Friday, July 26, 2013

No-Cook Pickle time

My mother-in-law sent me a stack of recipes a few years ago, No-Cook Pickles being among them. This is one of those recipes that is so easy it’s downright stupid not to make it and yet I haven’t. Until today, that is. So easy and so yummy and I’m afraid to say it, but very, very addictive.

The original recipe calls for 2 Cups of sugar, but I cut that back to 1½ cups with no ill effects.  The recipe also doesn’t say what type of vinegar so I used apple cider vinegar. My mother-in-law is a thrifty woman, so I’m betting that if she had only white vinegar she used it, and you could do the same, though it would probably have a little more bite. Finally, the recipe called for one bell pepper. I have a garden full of other types of peppers and used Banana Peppers in the end because I had the most of these ripe. Even the hot banana peppers would be good here. Heck, I may have to try this with some of my hot, hot, hot peppers in the near future!

I would recommend tasting the liquid with a slice of the cucumber before you put these in jars to decide whether the tart to sweet ratio is right. If you taste just the liquid you will want to tweak the mixture, but you won’t have as realistic a picture of the balance without that cucumber in there.

Note : the pictures reflect a double batch because, dang, we've got a lot of cucumbers growing this year!

Jean Solomon’s No-Cook Pickles
Makes approx. 3 pints

1½ C Sugar
1C apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Celery seed
1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
9 Medium Cucumbers
1 Medium Onion
1 Sweet pepper (Bell, banana, wax, Hungarian)

Mix together the sugar and vinegar. Do Not Heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, add the celery seed and salt; set aside.

Slice cucumbers very thin. (Her recipe says paper thin, I went more like 1/8 of an inch as that worked best with my mandolin.)

Put the sliced cucumbers into a big bowl.

Thinly slice the onion and pepper. Gently mix into the cucumbers until the onions and peppers are spread throughout.

Pour the vinegar/sugar mixture over the cucumber mixture and toss gently.

With tongs, fish out the cucumber mixture and put into clean jars or plastic containers. Leave about ¼ inch at the top of the jar.

Pour the vinegar mixture into the jars. (Use a ladle if your pouring vessel/pouring skills aren't that good.) You can use the end of a wooden spoon to kind of stir the pickles so there aren’t a lot of air bubbles. It’s not as important with these since you won’t be putting them into a water bath, but you do want the pickling solution to get all over your cucumbers!

Wipe the top of the jar with a wet cloth and screw on a lid. Or wipe the top of your plastic container & put on the lid.

That’s it! Now, remember, these have not been canned, so they need to go into the refrigerator but they will be good for a long time. Jean says until used up; in this house that isn’t very long!

Try to give them a day or two to get the flavor really going.

If you figure one serving is 1/8 of a pint jar, then this is the nutritional breakdown, via SparkPeople’s Recipe Generator.
Calories : 46; Total Fat 0g; Sodium, 9mg; Potassium 11.8mg; Total Carbohydrate 11.6g; Dietary Fiber 0.1g; Sugars 11.1g; Protein 0.1g
So you can have your pickles and eat them, too!

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