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Spicy Dill Pickles
Grace Parisi
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Prep time:
Yield:
1 half-gallon
Servings:
8 to 10

This pickles are the ultimate snack when you're craving something that's tangy and spicy. 

Special kitchen equipment: One half-gallon-sized jar with lid, washed with hot soapy water and well rinsed.

Technique tip: Look for uniformly sized Kirby or pickling cucumbers 3- to 4-inches long. Trim the blossom ends from the cucumbers (opposite of stem end) because they contain enzymes that encourage spoilage. Use filtered water that does not contain chlorine. While spoilage is not super common, it does occur, especially at warm temperature. If your pickles have pink or fuzzy mold, or smell rotten, discard them and start over.

Swap Option: Add more dried red chiles for heat to up the heat factor. 

Ingredients

    • 2 pounds Kirby or pickling cucumbers
    • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon whole yellow mustard seeds
    • 6 dried red chiles
    • 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 10 to 12 dill sprigs, thick stems trimmed
    • 3 bay leaves, preferably Turkish
    • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 6 cups filtered water

Preparation

1. Trim both ends of the cucumbers, then halve them lengthwise.

2. In a small bowl, combine the coriander seeds, mustard seeds and dried chiles. Sprinkle about 1/3 each of the spice mixture, garlic, dill and bay leaves into a clean half-gallon sized jar or crock.

3. Tightly pack half of the cucumbers into the jar. Top with another 1/3 of the spices, garlic, dill and bay leaves. Pack the remaining cucumbers into the jar and top with the remaining spice mixture, garlic, dill and bay leaves.

4. In a pitcher, combine the salt and water and stir until dissolved. Pour into the jar, covering the ingredients, leaving about 1-inch of space at the top to make room for expansion. You may not need all of the brine. If the cucumbers aren’t tightly packed or float to the top, add a glass disc or clean stone to keep the cucumbers fully submerged. Cover loosely and set the jar into a shallow container to catch any liquid. Transfer the pickles to a cool, dark room. 

5. Check the pickles after three days to look for any bubbling activity. If your lid is screwed on tightly, lift the lid (to “burp” it) everyday to release any excess pressure. The pickles are done when the liquid is a little cloudy and the cucumbers are characteristically tangy, this may take up to one week.

6. Store finished pickles in the fridge.