Friday, May 11, 2007

Kinda Sorta Sour Pickles

If there is one thing I love doing, it's learning how to make new foods. Master? Not really, but have a capacity to make in at least a basic form, yes! So I figured I would give pickles a try, after having learned how to make sauerkraut.

O.K. actually that is not what happened. I just happened to pick up some pickling cucumbers (along with other vegetables) for a buck twenty-nine on clearance. Still, I can't let them go to waste, can I? Pickles are no where near as daunting or intensive as sauerkraut, as I found out. Say hello to a recipe I'll certainly be doing again...

Kinda Sorta Sour Pickles

1 m onion, thinly sliced
2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon pickling spice
4 whole garlic cloves, smashed

Combine the onion and cucumber slices in a clean jar or container of choice.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 full minutes to wake up the spice flavors.

Slowly and gently pour the pickling liquid over the onion and cucumber slices, filling to the top of the jar.

Cool to room temperature. Top off the pickles with any remaining pickling liquid and refrigerate.

Note, the smashed garlic will take on a great bright blue-green shade due to chemical interactions. You can add the garlic at the pouring stage to minimize this, I believe, but I prefer it colored.

The pickles will last awhile. I end up tossing them with whatever sandwich, wrap, roll up, or whatever else I make for the next couple of days... for example...

This is pretty standard "quick n' easy" sandwich for me, fresh tomato, avocado, pickles, some flavored tempeh or tofu, topped with whatever home made cheese I have lying around and tossed under a broiler for a couple of minutes. Always satisfying.

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