Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Emeril's Homemade Sweet & Spicy Pickles

Yesterday Alyssa and I made Emeril's Sweet & Spicy Pickles. They are a favorite of Alyssa's. They remind her of 'Wickles', a very popular brand, but she thinks these are even better! The recipe calls for 3 lbs of Kirby Cukes and it serves 4 pints. We decided to triple it! (We did each batch separately though). *** NOTE: We don't use the 24 dried cayenne peppers for this. I've heard it's not that hot using them but I don't want to even go there. We put one teaspoon of red pepper flakes into each recipe instead.
It's an easy recipe, just a bit time consuming.

You start by washing and then slicing the cukes.

Add the sugar and water to the bowls
Add the onions and red peppers. The peppers aren't in the recipe but we think it makes the look pretty so we add them!
After soaking for 2 hours, run under water to get rid of the salt water mixture.
Mix up the rest of the ingredients in a pan, then add the cuke mixture. This was the most tedious part. It calls for 10 TABLESPOONS of chopped garlic for each recipe! So I had to peel and chop 30 TABLESPOONS worth. P - U !!!!
Fill the jars, seal and process in a water bath. DONE!!!! Now you have to wait 2 weeks for them to work their magic!

Emeril's Homemade Sweet and Spicy Pickles

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2005

NOTE: When selecting cucumbers for pickling, there are a few things to remember. For crisp pickles, choose ripe, pickling cucumbers, which are shorter and chunkier than regular eating cucumbers, which tend to be longer and smoother. Ripe pickling cucumbers are darker green, firm, and not "bloated." They should have plenty of spiny bumps on the outer surface. Overripe cucumbers make mushy pickles. They tend to have yellow or white streaks or spots and their surfaces are smoother. Choose pickles that have not been coated in wax, as the pickling brine cannot penetrate through the wax. The fresher the cucumbers, the crisper the pickles will be. For best results, try picking your own cucumbers from a local farm or farmers' market.

Prep Time:
40 min
Inactive Prep Time:
338 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
15 min
4 pints
3 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices

2 cups sliced onions

1/2 cup pickling salt

6 cups water

3 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

3 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

4 whole cloves

10 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic

24 dried cayenne peppers

2 teaspoons 100 percent Natural Pickle Crisp, optional

Place cucumbers, onions, pickling salt, and water in a large, non-reactive bowl. Cover and allow cucumbers to soak for 2 hours. Drain the water from the onions and cucumbers through a colander and rinse well for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Combine the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, turmeric, cloves, garlic, and peppers in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add the cucumbers and onions. Bring to a simmer and remove the saucepan from the heat.

Fill each of the hot sterilized pint-size preserving jars with the pickle mixture, dividing them evenly, and enough of the liquid to come within 1/2-inch of the top. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Natural Pickle Crisp to each jar, if desired. With a clean damp towel, wipe the rim and fit with a hot lid. Screw on the metal ring just until the point of resistance is met. Process the jars in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes.

Using tongs, remove the jars, place on a towel, and let cool. Test the seals by allowing the jars to stand at room temperature overnight or until the lids pop. Tighten the rings and store in a cool dry place. Let the pickles age for at least 2 weeks before using.

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