From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Ten years ago, if asked if I put by pickles, my answer was a resounding, "No." Twenty years ago, it was a terse and less polite, "Get real." My response thirty yeas ago is best kept to myself. My failure to get with the program wasn't based on laziness, I've just never cared for preserved pickles. I thought they were salty and limp, and found their color just plain unappetizing. I wasn't a complete snob about them. I did love the brined, unprocessed dills that could occasionally be found in be found in barrels in some markets and delicatessens. I just never took the time to find out how they were made. Shortly after we moved to this area, I began to experiment with refrigerated pickles for certain Thai and Vietnamese dishes, and in the process learned I could make our favorite pickles in much the say way. I first mastered a refrigerator version of bread and butter pickles because my family loved to have them on hamburgers. I worked on garlic dills for several years but couldn't get the flavors right. I was about to give up and admit defeat when I found a recipe by Bobby Flay and decided to try one last time. I'm so glad I did. These are great pickles and they require no special equipment to make. They can be eaten the day after they are made and keep for about two weeks in the refrigerator. My only caution is to make sure you have enough room to store them for that length of time. I hope those of you who are fond of pickles will try these. You won't be sorry. Here's the recipe.
Refrigerator Dill Pickles...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Bobby Flay
1-1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
3/4 teaspoon dill seeds
2 cups hot water
2 pounds kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1) Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and dill seeds in a heatproof bowl. Add hot water and stir until sugar dissolves and liquid is clear. Cool to room temperature.
2) Place cucumbers, garlic and dill in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Pour brine over all and turn to coat cucumbers. Cover them with a plate to weigh them down and keep them covered in brine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, stirring once or twice. Transfer to an airtight container and store for up to two weeks. Yield: 1 quart.