Lightly pickled cucumbers. A great snack that involves no cooking and only 2 days in the fridge to season. The flavor variations are endless. I like them because they're quick, taste good, and my daughter taught me how to make them :)
All you need is:
Cucumber spears, I use either 1 English cucumber or about 6 pickling cucs.
2 cups cold water.
1/3 cup white wine vinegar - you can change this to suit your taste, but I wouldn't use balsamic. believe it or not, the cheaper vinegars give me the best pickling flavor.
1 tablespoon salt. Table salt or sea salt. I've never tried pickling salt.
2 teaspoons sugar.
5 whole peppercorns - fresh.
fresh ground pepper (from a grinder is best).
1-2 cloves garlic.
optional flavor additions: fresh dill, jalapeno pepper, onion, habanero pepper, etc.
and a container to put them in. A mason type jar works best, but I usually take the easy route and use a ziplock freezer bag. Don't use a metal container.
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Step 1: Sizing the Cucumbers
If you use pickling cucumbers, which are the best, you'll want to slice them into quarters lengthwise.
For this batch I'm using an English cucumber. That's what they're called here, anyway. I prefer these over regular garden variety cucumbers because they're longer, and they're generally a bit more crisp.
I usually cut the cucumber into thirds.
First, though, cut off the ends. These are typically bitter. You might want to slice a bit off the end you plan to use and taste to make sure you've removed all of the bitterness.
Step 2: Slicing the Cucumbers
And then cut each third into 8 spears.
Half the round, then half that, then half once again
Step 3: The Garlic..
You want to peel your garlic clove before you cut it up.
The easiest way to do this is to cut off the ends and then smack the clove with the flat of your knife blade. A french chef knife works best because there's so much flat area.
The peel will usually fall right off just like in the picture.
Then you want to cut the clove up into about 8 pieces. Personally i use 2 cloves
Step 4: The Liquid..
In a bowl put the water, salt, vinegar, the ground pepper (I use about 10 grinds of the grinder), and the whole peppercorns. The water is cold, but you want to try to dissolve as much of the salt and sugar as you can.
Step 5: Bag It (the Flavor Step)
Put the cucumbers in the bag, or jar, and dump the liquid in.
All that garlic you cut up? Put it in now.
Got some dill? Go ahead and put a sprig in there.
Jalapenos or habaneros? Throw them in. Be careful here, you only want maybe 2 slices. Trust me on this, at least the first time you try it.
More garlic? Green onions? sure.. the choice in this step is all yours.
Step 6: Stick It in the Fridge
This part, for me, is the hardest. Put the whole thing in the fridge for 2 days. If you're using a bag like I do, you want to turn it over every couple hours or so. My biggest problem is that I taste test every time I flip, ha!
2 days is when the flavors have really worked their way into the cucumbers, but they start to taste pickly after leaving them overnight
Okay, this is my first time trying an instructables thing, so I really hope it all makes sense :)