Wednesday, July 25, 2012

We Can Pickle That!

Dill Style Refrigerator Pickles

We can pickle that!*

Youngest daughter and I set about making some dill style pickles, with Kirby cucumbers, zucchini and, for oldest daughter’s southern beau, okra. The brine was the same for each vegetable. We only made some small alterations. Making pickles is easy. You can make small batches, try them out, and correct or improve them to your taste. You can pretty much pickle anything, within reason. Don’t get carried away and use the high heel from a shoe or a parking ticket.
These are refrigerator pickles which means that after the pickles are made, they sit and cure in the refrigerator; no canning necessary.
For traditional pickles, use Kirby cucumbers. We used about 10 cucumbers for two quart jars of pickles. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise, and depending on their size and cut each piece in half again lengthwise.
The zucchini may need to cut to fit the height of the jar. Two medium-sized zucchini should make one quart jar of zucchini pickles. Cut the zucchini in quarters or eighths, lengthwise, depending on the size of the zucchini.
For pickled okra, we kept the okra whole. Our dozen okra pods weren’t enough to fill the jar; I picked them up on an impulse at a farmers’ market. Next time, I’ll know better.

For dill pickles, add 1 teaspoon dill seeds to each jar of pickles. You can also add 1 or 2 cloves of garlic and some hot pepper flakes or a  slice or two of a hot pepper.
For the zucchini, we used 1 teaspoon pickling spice instead of the dill seed. We also put several springs of fresh basil in the jar with the zucchini slices and a sliced clove of garlic.
For the okra, we passed on the hot pepper (he’s not a fan of spicy) and made them in the style of a dill pickle using dill seed and some garlic.

Basic Dill Pickle Style brine:
2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1 ½  Tablespoons salt

1. Wash and dry the jars; we used quart-sized jars. Wash and dry the vegetables, trimming them as needed to fit the jars. Pack the jars tightly with the vegetables; add  seasonings (dill seeds, pickling spice, garlic, hot pepper flakes) to the jar.
2. Place the water, vinegar, and salt into a saucepan. Stir and bring the brine to a boil. Ladle the hot brine into the jars, filling the jar up to within an inch of the top. Screw on the lids and let cool. Refrigerate the pickles for at least a week and enjoy.

Next time: Bread and Butter style pickling.

*Thank you, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. Portlandia  Season 2 Episode 1

No comments:

Post a Comment