We’re going back to school again! This time it’s all about pickling 101. Pickled foods are the best kinds of foods, in my humble opinion. Crunchy, salty and tangy with very few calories, pickles are a great bang for the buck. They’re great on their own, or used to cut through rich foods like cheeseburgers and fried chicken. Plus, the leftover pickle juice is perfect for whisking into a salad dressing, or better yet, chasing shots of whiskey, called a pickleback (seriously, give it a try!).
Making your own pickles from scratch is seriously one of the easiest culinary techniques out there. I love pickling everything from cucumbers and carrots, to hard boiled eggs and shrimp. You really can pickle just about anything your little heart desires. This video shows my basic recipe for a classic dill pickle, but the simple ratio of sugar, vinegar, water and salt can be used to make an infinite number of puckery variations. Change up the spices and make it your own!
- 2 cups white distilled vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 6-8 small kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/4 small onion (optional)
- 6 sprigs fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and bring up to a boil. While that's cooking, layer the cucumbers, garlic, onion, dill and spices in two quart sized jars. When the liquid is boiling, remove it from the heat and pour over the cucumbers. Seal the jars and refrigerate. These pickles will keep for several months in the refrigerator.