Sunday, July 5, 2015

Dill Pickle Chips

We make several varieties of pickles and relishes, but my favorite for burgers are dill chips. We've started using the mandoline to slice - I prefer the crinkle cut. I like both the texture and the appearance. I've also used the food processor (also the crinkle cut blade), an old Salad Shooter (that's right, I still have a Salad Shooter) and used a knife to make extra thick slices (perfect for a pickle plate). If you prefer, you could leave cucumbers whole, or slice lengthwise into spears.

These are briny, dilly pickles that pair well with rich foods like cheeses and roasted meats. We grow lots of dill, so I prefer to use the fresh herb. Feel free to substitute dried dillseed. You can also use the brine recipe to make refrigerator pickles. They won't be shelf stable, but they come together fast and offer a crisper texture - just be sure to store in the fridge.

Despite all the rain, we're having a good pickle season.
The raised hills helped keep the roots out of the standing water.

Cucumbers from the same plant ripen at different times. This is a typical haul.

I like using a mandoline to slice. In addition to the crinkle cut I have lots of thickness options.

Place herb and cucumbers in jar and pour hot brine over.
I like adding dill to the top and bottom of the jar.
Allow the finished product to sit for one week before consuming to allow flavors to fully develop.

Dill Pickles
Makes 7 quarts:
5-6 lbs 4-inch pickling cucumbers, sliced or whole
14 heads fresh dill or 1 cup dried dill seed
4 cloves garlic, slightly smashed
3 quarts plus 1 1/2 cups water
4 1/2 cups white vinegar
6 Tbsp pickling salt

Make brine: Combine water, vinegar, salt and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, pack cucumbers loosely into quart jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add dill.

Pour hot brine over cucumbers, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace (steeped garlic cloves can be added to the jars, if you prefer). Wipe rims and adjust two piece lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Let pickles stand one week before opening.

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