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I think these are so much better then buying in the store because you control how much garlic you want, dill and even if you want them spicy or not! I've been making these for a few years now and love them! 3-4 large pickling cucumbers makes one quart. Sometimes I slice them in half, sometimes into quarters but, they are always super tasty! Enjoy ~ Diane
Refrigerator Kosher Dill Pickles
When you've finished the jar, don't dump the juice. You can add more cukes. After the second use, the brine gets a bit thin, so don't reuse it more than once.
Yield. 1 quart jar
Preparation time. 90 minutes, aging time 1-2 weeks.
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 1/4 cup distilled water
2 tablespoons Morton's kosher salt
1 pound firm pickling cucumbers (about 4)
1/2 serrano chile, stem removed
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
4 tablespoons dill seeds
1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
Buy pickling cukes. They are usually 4-6" long and have small seeds and crunchy skins. They should be cut lengthwise into halves or spears. You can leave them whole, but they will take longer.
About the water. You can usually find distilled water in the grocery or drug store. Distilled water is best because it it purer and impurities can impart odd flavors, but, unless you have strong tasting tap water, it usually works fine.
About the salt. If you use table salt you must to cut the quantity in half!
About the chile pepper. The idea here is you want just a little heat in the background so 1/2 a serrano works perfectly. I often use 4 to 6 small hot chiles per quart, each no bigger than a marble, usually Black pearls or fiestas, which we grow outdoors in pots in the summer, and bring indoors over winter. But they are hard to find, so serranos or jalapeños will work fine. If you can't find fresh peppers, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
About the vinegar. You must use distilled vinegar. Any other vinegar imparts too many odd flavors.
1) Make sure you have a really clean bottle and lid. The lids must have good rubber seals. The best thing to do is buy canning jars and lids from Ball. They are in a lot of hardware and grocery stores. Sterilize them by submersing them in a boiling water bath.
2) Add the garlic, dill seeds, and peppercorns to the jar.
3) Thoroughly wash the cukes and slice them in halves or spears. Cram them in the jar leaving about 1/2" - 3/4" of space at the top.
3) Make the brine by combining the vinegar, water, and salt in a non-reactive sauce pan or pot. Bring to a boil, and stir until all the salt is dissolved.
4) Pour the hot brine over the cukes to within 1/4" of the top. Wipe the jar top, put the lids on and tighten. Age for at least 1 week in the refrigerator.
Beware. The brine will taste very salty at first, but don't panic. The juices from the cukes will dilute the concentration of salt in a week or 2.
Recipe Adapted from: Amazing Ribs
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
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