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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spicy Dill Pickle Medallions

About a week before the move, my hunnie and I scored an insane deal on cucumbers at the local Mexican market: 9 for 99 cents.  Having a hunnie that loves pickles and all things salty, it didn't take much coaxing to convince me it was time to take the plunge and make my own pickles.  I'd been mulling over the idea for a while, and after several pickling discussions with our friends (and some tips from a few blogs) I had a pretty clear idea on how to make them.  So in the midst of packing that afternoon, my hunnie unexpectedly became my assistant in the pickling endeavor in the tiny kitchen of our 3rd floor apartment.  Three weeks later, my hunnie's closest friends were in town from "up North", giving us the appropriate celebratory moment to crack open our pickles and taste the results.  Bottom line--they were delicious, and really tasted like pickles.  The honey added a nice bit of sweetness to it.  I personally wish they had more of a kick, but the spice is just right for our "Northern" friends. 

Spicy Dill Pickle Medallions
6 large cucumbers
1 jalapeno pepper
1 yellow hot pepper
6 cloves garlic
3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups filtered water
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey
1-2 tablespoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
6 dill sprigs

Firstly, I suggest following the USDA's recommendations/methods for food canning.  Thoroughly wash all cucumbers, peppers and herbs.  Slice the cucumbers into medallions, throwing away the ends.  Slice peppers lengthwise into quarters, removing all seeds.  Peel garlic cloves.  In a large nonreactive pan, bring to boil vinegar, water, and salt.  Add tablespoon honey.  Stir and let boil for another 7-10 minutes.  Wash jar and lid with hot, soapy water.  Sanitize jar and lid either by boiling or washing in the dishwasher.  (It is also recommended to use a new lid every time you can).  While jar is still hot, carefully pour peppercorns and mustard seed in.  Begin filling the jar with cucumbers.  At 1/4 of the way full, add the dill and garlic.  Then add the remaining cucumbers.  Turn off boiling brine mixture, and after a minute of letting it rest, carefully pour into jar over cucumbers.  Leave between 1/2 inch and 1 inch of headspace in jar.  Use the handle of a sanitized wooden spoon to circulate the inside wall of the jar, in order to release air bubbles.  Place heated lid on jar and tighten.  Immediately refrigerate in order to create a tight seal.  Let rest for 3 weeks minimum.  Consume pickles within one month of opening jar.  Yields two 1-quart jars.            Pin It

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm! I haven't done any canning before, but this looks like I would LOVE it! :) Maybe I should start.... :)