Sunday, July 17, 2011

Oh Pickle, My Pickle

Here are my favorite pickles:

If you're thinking "hey! those don't look much like pickles!" you'd be right.  These are nothing like those super-sour, limp pickle slices/wedges you find in hamburgers across the country.  These are REAL pickles!

Actually, these are Asian-style refrigerator pickles.  Which - while sharing the same basic concept as those oh-so-not-crispy Claussen's - are worlds apart in terms of taste and texture.  First off, refrigerator pickles are exactly what they sound like: pickles kept in the fridge.  Unlike cooked and pasteurized monster dill pickles, these darlings have to be kept in the icebox or they will go bad.  The result of this type of pickling is pickles that - instead of boiled and vinegary - taste refreshingly light and slightly sweet.  And, they're super easy to make! 

Here's how:

You need some veggies. I used three pounds (I love pickles!) of a mix of carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower and onions. The carrots were sliced thinly and the other veggies should be diced to about the same size. Any vegetable that holds it's shape will work well, just don't use anything too leafy!

In a large stock pot combine 1 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Simmer over medium heat until dissolved. At this point you can adjust the sugar and salt to taste. Be careful though! This stuff is potent.


In go the veggies! Avalanche!

My Dad and 3 lbs of veggies!
If the pickling liquid seems paltry compared to the amount of veggies in the pot, don't worry!  You have to let the vinegar mixture work its magic.  Stir the mixture over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Then turn off the stove and keep stirring occasionally.  After about 15 minutes you will see the pickling liquid is drawing out the veggie juices.  Yay! that's exactly what we want.

After the mixture is cooled you can transfer it into a container. Mason jars and old pasta jars work great.

Stow it in the fridge overnight to let the flavors do their magical meld (or dig right in if you're like me).  The pickles will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.  

I love these pickles with just about anything: hamburgers, grilled chicken, broiled fish, or just on their own. Make them today; I promise you'll be hooked!

Refrigerator Pickles
3 lbs diced veggies*
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt

*Note: this amount of pickling liquid will work for anywhere from 1 to 4 pounds of veggies

1. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Simmer until salt and sugar are dissolved.
3. Add veggies.  Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes.
4. Turn off heat. Stir occasionally for an additional 15 minutes.
5. Cool completely and transfer into a jar. Store in fridge for up to 3 weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment