Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I finally canned something
--Easy Dill Pickles

Easy Dill Pickles
The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook Copyright 2006

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 ¼ cups water
1 ¾ cups white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon salt I used pickling salt
8 kirby cucumbers, quartered lengthwise into spears
1 cup chopped fresh dill I didn't have that much

1. Toast the mustard and fennel seeds in a large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the water, vinegar, sugar, garlic and salt and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Combine the hot brine, cucumbers, and dill in a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
3. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and flavorful, about 10 hours. Drain well before serving.

The pickles can be refrigerated in their liquid, in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.

I finally took the plunge and started canning. I started with two pickle recipes. It will be a few weeks before the verdict is out on those recipes but in the meantime, I used the leftover cukes and dill and made these refrigerator pickles.

These are so good! Just like a pickle from a jar after only sitting overnight. I think my canned pickles may be a disappointment after these, since I'm sure they won't be as crisp.

Anyone can make refrigerator pickles. You don't need and fancy equipment or jars. The disadvantage is that they don't last as long as pickles processed in a water bath but oh well, that's the trade-off.

Overall, it wasn't that expensive for me to start canning. I got a canner for $18, jars for $7, a utensil kit (wide-mouth funnel, jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter, etc) for $9. I had to buy the ingredients. I bought $7 worth of cucumbers that made 12 pint jars of pickles and a good-sized batch of refrigerator pickles. I'm sure it's not cheaper than buying pickles on sale but I know what's in my pickles and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I made them myself.

This is my contribution to Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesdays (although she has just moved so I'm not sure if she'll be posting this week). I just did a brief check of their nutritional value and I was surprised and pleased to see that they're high in molybdenum. I've been taking another supplement and I recently read I should be taking molybdenum along with it. I had no idea where I could buy molybdenum in supplement form but I guess I'll just keep eating these pickles.

Blast From The Past: Grilled Cuban Sandwiches from June 2006. A quick recipe that uses pickles.

Question of the Day: Do you like pickles?


Heather said...

I am not a big pickle fan. However, I am a fan of trying to make something on your own to prove that you can do it. Go Paula!

Jennifer said...

I love pickles...the pickle juice..not so much. I saw a van the other day advertising some sort of pickle juice sports drink. Ewww...foul!

Anonymous said...

I don't care a lot for pickles anymore. It seems that the older I get the less I like sour things. I do like the pickles such as Claussen's that are so mild and more like cucumbers. Other than that, I like the sweet or bread and butter pickles. Yours look like the ones I like. I've always wanted to make refrigerator pickles, and here you have inspired me once again!


Wanda said...

Not really. I do like them IN things - hamburgers, sandwiches, tuna salad, etc. - all things like that, but I have never seen the point in just eating a pickle by itself, really.

Anonymous said...

I love pickles, but only the new dills you get at good Jewish delis. Yummy!

Anonymous said...