Saturday, February 17, 2007

AteThat: Pickles

2 x 17&1/2oz jars
3/4 oz/ 20g fresh dill, stalks removed, broken into sprigs
1lb/450g cucumbers
4 shallots
1pint/570ml good quality with wine vinegar
1 heaped tsp coriander seeds
1 heaped tsp black peppercorns
1oz/25g sea salt

Cut the cucumbers in quarters lengthways, then into 1 inch chunks. Peel the shallots and slice in half through the root, then into three. Place the cucumbers and shallots in layers in a non-metallic colander, sprinkling salt between the layers, making sure they are evenly coated. Place a plate over them with something heavy on top to press out the moisture and leave that way overnight. Put a dish under the colander to catch the drips.
Next day, rinse the veggies under cold running water and spread them out on a cloth to dry. Leave for about an hour. After that pack into hot sterilized jars. Place the vinegar and spices in a pot and bring to a boil, simmer for about 30 seconds then pour the whole lot over the veggies covering them completely. Swivel the jars to express the trapped air, and push the veggies down under the liquid before placing a wax disc on top. Seal tightly with a vinegar proof lid and allow to mellow for 3 months.

As an American living in the UK I miss American pickles more then you could imagine. They just are not the same out here, not even close. I hope these work out. I’m trying them with variations too, like garlic pickles, spicy hot pickles. I won’t know if it’s working until May, so wish me luck, and I’ll post the answer when I finally get to taste them.

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