Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Evolution of a Dill Pickle

Well, not the entire evolution. Fast forward from the cucumber growing on the plant, getting picked and getting "pickled." This is "life after dill pickling." We haven't made these pickles in a while, and I don't know why, because they are SO good. There are commercial "Hot-Sweet" pickles on the shelf at the market, but these are so good and so easy to make. And economical, too.
Start out with a gallon jar of whole dill pickles. Drain and cut up the pickles in pretty good-sized chunks. The thicker the slice, the crunchier they'll be later. Once you cut up all the pickles, start adding them back to the gallon jar and layer in approximately 3 lbs. of white sugar. (The recipe I have calls for 5--but that's really too much. Be my guest if you want to experiment.) Also add 5 large, peeled garlic cloves, more if they're smaller. And the original recipe calls for one small bottle of Tabasco sauce, but Don doesn't like Tabasco, so I use a few good squirts of Sriracha sauce. This is the hot sauce you find at your favorite Chinese restaurant--it's in the Asian section of any store.
So that's all layered together in the gallon pickle jar. Make sure the lid is on TIGHT. I actually like the plastic jars as they have a better seal. Why? Here's why:
Place the jar somewhere out of the way, not too cold, not too hot, and place a tray or pie plate under it. Because every day for one month, you're going to turn the jar once. Monday-right side up. Tuesday, upside down. Etc.
The pickles evolve from your everday dill pickles, into these awesomely crunchy hot sweet yummy snack pickles! They make standing around eating just pickle chunks stylish. Okay, whatever.
After the month is up, place the jar in the fridge to add extra crispiness. And oh yeah, start the next batch immediately, because these will be gone in no time!

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