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Making Pickles From...Pickles?


Kim Shook
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We just call these Grandma Jean's pickles because my grandmother was the first person I saw make them - about 10 years ago. I've been making them ever since, but I've discovered that lots of people make these. I've seen these pickles in Taste of Home Magazine, regional cookbooks, etc. They are absolutely cheating, but so good. You start with a big jar of kosher dills that you drain and slice:

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You put them back in the jar and top with 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 4 T. of vinegar:

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Nasty looking, huh:

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But after a week in the fridge, flipping them over every day or so, they will be sweet/briny/garlic-y and lovely.

Does anyone else do these or some other kitchen cheat that works so well?

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Interesting. . . they sound delicious.

You are essentially reprocessing a slightly processed food. Is there nothing available at the store that resembles your own results? If there was would you buy them instead of the big jar of kosher dills?

When you wrote cheat pickles I was expecting the technique of quickly pickling something on the stove for immediate consumption. Its not really cheating but it is a powerful trick - I do it all the time for cukes, zukes, eggplant, garlic, etc. It's a great starting point for hot sauces too.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I don't get it. You start with pickles, and make pickles out of them?

Yep. That's why I owned up to cheating right away :biggrin: .

Peter, I would absolutely buy them aleady made, if they existed! They don't taste like any sweet pickle I've ever had, though - much crunchier and less 'candied'. The pow of garlic and vinegar ensures that they are not overly sweet.

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I've done these about 10 years as well, but I don't add any additional vinegar, just the sugar. I don't drain them too dry, though. These are great on ham sandwiches. I've also used Splenda when cutting back on sugar for low carb dieting. Still good.

Stop Family Violence

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Interesting. . . they sound delicious.

I was expecting the technique of quickly pickling something on the stove for immediate consumption. Its not really cheating but it is a powerful trick - I do it all the time for cukes, zukes, eggplant, garlic, etc. It's a great starting point for hot sauces too.

That's what I was expecting too -- yours is serious pickle cheating.

Your method reads like Grand Theft Pickle. Trust me, I believe you when you say they taste wonderful, and I'm up for any culinary frippery short of Sandra Lee. You have me intrigued here.I'll show this to the Pickle Poobah in the house. (Not me.)

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

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margaretmcarthur.com

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Once I saw you were starting off with pickles I was half expecting to see the Kool Aid go in :biggrin: .

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/dining/09kool.html

I've been making Japanese style pickles for a while now and there are a few 'cheats' around for those - for instance there are commercially available powders, so all you do is cut up a cucumber sprinkle on the powder and leave in a plastic bag for at least an hour.

Nearest I get to following the current spirit of this thread is my habit of adding garlic slices to vinegared Polish style gherkins as soon as I buy them. I never add sugar, but the extra garlic slices always seem to improve the taste of the base pickle considerably.

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I don't know if these qualify as Cheat Pickles or not, but the recipe that Mark Bittmann gives for Kosher Dills on Page 108 of his "How to Cook Everything" is the ultimate in simplicity.

AND the pickles are delicious!

My only problem here in France is finding the right kind of cucumbers. Here you tend to only see the big 'English' cucumbers or the little guys for making Cornichons in season. Neither are right for dill pickles. May have to try growing them.

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Interesting. . . they sound delicious.

When you wrote cheat pickles I was expecting the technique of quickly pickling something on the stove for immediate consumption. Its not really cheating but it is a powerful trick - I do it all the time for cukes, zukes, eggplant, garlic, etc. It's a great starting point for hot sauces too.

Could you give more details on your stovetop technique?

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I make 2 versions of these "Cheat Pickles." For one version you drain a gallon of dill pickles, cut them into chunks, put them back in the jar with 5 lbs sugar, a bottle of Tabasco and lots of sliced garlic. Let them stand 24 hours, then refrigerate. The other version, which we refer to as "Christmas Pickles," uses a gallon of dills, 5 lb sugar, 1/2 bottle Tabasco, 3 tsp whole allspice, 2 tsp whole cloves, 1 cup chopped fresh ginger, zest of 2 oranges, 2 Tbsp pickling spice and 4 cinnamon sticks. They're pretty darn tasty. :wub:

I may be in Nashville but my heart's in Cornwall

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I don't get it. You start with pickles, and make pickles out of them?

So this would be "re-pickling"? Or "twice-pickled"? "Pickles a deux fois? :laugh:

An interesting concept. The amount of sugar seems rather large. Do they end up tasting as sweet as bread 'n' butter pickles?

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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An episode of Martha Stewart showed her re-using pickle juice after all the pickles have been eaten. Instead of throwing out the jar & juice, Martha tossed in carrots, asparagus, other veggies, & cukes into the juice until they pickled.

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Interesting. . . they sound delicious.

When you wrote cheat pickles I was expecting the technique of quickly pickling something on the stove for immediate consumption. Its not really cheating but it is a powerful trick - I do it all the time for cukes, zukes, eggplant, garlic, etc. It's a great starting point for hot sauces too.

Could you give more details on your stovetop technique?

My meaning of "pickle" means to preserve using salt and acid. If you chop up veggies and simmer them in a water-vinegar-salt mixture until cooked through, they're basically pickled and ready to eat. Stuff such as sugar and spices adds infinite variety to the mix. In some cases it's just a soak in the low pH brine without actually cooking anything, no mason jars required.

Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home has an excellent basic pickling juice on page nine - he goes on to use it in all kinds of ways for interesting sides or condiments. His technique is pretty fussy (like most visionary chefs) but in reality it's a very forgiving way to create a lot of great food.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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An episode of Martha Stewart showed her re-using pickle juice after all the pickles have been eaten.  Instead of throwing out the jar & juice, Martha tossed in carrots, asparagus, other veggies, & cukes into the juice until they pickled.

:wub:

i like to use dill pickle juice to marinate chicken and pork chops................the tartness and acid do the meat darn good. it is really tender and has a lot of flavor.

"look real nice...............wrapped up twice"

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My meaning of "pickle" means to preserve using salt and acid.

You don't need the acid, though many pickle recipes use it. As Dave Hatfield mentions earlier in this thread there's Bittman's simple recipe, which is exactly how real pickle-barrel kosher pickles are made. No vinegar whatsoever. Just water, salt and approriate seaonings (garlic and/or dill, coriander seeds, etc.) and sufficient time (if sliced lengthwise into a quarter, a few hours to overnight; up to three days if you use whole pickles, depending on size and degree of doneness you prefer. Nothing could be simpler. They'll last for weeks in the fridge if kept in the brine, though the fermentation process will continue albeit at a slower rate.

The quickest pickle recipes I use require vinegar, however. Scandinavian-style cucumber pickles come to mind. Thinly slice a kirby cuke (or even a garden variety cuke or so-called seedless cuke), using a mandolin's thinnest setting if you've got one; sprinkle with kosher salt and place in cheesecloth-linked colander, place weighted plate on top and let sit for 30-60 minutes. Then squeeze out excess water, toss with vinegar-water-sugar mix. Season with fresh dill if you wish. Ready to eat; if you must delay, refrigerate for a few hours at most. This particular pickle isn't pickled for longevity, just for taste. You could substitute thinly sliced cabbage or any number of other veggies for the cucumber or combine them; cabbage, cukes, onions, shredded carrot and just a little sweet bell pepper makes what many refer to as a Claremont salad, named after a long-departed North Jersey diner. That salad (which also includes some neutral vegetable oil) is drained after a 12-24 hour pickle in the fridge, but holds up for three or four days in the fridge.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I don't know if these qualify as Cheat Pickles or not, but the recipe that Mark Bittmann gives for Kosher Dills on Page 108 of his "How to Cook Everything" is the ultimate in simplicity.

AND the pickles are delicious!

My only problem here in France is finding the right kind of cucumbers. Here you tend to only see the big 'English' cucumbers or the little guys for making Cornichons in season. Neither are right for dill pickles. May have to try growing them.

I usually grow my own "pickling cucumbers" but I have also used the "Persian" cucumbers sold in middle eastern and Indian markets. They have wonderful flavor but the same tender skin as the pickling cukes.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Does anyone else do these or some other kitchen cheat that works so well?

Yep, Hon. I been doin' these since most of y'all were knee-high to a gherkin.

And the farther South you go, the sweeter and crispier they are---the recipe I got first is nothing but slices, dry sugar and a handful of cloves. They end up very crisp, VERY sweet, and almost transparent.

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You have inspired me to make pickles today. I'm just sad that I didn't already have pickles so I could pickle them again.

But, I will serve them with pulled pork, red onion slices and homemade squishy rolls. I feel so silly for looking forward to dinner tomorrow.

Oh, go put on your big girl panties and just DEAL with it!

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An episode of Martha Stewart showed her re-using pickle juice after all the pickles have been eaten.  Instead of throwing out the jar & juice, Martha tossed in carrots, asparagus, other veggies, & cukes into the juice until they pickled.

When I was younger and broker we (my beer-swilling friends and I) used to add hot sauce and cut up hot dogs to the leftover pickle juice and let them fridge for a few days. I won't say they're good but they were good at the time. They actually tasted better than those pickled sausages you stagger out of 2am convenience stores with because they were out of frozen burritos. :biggrin:

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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