August 01, 2004

PickleFest 2004 (duuude)

Another armload of cucumbers this week, so in addition to the 4 jars of russian horseradish-dill pickles, I just made another big batch of pickles using my uncle's special pickling-spice mix. They smell awesome. (His mix is mustard seeds, dill seeds, broken-up bay leaves, allspice, cloves, and hot peppers, from what I can tell.) So I've got pickles up the wazoo -- good thing I really like pickles. Also palming a few off onto pickle-loving friends...

btw, the russian horseradish-dill pickle recipe is from Please to the Table, with adaptations by me:

25 kirby/pickling cukes, about 4" long (or big ol' ones cut into spears)
12 dill plants, with seed heads (or supermarket dill + some seeds)
2 pieces (each 1/2") fresh horseradish root, peeled & sliced (critical ingredient!)
8 cloves garlic (I slice thinly)
12 black peppercorns (I use way more and the pickles end up very spicy)
5 tablespoons kosher salt
1 quart water
1 quart white vinegar

Original recipe is water only, but i prefer more tanginess so i use half water, half vinegar. Wash and trim the cukes, and stuff them into clean glass jars with the dill, garlic, horseradish and peppercorns. Remember to stuff the spices/seasonings in as you go, otherwise it'll be hard to ram them down in between the cukes. Boil the water & vinegar, add the salt to dissolve, and then pour over the cukes & spices in the jars. It is best if the cukes are completely covered by liquid - make more brine if you have to. Let cool, then put the lids on. Let them sit out for about two days to ferment a little, then put them in the fridge. (I don't bother sterilizing and sealing, so they do have to live in the fridge so they don't spoil.)

People go crazy for these pickles. They *are* really good, if I do say so myself. Nice in a grilled cheddar/tomato/pickle-wich, in particular.

Posted by foodnerd at August 1, 2004 10:50 PM
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