Thursday, June 16, 2011

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

When I saw that we had some bumpy-looking cucumbers in our CSA box last week, I thought they looked like they would make perfect pickles.  Unfortunately, I had no idea how to make pickles and assumed that I would need to know how to can pickles in order to make them.  Well, I decided to see how difficult canning would be, because I knew that neither Cayne nor I are big fans of cucumbers and I didn't want the cute cukes to go to waste.  As I was reading a recipe on how to can pickles and seeing all the supplies I would need (which seemed like overkill, considering I only had 3 cucumbers!) I stumbled across a recipe for "refrigerator pickles".  The recipe I found was for "bread and butter pickles", not my favorite kind -- I like Dill Pickles.  I kept looking and finally found a recipe for refrigerator dill pickles that I knew I could modify to have less sugar and more dill in the pickle shape I wanted.  I wasn't convinced my first attempt at pickles would be good, but 4 days later when I tried my pickles I thought they were excellent...a perfect flavor and very crispy!  In fact, I've already pickled the 3 cucumbers I got yesterday in our CSA.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles 
1.5 cups distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
4 tsp kosher salt (or any non-iodized salt)
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
3/4 tsp dill seeds
2 cups hot water
1 clove crushed garlic
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
1 sprig fresh dill

Heat the water in the microwave and add the salt and sugar.  Stir until dissolved.  Add the vinegar, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, dill seeds, garlic, and chopped fresh dill.  Cut the blossom end off the cucumber or both ends, if necessary, to make sure they will fit into your jar/container.  Cut into spears or into discs, whichever you prefer...I cut mine into spears.  Put the cucumbers into an airtight container that is not much bigger than the pickles.  I used a plastic take-out soup container.  Pour the vinegar/dill solution over the pickles, covering them completely.  Add a sprig of fresh dill to the container, cover tightly, and refrigerate.  Wait 2-3 days before eating.  Pickles will last 1 month in the refrigerator   

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