Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In the Kitchen - Simple Refrigerater Dill Pickle Recipe

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Last year I wasted a lot of cucumbers trying to come up with a dill pickle recipe that we liked. I tried several online recipes and none of them suited our taste. By far the WORST batch resulted from my using McCormick's pickling spice mix, which was a complete lapse in judgment on my part. (I get the dry heaves just thinking about that one.) In the end, I realised that when it comes to pickling, less is definitely more. It also helps to use the right kind of cucumber. This year I'm growing an pickling cucumber variety called 'Diamant' and I couldn't be happier with it.

The brine recipe that I've come up with is pretty straight forward and only requires a handful of ingredients. For those of you who might be interested, here it is:

Refrigerator Dill Pickle Brine Recipe

2 cups cold filtered water
1 cup of distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar

a handful of dill sprigs (I like to use the flowers and stems as well)
2 - 3 cloves garlic cut in half
1/2 teaspoon of dried yellow mustard seeds

I'll adjust the measurements slightly depending upon my mood. Sometimes I'll up the vinegar by 1/4 cup if I want a more sour pickle or use an additional teaspoon of kosher salt if I want a saltier one. For some added heat, dried red pepper flakes would work.

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This brine recipe is easily doubled or halved. I usually adjust the amount of spices based on the size of the jar I'm using and my best guess as to how much liquid I'll need. Always, I try to pack the jar as tightly as I can and pour in enough brine to reach the rim.

Earlier this week, I pickled some sliced Hungarian Wax peppers with my cukes and boy was the end result deliciously hot! Last night I made a mild batch with some sliced carrots - delicious as well. Lastly, these crispy pickles are usually ready after 24 - 36 hours in the fridge but are best after 2 - 3 days.

25 comments:

  1. Yum, thanks for sharing! I was looking for a good refrigerator pickle recipe, and was overwhelmed with the variations I found. I'll be trying yours out soon!

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  2. That's pretty much the same combo of items I used for my refrigerator dills last year and they were a huge hit. I am still waiting for cucumber season to get underway but am planning to whip up a batch as soon as the first picklers are ready. Your last photo fo the mixed veggie pack is really beautiful!

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  3. If I had some cucumbers...

    That looks so sharp, I can almost taste it.

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  4. Thanks so much, Thomas, for the recipe and the recommendations as to cucumber and such.
    Much appreciated. Looks delicious!

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  5. I've never been a big fan of pickling mixes. I put in my own because it gives me what I want. And I can adjust for more or less of something depending upon how I'm feeling.

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  6. I have never made refrigerator pickles. I always make them the old fashioned way in a crock. I made the mistake about 5 years ago and tried one of those mixes...it was absolutely gross!

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  7. It is good refrigerated for pickle because that can be preserved in new varieties pickle so very nice and it can be save and preserved a for long time.

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  8. Your photos are wonderful. Do you heat the brine or just mix it and put it in as is? I'm new to refrigerator pickles and just growing cukes for the first time in many years.

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  9. Hi Sande - Thanks. I don't heat the brine. In fact, I use cold filtered water.

    I've never made canned pickles using this brine recipe but I may try it later this summer (in which case, I would heat the brine).

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  10. I'm probably going to be making dilly beans this weekend because my green beans suddenly exploded...but the cucumber aren't quite there yet.

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  11. I wonder if you could freeze this recipe for freezer pickles? I'm swimming in cuces this year.

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  12. My family recipe is very similar to yours. I love the pickled mixed vegetables. We would always do this with carrots, peppers, celery and cucs. Enjoy. they look great.

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  13. Missy - freezer pickles? I've never heard of that. Now you have me curious.

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  14. Hi Thomas...I wasated a ton of cucumbers too when I used pickling spice. GROSS! They were awful! I think it's the all spice that throws it all off...yuck.

    Does the sugar actually make them a bit sweet or simply cut the acid?

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  15. Thomas- I actually have only made freezer pickles before. You actually use this type of recipe and freeze them and you thaw until they are still just a little bit frozen (or still just really really cold). It's nice if you have limited space and want to keep some for the cooler months.

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  16. How do you like growing those Diamante cucumbers? I tried growing my own last year and it was a disaster. The cucmber beetles over-ran them all and I didn't plant enough to begin with. (Mexican Sour Gherkins are such tiny plants that you would need a whole yard full of them to get enough fruit to pickle).

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  17. Michelle, the sugar adds just a hint of sweetness. It's there more to balance the flavors.

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  18. Eleanor - I like the diamante. I have a ton of cucumber beetles in my garden right now and the plants seem to be holding up. I spray with pyrethrin and have yellow sticky traps out (both of which only have limited success.

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  19. Carrots, huh? I've never thought of that. Daphne recomended the diamante also. Looks like I'll be trying that soon.

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  20. This recipe is a winner! I have only ever made refrigerator miso pickles before (they are delicious and quite spicy) so I was happy to find your recipe just after getting enough cukes to pickle. This recipe is FANTASTIC! I can't stop eating them, between each crunch mumbling "best pickles ever... crunch". Thanks so much for the recipe! It's a keeper!

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  21. Hi this nice and colorful pickle. use long time, thank you.

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  22. I wasted a lot of cucumbers. i ll try this pickle recipe.

    Bird Cages, Parrot Cages, Briefcase

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  23. Hi This recipe is FANTASTIC! I can't stop eating them, between each crunch mumbling "best pickles ever... crunch". Thanks so much for the recipe! It's a keeper!

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