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Pickles--Cook-Off 32


Pam R
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In the last two days, I've made two batches of quick pickles.

Red onions sliced into thin wedges, kosher salt, and lime juice to cover in the fridge for two hours. Served as as topping for burritos.

Yellow onion and cucumber (I used english, but kirby or persian would work; those industrial behemoths don't) in 1/4" slices, salted for an hour, rinsed, drained, and squeezed, then in a 1:1 water/cider vinegar with about 1 T sugar and some dill from out back. Served with some fried chicken and hushpuppies.

One question for the experts. I've noticed that I like the squeaky, crisp texture of pickles that result from a very strong squeezing in a dish towel, as opposed to a simple drain or gentle squeeze. It also seems that the flavors absorb more quickly when I do this, which seems to make sense at a cellular level (squeeze out the liquid and the cukes absorb more to recover). But most of the directions that I've seen say to squeeze very gently. Is this just a taste/texture thing, or am I committing the kind of horrible crime that would get me tossed out of a state fair?

Try presalting, draining and the rinsing for that squeeky clean, crisp mouth feel. A more natural way of pulling the moisture out of cukes than bondage and torture. :biggrin:

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Pickled radish pods

This is a variety of radish "Rattail" that is grown specially for its seed pods, crunchy, spicy and delicious, Besides pickles, they can be eaten raw, make a good snack with beer, or stir fried or in salad.

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Phew!  :biggrin:

Wow! That was a job, and they look beautiful. What is that, about a dozen pints or so?

Thank you Anne! Yeah it came out to 12. I usually do about 24, but I dunno if I am going to have time. If I don't have to work out of the home someday, I'll be pickling a bunch.

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Phew!  :biggrin:

Wow! That was a job, and they look beautiful. What is that, about a dozen pints or so?

Thank you Anne! Yeah it came out to 12. I usually do about 24, but I dunno if I am going to have time. If I don't have to work out of the home someday, I'll be pickling a bunch.

Working out of the home is interesting, but working in the home is even MORE interesting. I know - am there, doing that.

It does look really good, and gosh you have to preserve it when it comes in, right?

More nutrition there than many people would think, as well. Good job.

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Great looking stuff, Anne!! I love the assortment.

Here's a batch of veggies I picked up at the farmer's market yesterday...

There's corn, baby beets (put up separately), cukes, baby shallots,

fresh garlic, Japanese turnips, red onions, red pepper and small eggplant.

gallery_6902_4791_97706.jpg

Once prepped, they looked like this (notice the beets in the

background already pickling!)

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For this batch, I'm trying a take on the Famous Back Eddy House Pickles in Schlesinger's Quick Pickles book.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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OH, I would love to participate, except the cucs haven't come to the markets yet here. For the last two years, we've done about a dozen jars or so of spicy dill pickles. Its a combo from Balls Blue book of Canning and a recipe that I found online. We use spicy peppers/garlic/dill. I'll be happy to post pics when we get down to business in a week or two if it isn't too late.

To contribute, here is a really easy and quick habanero pickled onion that I did recently with carnitas. My boyfriend and another foodie friend were quite hesitant to try them, but then when they did, it was a surprise, as they really liked them.

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3 cups finely sliced white onions rings

4 cups boiling water

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/2 tbsp dried Mexican oregano, toasted and crumbled

1 Habanero chili, finely sliced

Put the onions into a colander and immerse them in the boiling water for a few seconds. Drain and put into a glass or non-reactive bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Set aside to season for about 2 hours before using.

Edited by lucylou95816 (log)
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My cucumbers and garlic were ready, and my husband has been bugging me to make pickles, I used the brine recipe for the half sour pickles and added pickling spice, garlic, pepper corn, hot pepper flakes and dill:

gallery_11818_4857_530047.jpg

Edited by lcdm (log)
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Very interesting thread. Here's a question for the experts:

I made my first batches of pickles last summer: pickling cucumbers in either white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar. They turned out extremely tart. At the time, I remember reading that you had to use vinegar with at least a 5% acidity.

I've since seen a lot of recipes that call for a mixture of water and vinegar. This seems like it would produce a less tart pickle. But doesn't watering down the mixture violate the rule to pack the cucumbers in a liquid with 5% acidity?

Thanks!

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Very interesting thread. Here's a question for the experts:

I made my first batches of pickles last summer: pickling cucumbers in either white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar. They turned out extremely tart. At the time, I remember reading that you had to use vinegar with at least a 5% acidity.

I've since seen a lot of recipes that call for a mixture of water and vinegar. This seems like it would produce a less tart pickle. But doesn't watering down the mixture violate the rule to pack the cucumbers in a liquid with 5% acidity?

Thanks!

Ah - you are asking the ever present acidity/food safety question that the Ball Blue Book and the USDA enforce absolutely strictly with no wiggle room. 5% acidity is the golden rule of canning.

It is up to you.

The way I get around it with cucumber pickles is to make a 2 to 1 or sometimes a 3 to 1 ratio of vineger/water, bring all to a boil for ten minutes, pour into the loaded jar and go straight to the fridge so that I can live with myself, and still eat the pickle.

Now, even at 2 or 3 to 1 the USDA recommends an extended processing time for the canned pickles (various, depending upon wether you are doing a boiling water bath or canning under pressure, jar size, etc.) that actually cooks the cucumber in the process and has a detrimintal effect on crispness.

Two ways to get around that are to either lime the cucumbers in advance, or use a product called "pickle crisp" as an additive. The end result is a pickle that can be processed under heat that is sufficient to kill any bacteria, but will retain a crisp finish to the tooth, because of the addition of calcium to the pourous cucumber. It takes time and study. I am sort of a lazy pickler.

All that being said, gazillions of pickles were made using the "open kettle" method (that is, stuffing the sterlized jars with the raw veg, bringing the brine to a boil and boiling ten minutes, then filling the jar to overflowing and slapping a lid on it) for a very long time, over many generations and decades. They went into the pantry as soon as they cooled off enough to handle, and stayed there all winter, consumed on a regular basis.

Some of those folks died and were in the cemetary by 40 though, so who knows? :rolleyes:

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Hi, I started my pickles on Saturday and have been checking everyday - there has been no scum that has floated to the top but the liquid has turned cloudy - it that OK, or should I worry?

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Hi, I started my pickles on Saturday and have been checking everyday - there has been no scum that has floated to the top but the liquid has turned cloudy - it that OK, or should I worry?

What method and recipe are you using? Is this a fermented pickle?

As far as cloudiness is concerned, it can be caused by any number of things:

While fermenting, the brine might become cloudy due to lactic acid bacteria growth during the fermentation period. If you want a noncloudy appearance, a fresh brine can be used to pack the pickles when they are ready for processing.

In nonfermented pickles (fresh pack), it might indicate spoilage. Check the pickles for signs of off-odors and mushiness of the pickles. If these signs are absent, the pickles should be OK.

Did you use regular table salt? That may cause slight cloudiness because of anticaking agents and so forth, so try to use pickling and canning salt.

Hard water might also cause cloudiness. If soft water is not available, boil the hard water and let it sit undisturbed overnight, or just buy distilled if you are not doing a large quantity. Did you use garlic cloves, and did they turn green or blueish green? That is sometimes an indication that your water is hard, but some garlic just naturally has more pigment and you may get it anyway.

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Thanks, I'm making half sours (I guess they are fermented), I just had one and it tasted good, just needs a little more time.

Yep, traditional half sours are fermented pickles.

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It is time to consider a Cook-Off for August.

Please, PM your suggestions to Chris (chrisamirault), Pam (Pam R), Susan (snowangel), Corinna (corinna dunne) or myself (annecros) - thanks.

Anne

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I put up two small "batches" of pickles yesterday. A fresh dill cucumber pickle on the left, (1:2 vinegar to water) and a green and yellow wax bean giardiniera experiment on the right. I blanched the beans on the right for 3 minutes, and they're in about a 2:1 vinegar to water ratio.

gallery_6902_4791_28887.jpg

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Scored some pickling cukes yesterday, so I just made another batch. All I added was sliced garlic cloves, fresh dill, kosher salt and water. I'll let them sit on the counter for at least 3 days.

Question for those of you who do sours - what kind of water to salt ratio do you use? My last batch was way too salty, so I cut it back to 4 heaping tsp. of salt to 3 cups of water. Thoughts?

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Ok, so I'm a bit late on this, but my pickles just got done......

This is my pickling crock. I have no idea where the lid came from, but it fits so perfectly lol

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When you take the lid off, you see the grape leaves that I put on the top of the cucumbers and on the bottom to keep them crunchy.

gallery_54689_4781_302730.jpg

After the leaves are removed, here are the pickles in all their briney goodness

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Here's after I drained the pickles, reserving the brine to can them in

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This is my brand new canning pot. I had to replace my old one because it rusted out :hmmm:

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I went and scrounged the last of my dill from the garden so I could put some fresh sprigs in the jars

gallery_54689_4781_439325.jpg

And the finished pickles. The brine is a bit cloudy this time. I don't know why...but they'll still be yummy!

gallery_54689_4781_1174966.jpg

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They look great Shelby! I think it's never too late to come to these parties! In fact, I have some peppers going that I should snap a pic of, I suppose.

How long did you leave them in the crock? I have several crocks around, but have so far only used them for decorative purposes :rolleyes:

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They look great Shelby! I think it's never too late to come to these parties! In fact, I have some peppers going that I should snap a pic of, I suppose.

How long did you leave them in the crock? I have several crocks around, but have so far only used them for decorative purposes  :rolleyes:

Oh good! I'm glad I wasn't resurrecting a "dead" thread lol.

I use a book called "The Joy of Pickling" by Linda Ziedrich http://www.canningpantry.com/joyofpickling.html

I love that book.

Anyway, I left them in for about 2 1/2 weeks. They started getting the "scum" on top about a week ago. When I checked Saturday, I could just tell they were ready to be canned up!

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