I had a friend who used to call me that all the time. “Hey, Pickle Pants”. Everyday, of every week, of every month. There is a massive story there but one saved for another article.
We made food together, we laughed, we kept each other company (as expats do) and had loads of fun together all over S.E. Asia. He “was” my inspiration for this delectable homemade pickle recipe.
The dill overtakes most flavors but as you munch down on these deliciously crisp pickles you will find those ingredients working for you. Sour, briney, fresh and above all, crisp.
My goal here is to create an extremely versatile pickle that is very delicious and firm. Who wants a limp pickle?!
Homemade Pickle Recipe
This recipe is so, so easy. This recipe uses the lacto-fermented process instead of pressure cooking. This is a very important distinction. It requires some real thought into the setup and storage.
Let me broadstroke this…
You boil the water and add salt. Let cool and then add the vinegar. Now you have your acid “brine”. This is the solution you need to crush “most” pathogens when first fermenting. The “lactobacillus” will do the rest. There are plenty of articles on this but basically you reduce the PH and also create an anaerobic environment (by introducing C02 from the good bacteria).
Next you put all the other ingredients at the bottom of the canning jar. Grab your cucumbers (which should be rippin’ fresh), scrub them with a wet cloth, snip the blossom end off and stick them in the jar. Pour the brine over them. Seal it shut and you’re done. Told you it was easy.
Pickling Note: Adding tannins actually works with keeping pickles crisp, crunchy and firm. I have had great success with black tea or grape leaves.
Culinary Note: Make sure to keep the cucumbers completely submerged. I add some weight on top of the cucumber like a some cheesecloth. Once completely submerged store in a cool (60ºF) area. In the summer it’s so freakin’ hot on the East Coast that there are no cool areas so I put them in a cooler along with a Yeti ice pack and keep changing it out every day. After three days I inspect and taste. You will know when they are done. You just will.
Serve during a BBQ. Your attendees will marvel at your pickling talents.
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Tellicherry peppercorns
- 1 bag of black tea leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 allspice pods
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1 clove sliced garlic
- 4 sprigs fresh dill
- 6 Persian or 3 Kirby "pickling" cucumbers
- Read the article. You will need a quart container.