Friday, January 1, 2016

Zippy Quick B & B Pickles

Happy new year everyone! While I'm sure some of you are still recovering from the festivities last night (I didn't even party and I slept for 10 hours!), the new year is a time for opportunity and new experiences. What better way to embrace the first week of the year than with a brand-new project?

Pickles are definitely one of my favourite things in the world - ever since I was old enough to sit up in a high chair, you'd find me "gumming" on a big ol' kosher dill when my family went to one of the local pubs. I'm definitely on the side of the "sour" or "spicy" pickled goods though - you won't find me loading up a cocktail plate with the syrupy-sweet classic bread and butters when there's tons of sour pickled cocktail onions and gherkins to choose from! That said, a good portion of the family adore the sweet "chips", so back when our garden was overflowing with cucumbers I knew I would make them a little something special to top their burgers through the Summer. The first batch was more successful than I ever imagined - jars kept coming back to me with little notes asking for more, and I've been making them almost constantly since. My secret is taking the classic "sweet" pickle a little over to the "savoury" and even "exotic" side - onions, mustard seed, Tellicherry pepper and even a pinch of Sichuan peppercorns make them addictively unique and definitely worthy of even the most high-end sandwich.

Pickles and caramel. .. what a weird morning in the kitchen! #cooking #foodie #vegan #food #foodinjars

Thankfully, the whole process is dead-simple, not to mention fast... to get into the jars. However, I implore you - wait that week before cracking into them. Trust me. That pickling time in the fridge is crucial - otherwise you're just eating damp cucumbers, and who wants that? Plus, being pickles, they last (almost) forever in the fridge, so even if you're not constantly pickling, you can have a nibble or three of preserved Summer anytime you like!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Zippy Quick B & B Pickles
Makes ~3 pints, 24 servings
1 ¾ lbs fresh cucumbers, cut into ¼” slices
2 tbsp minced dried onions
2 tbsp coarse sea salt
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp celery seed
½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns (optional but recommended)
¾ tsp whole black peppercorns
1 cup cider vinegar
⅓ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

Per pint jar:
¼ tsp Ball® Pickle Crisp® Granules (I don't know of another brand of calcium chloride, but if you have one you like use it)
  1. Pack cucumber slices into jars, set aside.
  2. Bring remaining ingredients, except Pickle Crisp®, to a boil.
  3. Pour brine over cucumbers in the jars, add Pickle Crisp® and screw on lids.
  4. Store in the fridge at least 1 week before enjoying.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 12.3
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 49.1 mg
Total Carbs: 3.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 0.2 g

*NI includes average absorption of salt and sugar but no additional whole spices