added a bit of extra dill because I wanted to. It's really your preference. Dill gives pickles that flavor and I love it.
Pour the pickling liquid over the veggies. I used a ladle to spoon it in for neatness' sake. Make sure all of the ingredients are covered.
Place a lid on the jar and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours, keep the pickles in the refrigerator. They should be ready to eat in 2 to 3 days and they'll keep for 3 to 4 weeks (though they didn't last that long in my house). I didn't properly sanitize and seal my jars but you could definitely do that (I recommend self-sealing mason jars) and they'd keep for much longer.
You'll know they're ready when the water is sort of murky like this and the skin of the cucumbers have gone from a bright vibrant green to a khaki/army green.
The pickles will have a slight bite from the jalapeno and the hot pepper flakes but it shouldn't be overwhelming, unless your jalapeno was a crazy scorcher. The onions and garlic are delicious to eat too, as they've mellowed out and lost that pungent breath-ruining aspect.
The first day we broke out the pickles, I grilled up some burgers and fried some chips (yes, homemade chips sprinkled with cayenne pepper and salt, yum) to eat with the pickles. That's right. I made a meal to purposely accompany the pickles.
Here's the recipe page:

2 comments:

  1. I never realized how easy is was to make pickles (well pickled cucumbers, but pickling in general!). Cucumbers are like the kleenex of the pickling world. (At least in America) And I just love that you made a meal to accompany them! Hahahaha

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    Replies
    1. Koreans love pickles! Or at least this one does. I crave the acidity. I pickled jalapenos last year too and they were delicious for like, 2 seconds before they set my mouth on fire. The jalapenos we planted were disgustingly spicy :(

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