Thursday, June 21, 2012

Quick SC Pickles

So yesterday was my 1-year blog-iversary. I...totally thought it was on Sunday and that I had 3 more days to think of something awesome to make. I have a goodie up my sleeve all right, and I guess it's still celebratory if just a little belated. That's cool, right?

Totally skipping a segue. I'm a pickle fan. I love 'em all. Spicy, bread & butter, dill. And those are just cucumbers. There's a whole world of pickled foods I'm totally down to eat. I will not, however, eat pickled pig's feet. I just can't. Thankfully, these are just cucumbers and even better, they're quick pickles, so you can skip the whole canning process. You just have to eat them within a week, but how hard can that be?

Pickles are easy because you can customize exactly what you want in there. And in making quick pickles, you have a little leeway for experimentation. Here's what you need for these: non-waxy cucumbers, thyme, vinegar, celery seed, garlic, mustard seed, coriander, red pepper flakes, sugar, and salt.

Simply slice the garlic to release the good stuff.

Put your thyme, garlic, and spices (salt & sugar excluded) in a big ol' mason jar.

This...looks like a pot of water. It is, however, a pot of vinegar, sugar, and salt. You want to bring the vinegar to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. It takes no time at all really.

While the vinegar does its thing, use either a mandolin or a super-sharp knife to thinly slice the cucumbers. These aren't paper thin, but they're hardly thick. Here's the thing about the cucumbers. You want the kind that doesn't have the thick, waxy skin. If you can't find any unwaxed cucumbers, simply peel them. (Does anyone else feel weird talking about unwaxed cucumbers? Like I should be inquiring about their hygiene or something.)

Pack the cucumbers in with the herbs and spices.

Pour the hot vinegar into the jar and fill the rest of the way with water. I topped mine off with a little splash of rice vinegar. This whole thing is easier if you have one of those nifty canning funnels, which I did. I imagine if you can transfer the vinegar to a heat-proof measuring cup like the one off to the side you can avoid a big ol' mess when pouring it into the jar. Seal with a lid and give it a shake.

Refrigerate at least a few hours before eating them. The longer they sit the better they are. This is what they look like after a few days in the fridge. Of course we've eaten about half. 

Isn't it nice to know you don't have any weird food dyes or high fructose corn syrup? They retain a slight crunch and have a puckery vinegar kick. The herbiness and garlic really shines through. I'm one of those people who can just sit there and eat pickle slices. Pickles are a legit side!

They're also damn good on a brat come game time.

Quick SC Pickles (makes 40-50 thin pickle slices)

4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp celery seeds
1/8 tsp ground coriander
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 c white vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 cucumbers (unwaxy variety)

  • Put thyme, sliced garlic, mustard seeds, celery seeds, coriander, and red pepper in a clean 32 oz mason jar.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring vinegar, salt, and sugar to a simmer. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve.
  • While vinegar is heating up, thinly slice the cucumbers with a mandolin or very sharp knife. Pack the cucumber slices in the mason jar. Pour the hot vinegar into the jar using either a funnel or by transferring to a heat-proof measuring cup and then pouring. Fill the jar the rest of the way with water. Seal with the accompanying lid and shake it up.
  • Refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Pickles will keep 7-10 days.

No comments:

Post a Comment