Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back to the Basics:Quick Sweet and Spicy Pickles

I am, and always have been an avid pickle lover.  I remember being little and having my very own jar of pickles at my grandma's house.  I would carry the jar around her house and devour pickle after delicious pickle.  I haven't changed much over the years; I still whole heartedly enjoy pickles.  Sweet. Sour. Dill.  Even spicy, whatever type they are I am a fan.  I've never met a pickle I didn't like.  I believe Tucker is following in my footsteps. He can spot a jar of pickles from across the room and immediately heads for them. He's not partial either; it doesn't matter what type of pickle, he just wants it!  Spencer, on the other hand, can take pickles or leave them. 
Well, let me correct myself.  Spencer, could take them or leave them, until he had these.  These, my friends, are the pickles that won Spencer over.  He can still take or leave the store bought pickles, but anytime these pickles are around, he's enjoying a hefty serving of them.  These are the pickles that united our house!
We love these pickles for many reasons.  They are sweet, with a hint of spice, slightly zesty and they have a little bit of tang.  I am a huge fan of the sweet and spicy combination and these definitely present the heat then quickly cool down from the sweet.  They are incredibly easy to make and require very little heating time.  The vinegar, sugar, chile and various spices are brought to a light boil just long enough to allow the sugar and salt to dissolve.  After the boiling process, the hot liquid is poured over the sliced cucumbers.  The thick slices of sit in that sweet hot liquid and soak up all the goodness.  These pickles differ slightly from more traditional recipes because they don't require a long "resting" process; 20 minutes is all it takes.  Of course, the longer they sit the more time they have to soak in all that wonderful flavor.  So regardless if you're looking for a quick pickle to serve in under an hour, or if you're just looking for a pickle that isn't super involved but still tastes amazing this is the pickle for you!

Quick Pickles

2 Cups red wine vinegar
2 Cups water
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/4 Cup Kosher salt
3/4 Tsp coriander seeds
1/2 Tsp celery seeds
1/2 Tsp whole, black peppercorns
2 Cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Red Fresno chile pepper, cut in half length-wise
6 Kirby cucumbers (approximately 2 pounds)


In a large saucepan combine red wine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, coriander seeds, celery seeds, peppercorns, garlic and the chile pepper and bring to a boil.  Allow mixture to boil until the sugar and salt dissolves.

Meanwhile, slice the cucumbers 1/4 inch in thickness (I used a mandolin) and place in a large jar or heat safe bowl.

Once the vinegar mixture has come to a boil, and sugar and salt have dissolved, pour over the sliced cucumbers making sure all slices are completely submerged.  Allow the pickles to sit in the liquid for appoximately 20 minutes, until room temperature.  Drain the pickles, and reserve the pickling liquid.  Serve pickles.

*If not serving the pickles immediately, place in a and seal and place in the refrigerator.

Recipe source: barely adapted from Kelsey Nixon of Kelsey's Essentials


Anonymous said...

My daughter loves pickles so much that she always asks me if she can pickles for lunch. Just pickles. I don't let her :D She would be so happy if I made these for her.

Lynsey said...

Tucker would probably make a meal out of pickles too, if I let him!

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