Thursday, August 13, 2015

Quick Pickles

So, the kind of cucumber I planted (straight-eights) isn't recommended for pickling.  The cooking process makes them mushy, not crisp.  However, I did turn the first one into sunomono, proving that they could handle no-cook pickling.  Basically, it's marinated cucumbers.  You don't put them through a canning process, they live in the fridge, and you should try to finish them in a week or two.  They also take a whopping five minutes to make.

*1 English or Straight-Eight cucumber
1 C white vinegar
1 C filtered water
1 Tb kosher or pickling salt
1 tsp sugar
*1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
*1/4 tsp mustard seed
*1 bay leaf
*1 tsp dill weed
3 cloves garlic, slightly smashed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (if you want them spicy)

1.  Leaving the skin on, remove the ends of the cucumber and slice into wedges.  Into a jar or tall, narrow container, place garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, mustard seed, dill, and red pepper flakes.  On top of that, pack in cucumber spears.

2.  In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a low boil.  Continue to boil until everything is dissolved, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and immediately pour over cucumbers.  They should be completely submerged.  If not, quickly heat up some more water and vinegar.  The pickles will float, as you can see in the photo, but not until the brine reaches the top.

3.  Allow to cool to room temperature with the lid slightly ajar.  Then refrigerate with a closed lid for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.  They will continue to soften the longer they're in the fridge, so don't make more than you can eat in a few days.

Difficulty rating  π

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