Posted tagged ‘pickles’

Pickled onions

May 27, 2021

I almost always have these in the fridge. They have a million uses–on burgers and hoagies, as part of a charcuterie platter, with bread and cheese, in salads, chopped in deviled eggs, tuna salad, and the like…you get the idea.

You can use almost any vinegar you like–white or red wine, cider, sherry, or rice. I would not use balsamic as the flavor seems inappropriate, nor would I use plain white vinegar because, well, no flavor! Red onions are preferred for the pretty appearance but you can use other types as well. This keeps almost forever refrigerated.

  • One large red onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1-1/2 c vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 3 TB sugar
  • 1-1/2 TB kosher salt

Peel the onion and halve lengthwise. Cut into thin half-rings and put in a heat-proof bowl. Cut the jalapeño (if using) in half lengthwise then remove stem and seeds. Slice thinly. Use all the pepper or just part to your taste. Add to the onion.

Combine all the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan, including the red pepper flakes if you are using them, and bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Pour over the onions and let sit for a bit, then pack, with liquid, into a jar. Let sit overnight before using.

Half-sour kosher dill pickles

September 20, 2014

When I was a kid, I remember that some of the delis in NY City would bring a bowl of these to every table, and they would quickly disappear. Crisp, only mildly sour, with a nice garlic flavor, they have been a favorite of mine for years. And, they are ridiculously easy to make at home.

These are fresh pickles, not heat-treated, which accounts for their delicious crispiness. And they contain no vinegar, with the mild sourness coming from natural fermentation. The cucumbers are important. You want firm, fresh cukes a maximum of 4 inches long. “Pickling” cukes are ideal but not required. I provide 2 slightly different recipes.

Dill

For half-pickles, which develop their flavor faster:

2 lbs cukes washed and halved lengthwise
2-1 quart widemouth jars. They can be “canning” jars but do not need to be because there is no heat processing involved.
10 whole black peppercorns or whole coriander seeds
5 large or 8 small cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tsp dried dill
1/4 c kosher salt
2-1/2 c water

Divide the cuke halves between the jars. Pack them in vertically and rather tightly, which will keep them in place below the surface of the brine. You may have some extra, save them for a salad. Push 2 garlic cloves down between the cuke halves in each jar. Divide the dill and peppercorns between the jars. Dissolve the salt in the water and pour over the cukes. Make sure all the cukes are submerged. Cover the jars and let sit at room temperature. The brine will get slightly cloudy, a sign that the fermentation yeast is active.

After 24 hours taste the pickles. If they are not “pickley” enough for your taste, let sit for a while longer, tasting every 12 hours or so. When ready, transfer to the  fridge, where they will continue to develop, but much more slowly. Keep up to 3 weeks.

For whole pickles, which take a little longer to develop but are preferred by some:

Kosher

You’ll need a 2 quart widemouth jar.

Follow the above recipe, but do not cut the cukes. Make the brine using 1/3 c kosher salt and 1 quart water.. Pack all ingredients into the jar and pour in the brine. Fill a zipper bag with water and insert it to keep the cukes submerged.


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