Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I've been obsessed with some of the house pickles at Boston restaurants - particularly Soul Fire and Flat Pattie's - so decided to try my hand at some quick bread and butter pickles with the cucumbers from my mother's garden. There are no canning procedures here - you put stuff in a jar and put it in the fridge. The benefit to that, though, is that the cucumbers don't soften as much as they do when you can properly, so you don't need lime or special tricks to keep them crunchy.

In the past I've usually done kosher pickles, with whole cucumbers. This was a wholly different thing for me. I used a combination of cucumbers and watermelon radishes, sliced on the slicing side of my cheese grater, along with a bunch of fennel and spring onion sliced super-thin in the Cuisinart.

Heap all of the veggies in a bowl with a good bit of salt - sprinkle kosher or pickling salt over everything, and toss with your hands to coat - and let them sit for several hours. Rinse the salt off and fill jars with the veggies.

Meanwhile, heat one part apple cider vinegar and one part sugar with a combination of bay leaves, mustard seeds, allspice, celery seed, coriander seed, and a little bit of chile pepper, until the sugar dissolves. Let cool completely. Dilute with two parts water. Pour over veggies. Close jars. Refrigerate.

They're "bread and butter" pickles because they're sweeter than sours or half-sours - don't ask me the derivation, maybe you eat them in a sandwich with bread and butter. I don't know, man. But they come out tart and just sweet enough, and perfect for sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, etc.

Meatloaf sandwich, pickles

Shown here with a meatloaf sandwich.

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