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Hot Pickles!

With a blog name like Pickle Me Too, you’d think I would have tons of pickle recipes. Well I do but most of my recipes use vegetables other than cucumbers. I’ve only been blogging since last October and try to post recipes as the vegetables come into season. They are finally rolling in and rolling in fast and furious. A few weeks ago I shared with you a recipe for Indian Spiced Pickles.  Now I’m going to share with you my go to recipe for a simple spicy kosher dill.  If you don’t have all the spices I use, the most important ones are the garlic and the dill.  Many times I’ll just make a very simple garlic, dill and cucumber pickle.  Well, the hot chili is important too, if you like spice.

If you haven’t had a lactofermented pickle (brine pickled), you are missing out!  They are amazing.  Uncomparable to a vinegar pickle.  It’s almost like they bubble in your mouth with an amazing zip that you just don’t get from a vinegar pickle.

Do you cut the ends off of your cucumbers?  Both ends or just one and which one?  Blossom end or stem end?  Since I can’t make heads or tails of the truths/myths out there, I just cut both off and have always had amazing pickles.  Rumor has it that the stem end can harbor bacteria and the blossom end is where enzymes are concentrated and cutting them off can keep your pickle crisp and not bitter.  Is it true?  I don’t know but I’m not willing to waste a batch of these nummy pickles experimenting. ETA: After talking with many other “pickle experts”, DON’T CUT OFF ANYTHING. The blossoms can make the pickles bitter but just make sure the blossom is completely removed.  Cutting into the pickle can actually make them go softer faster.

Lactofermented Pickles make a cloudy brine. Don’t worry, that’s ok!

Hot Pickles

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 2 sprigs of dill (use a teaspoon of dill seed if you don’t have fresh dill available)
  • 2 tsp coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seed
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 5 red peppers (dried or fresh, optional)
  • 2-3 tannin rich leaves (grape, oak, raspberry, horseradish or tea leaves) These keep pickles crisp.
  • 1 quart worth of pickling cukes
  • 3.5% brine (33 gms of salt per quart of water)
Cut the ends off of your cucumbers (don’t cut the ends off, just make sure the blossom is completely removed) and soak in a bowl of ice water for an hour or so.  You can skip the ice water if your cukes are freshly picked.  I like my pickles whole but feel free to cut into spears or slices if you wish.
Add your herbs and spices (whole and fresh is best) and stuff you jar full of your cucumbers up to the shoulder.  Pour brine over everything and weigh cukes down with a Dunk’R.  Let set at room temp until bubble activity slows down.  At this point, they go in the fridge to continue fermenting.  They may have uneven coloring and be crispy, we call this a half sour pickle.  The longer they sit in the fridge, the more they cure and this is called a full sour pickle.  They are delicious at either stage!

 


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