January 4, 2011

Spicy Cilantro Mint Refrigerator Pickles!

I always try to hand make something for Christmas gifts, which usually involves sewing or paper crafts, but this year I wanted to try food. First experiment was mustard, which I did not like. It's very easy to make, but the 2 recipes I made tasted un-eatably strong and weird. I probably should have known better since my favorite mustard is French's Yellow!

Pickles sounded easier and more up my alley. After some internet research, I came up with the following recipe which makes these awesome, tangy/spicy pickles! They came out better than I ever dreamed and have gotten rave reviews!

Spicy Cilantro Mint Pickles

1 cup white wine vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)
3 teas. kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 teas. fresh lime juice
(I have also experimented with reducing the sugar and adding more lime juice with tasty results!)

(Amounts below are for one 17 oz. Quattro Stagioni Jar from the Container Store)

Pinch of mustard seeds
3 whole fresh garlic cloves
3-4 sprigs mint
3-4 sprigs cilantro
1/2 chili pepper seeded and sliced into strips (more if you want!)
1 carrot, sliced into discs and blanched in boiling water for 1-2 minutes (softens them up a bit)
2-4 pickling cucumbers sliced into discs

Begin by sterilizing your jar(s) in boiling water and set aside to dry and cool. Next prep all your veggies and ingredients. Fill the jars with the cukes, carrots, herbs, garlic, chili pepper and seeds - alternating layers and packing everything tight. (I prefer not to chop the herbs, but it's up to you)

Once your jars are packed to the rims, mix the brine in a small saucepan, using the least amount of heat required to dissolve the sugar and salt. (On a hot day, you may not need to heat it at all) Once everything is dissolved, let cool for a few minutes and pour into your jar(s). It's hard to say how much brine you will need, it will depend on your jar size and how tightly everything is packed. Just make more brine batches as you need.

Store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving, I usually shake them and turn them upside down a few times during the first day. There are differing opinions about how long refrigerator pickles last, but you'll probably eat them up before you need to worry about it.

Recipe Based on:
Homemade Refrigerator Pickles at Allrecipes
Food in Jars: Asian Inspired Refrigerator Pickles

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