July 8, 2010

Fresh Kosher Dills are a snap!

Hello food lovers!

The first Cucumbers
of the summer are a welcome arrival in my Indiana garden. I coax the Dill Weed to hold on until the first cycle of cukes is ready to be picked. Then, one of the first pickles that I make are these tasty Fresh Kosher Dills!
This simple recipe is like the old open barrel pickles that were featured in vintage delicatessens. My Mother made these pickles every summer for family and friends in Chicago. It is a taste that brings back fond memories of working in the kitchen with my Mother.

INGREDIENTS (for 1 quart jar):
6 small pickling cucumbers (washed)
2 cloves of garlic
1 branch of fresh dill
2 level Tablespoons of pickling salt
1 Tablespoon of pickling spices
1 hot red pepper (I typically use a fresh cayenne from the garden)

Pack cucumbers in the quart jar, alternating with the other ingredients (should fit snugly.)
Fill jar with cold water up to the brim.
Screw down lid just tight enough that it seals the jar.
Turn jar upside down on a pie plate or in a bowl.

Let it stand until the juices begin to seep. (When fermentation begins, the pressure will force the brine out of the jar. This could take up to 2 days.)
When you notice that the brine is seeping, turn the jar right side up and let it sit until the cucumbers turn a nice dark green and the brine gets cloudy. (This could take up to 6 days.)
Then, gently unscrew the lid (it will fizz as gas is released). Taste. Put the lid back on, refrigerate and enjoy! The pickles will continue to develop deeper flavor in the refrigerator. Since 'time' is a variable in this recipe, you can increase or decrease the fermentation time according to your tastes. Experiment!
Your pickles should last up to a month if kept chilled.... but you will probably have eaten them by then!

Wishing you good digestion!

Chef Alan

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