Homemade Pickles

Recently, I tried some freshly made pickles at a local chain restaurant.  They actually still resembled cucumbers, light in color, rather than appearing dark green and shriveled in size like the pickles I'm used to.  They were really delicious, and I knew right away I had to add that to my "to make" list.

I tracked down a pickles recipe here after sorting through a few varieties.  I read about some of the differences between salt and pickling salt, and learned that a good replacement for pickling salt would be Kosher salt since it lacks iodine as well.

Since I didn't have any mustard seed on hand, I looked up some info on converting mustard seed quantities to powdered dry mustard.  I was surprised to learn that you typically double the quantity when converting it, as logically I figured grinding the seed turns it into a smaller quantity as it does with most spices (you typically use less dried oregano than you would fresh as it takes up less space).  Interesting!

I set up a glass jar for the sliced cucumbers since I knew it would withstand the heat and would make a great storage container for them as well.  I sliced them thick per the recipe.


On the stove top, I heated the vinegar, brown sugar, garlic and ground mustard to a simmer and let the sugar dissolve.  Then I put the dill weed, salt, crushed red pepper, and crushed bay leaves in the jar with the cucumbers and poured the hot liquid over the sliced cucumbers and let them cool.  I shook the jar a few times to coat the cucumbers evenly, then put them in the fridge once they were cool enough.

Take a closer look below.



It really worked! After a bit of soaking, these tasted like actual pickles but maintained some of the cucumber crispness and were downright delicious.  The crushed red pepper was a great addition, and next time I am thinking I will toss in some diced jalapeƱos to spice them up even more.  Next time I will slice them thinner since I prefer that style  They lasted about 5 days before getting a bit too pungent in flavor for my taste, so I would suggest making them a few hours to a day before using.

Homemade Pickles Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed bay leaves

Instructions:

Add vinegar, brown sugar, ground mustard, salt, and garlic to a saucepan and cook on medium-high heat until for about 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Add the dill weed, bay leaves, and sliced cucumbers together in a glass jar or heat-proof bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

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