Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm in a pickle....LOL!

Cucumbers add flavor and crunch to a salad or even a sandwich. They smell great and really good for managing your digestive system and I've used them to curb my appetite when on a weight loss program or maintenance program. Wanna take your simple cucumber or better known as seedless (or burp less) cucumber to the next level? Easy .... just pickle. First, find some firm pickling cucumbers. Why pickling cucumbers? They have less seeds, less water content and easy to use. Slice them, cut them into 1/2 inch rounds or keep them whole. The Concoction is easy too. This recipe called for 1 pound of cucumbers and pickling spices, plus a brine of vinegar, water and sugar and kosher salt.

Bring to a boil in a medium sauce pan:
1 cup of water
1 cup of vinegar
1/2 of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt.
3 tablespoons of pickling spices
Handful dill springs – optional

This concoction has a tendency to be more on the "sweeter" side, but over the next two days the flavors meld and the sweetness lessens. At first it will tastes a lot like relish. I'd suggest for more tart pickles use less sugar and add a peeled garlic cloves and reduce the pickling spices to 1 tablespoon with more dill to the jar.

While the mixture is brewing slice the cucumbers into desired shapes or sizes and pack them tightly into a heat resistant and seal proof jar along with springs of fresh dill and 3 tablespoons of pickling spices. Where do you get pickling spices? I bought my fresh spices from Oaktown Spice Shop…but, they are sold just about everywhere. Where to buy the jars? Restaurant Supply Stores such as East Bay Restaurant Supply Store in Jack London Square are sold year round.

Once the brine is boiling and the jar is filled pour the hot brine into the jar. If the pickles are packed tightly very few will float to the top. Let the mixture sit at room temperature until cool. Seal and place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

It’s a blank slate… so try different mixtures until you’ve created your own version of the perfect pickle. Low cost, low maintenance minimal ingredients … and fun to make with friends and family.

Remember cooking with love makes any recipe taste better … especially, condiments like pickles. Now on to the perfect burger.