Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spicy N' Sweet Refrigerator Pickles

Summertime produce is in full force here in Southern Maryland and that means one thing: pickles! I am completely fascinated by the canning/pickling process but I will be honest, I find it quite overwhelming as a novice pickler. So, I decided to use my influx of garden fresh cukes to make an easier pickle recipe. I first tried "refrigerator pickles" when I was about seven years old and I fell in love. They are so sweet and tangy; to me, they just taste like summer! As I have grown up, I've developed a liking for a more spicy style pickle so made my own recipe but added a little kick via some crushed red chili pepper flakes. This recipe is super simple and the pickles should last up to three months in the fridge (that is if you can resist the urge to eat them all in one sitting). 


3-4 medium sized cucumbers
1/2 of a sweet vidalia onion
1/4 of a red onion 
1 cup of white distilled vinegar
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup of white granulated sugar
2 tbsp of fine sea salt
1 tsp of ground turmeric
2 tsp of mustard seeds 
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of red chili flakes (or more! or none!) 


1. Begin by peeling the onion and slicing into thin strips (either rings or half-moons). 

2. Wash cucumbers and peel if you want (I like the skin so I kept it on). 

3. Slice the cucumbers thinly. Use a mandolin if you have one to prevent painstaking slicing with a knife. I used a cheap cheese grater and lost a knuckle in the process. I will be purchasing a mandolin very soon! The thinner, the better for these pickles.

4. Place the cucumbers in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for approximately an hour. Once the excess water has drained out of them, transfer them into smaller, sealable containers and mix with onion.
5. In a small mixing bowl, combine vinegars, sugar and various spices. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved into the mix. 

6. Pour over the cucumbers and onions. Don't fret if they don't cover them completely, just ensure that you stir them every now and then for the first few hours. 

7. Place in the fridge and enjoy! They get better with age so the longer you can wait the better. I lasted a whopping 2 hours! 

Hopefully my next pickle recipe will be the the real, true canned dill pickles. Until that courage develops, fridge pickles it is!

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