Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kosher-Style Dills

Developed October, 2014. Kosher style method for pickling cucumbers or green tomatoes. No vinegar is used in the Kosher-style method, and iodide-free salt is necessary. The vegetables are packed in a light brine, about the same saltiness as the ocean, 3.5%). This encourages the growth of wild yeasts and bacteria that form organic acids that, along with the salt, cure and preserve the vegetables.
Brine
1 liter (1 qt) water
50 ml (35 g or 3 T + 1 t) Kosher or pickling salt
Put a 250 ml (1 cup) water into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, dissolve the salt, and stir in the remaining water. Cover and set aside to cool. 
Spice Mixture (close up)
Pickling Spice Mixture
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/2 t celery seeds
1 t brown mustard seeds
1 t coriander seeds
2 t dill weed (or fresh dill seed heads if available)
1/4 t allspice berries
1 t fennel seed
1/2 t black peppercorns
1 t bay leaf, torn into small pieces
4  garlic cloves, peeled
Add the spices, except the garlic, to a small bowl, and rub them together with your fingers to release the essential oils.

Packing the vegetables
Choose sound fruit for pickling. Rinse in several changes of water, and drain. Split cucumbers in half lengthwise for faster curing or keep whole. Green tomatoes should be halved or quartered. Wash and rinse the jars thoroughly and use new lids and bands. To sanitize the jars, use a microwave to boil water in the jars, or dip them in boiling water. Turn upside down to drain on a clean towel. When cool, add 2 to 3 T of spice mixture to the jar, along with the garlic cloves. Pack the jar as full as possible, and cover with brine. All the vegetables must be in the brine or they spoil. Loosely cover, and place into a cool, dark place for the fermentation process to occur. Since jars may overflow, keep them on a paper-lined tray. Inspect daily for bubbling, a sign of fermentation. When fermentation slows, usually after about a week or two, depending on temperature, top up with fresh brine if needed, cap tightly, and refrigerate.

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