Monday, September 12, 2011

speaking of pickles

spicy polish dill pickles

after amy's post about pickled peppers on friday, i've been thinking i'd share with you some of my favorite pickle recipes.  let me just start by saying that i love pickles.  seriously love.  give me a jar of sour pickles and i'm set.  in my few years of making pickles, i've mostly stuck with cucumbers, with a slight [and delicious] foray into dilly green beans last year.

my stand-by recipe is for spicy polish dill pickles.  these are the perfect sour dill pickles with the added bonus of a nice spicy kick.  i discovered this recipe a couple of years ago and have adapted it a bit.

spicy polish dills
[adapted from that's my home]

3 1/2 lbs small to medium cucumbers, sliced in quarters [the long way] will make approximately 5 pint jars.  i prefer wide mouth for pickles so the jars are easy to pack.

while you are sterilizing your jars, make the brine.  for 3 1/2 lbs cucumbers, heat up 3 cups water, 1 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup canning/pickling salt.  heat until just before boiling [so it's bubbling around the edges]

once the jars are sterilized, pack each jar with:
1 grape leaf [this is key to keeping your pickles crunchy]
1 fresh dill head
1 whole jalapeno pepper
1 whole garlic clove
1/4-1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
cucumber slices

pour hot brine over packed jars, leaving 1/2" headspace at the top of the jars.  put on lids and bands and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

refrigerator pickles 
since i had so many cucumbers this year, [after making 3 batches of these pickles] i wanted to try something new.  last week, i made 2 new pickle recipes.  the first was these quick refrigerator pickles.  i'd always avoided refrigerator pickles, thinking they wouldn't be sour enough for me.  i put these together on friday [almost 36 hours ago] and tried one today.  while not as sour as i prefer, they are quite tasty, and definitely not sweet.  i think they'll only get better with time.  [side note: that jar in the top is the only thing i could find to weigh down the cucumbers that would fit within the opening of this half gallon jar.  looks weird, but it works!]

kosher dill pickles 
the third batch of pickles i'm currently experimenting with this year are these kosher dills.  i started these on friday evening as well and haven't tried any yet.  i'm going to put them in the fridge tonight and see how they progress.

so, any other favorite pickle recipes out there we should be trying?


  1. This is a general comment: I love your blog, it's beautiful, simple, refreshing, elegant and useful, not to mention the tastiness it implies! I've added it to my new blog roll!

  2. i love dill pickles too. i make refrigerator ones, and my vinegar to water ratio is 50:50. i prefer refrigerator ones because i think they are crisper, but i haven't tried the grape leaf trick. my recipe (adapted from food in jars) is here:

  3. My grandmother has a 12 week pickle recipe she used to make. I remember big crocs of cukes soaking in vinegar all summer. I haven't gotten the guts to try it yet, but until then, I'll continue to make refrigerator pickles too!