Monday, July 11, 2005

Sour Taste in My Mouth

I can either listen to White House spokesman Scott McClellan lie his ass off (and it's kinda fun, except that it's kinda disgusting), or if I want a tasty sour taste in my mouth, I can whip up some of these.
Rae over at BunnyFoot (see links, right) was disappointed with some mushy dill pickles she processed in a hot-water brine this summer, so I promised her I'd run my recipe for Deli Dills (you can find versions of this all over the Internet). They're cold brined, so always crispy -- even after a whole year!
(Ooh, teeny tiny update here: Just wanted to add that these ugly, stubbly cucumbers are available at farmers' markets. But I've also found them for a bargain in Chinese markets. S.F. Civic Center's market on Wednesdays and Sundays is good, and so are lots of produce shops on Geary out thataway. Pinch 'em and bend 'em and squeeze 'em to make sure you're getting -- cough, cough -- "stiffies.")

Cold-Brine Dill Pickles
3 quarts water
1 quart white vinegar
1 cup kosher salt (not iodized!)
4 to 5 pounds pickling cucumbers (not waxed!)
1 bunch fresh dill
1 head garlic
Handful of dried red Thai peppers

Combine water, vinegar and salt; heat over medium flame in non-reactive pot until salt dissolves.
Remove from heat and refrigerate in glass or plastic jars until cold.
Scrub the cucumbers. I cannot overemphasize how fresh they oughta be; limp cukes make limp pickles.
Place a few dill fronds, about 3 peeled garlic cloves and a couple of peppers into each quart-size jar (with plastic screw-on lid! Mayonnaise jars are perfect).
Pack as many cucumbers into jars as possible and cover with the cold brine.
Attach lids and refrigerate for at least a week.
Yield: Approximately one pound of cukes per quart jar.


rae said...

they look sooo good but how do you get the jars to seal when doing a cold pack?

cookiecrumb said...

Well... technically they don't seal at all. But then, think about a jar of pickles you buy in the store. Ya open 'em, eat one, and stash the rest in the fridge. Just screw the lid back on. So in this case they're never stored in the pantry. Always in the icebox.
Rae: remember that book on fermentation you thought sounded good? The author addresses nuka fermentation! woohoo

rae said...

very strange. not only did i just this morning look at some sprouting ginger, thinking that i really wanted to plant it, but a few days ago got some cast off nuka from my mom's pickling jar to make my own nuka pickles with. have you been to that place up north (beyond bolinas, can't remember the name or where - old age setting in, i guess) that offers nuka baths? you're basically buried in dry nuka and your body heat warms up the stuff and it gets a little toasty. i couldn't help imagining i was a giant daikon radish in my mom's pickle jar.

cookiecrumb said...

Ha ha -- no, I haven't done that hippie nuka bath! Sounds good.
OK, you've got me fascinated with nuka-zuke now, so I'm gonna get a sack of rice bran. From what I've read seems like I won't even need a press.

seth said...

great lookin pickle recipe.

by the way, if you haven't stumbled across it, chronicle books put out a *great* cookbook solely on quick pickles. they have a similar dill recipe, but also some interesting/unusual stuff pickling broccoli, rounds of corn on the cob, tomatillos. worth the trip to green apple!


cookiecrumb said...

Thanks, Seth. I have a real sour tooth; I'll definitely check out the book. Also, click on the link in my comment to rae above, and it'll take you to some Japanese pickle recipes.