Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kosher Dill Pickles

I was shopping at Carrollton Plaza on Saturday and came across some Persian Cucumbers.  I've never seen this variety before.  They are similar to English Cucumbers, but smaller like a pickling Cucumber.  I've had a request recently to make some Kosher Dill Pickles, so why not try it with these Persian Cucumbers.
The Persian Cucumbers are very uniform, and about 5 inches long.  I have a container that is perfect for them.  I also added some regular Pickling Cucumbers to make up the extra space at the top of the container.  I'm using a one quart ziploc container filled with water to hold the Cucumbers down in the brine.  I started this process by making three quarts of five percent salinity Brine with Sea Salt, and Vitalized Water.
Then I let the Brine cool down to room temperature.  We don't want to cook these beautiful Persian Cucumbers at all.  Kosher refers to a particular style of Pickle which is cured with Garlic, and Dill, and not necessarily Kosher in the Rabbinic Traditions.  It is very popular in Deli cuisine, and is rumored to have originated in New York.  I love getting a big Ruben sandwich with Kosher Dill Pickles on the side.
We need to soak the Cucumbers in fresh water for a while to loosen any dirt that may be on them.  Then rub the outside of each Cucumber to remove the dirt.  I'll trim the Stem, and Blossom ends of the Cucumbers to hasten the osmosis process.  The cells of the Cucumber will work to balance the salinity of the Brine with their own internal salinity.  This draws the flavoring into the cells of the Cucumbers.
Garlic is the major flavoring that we are concerned with, and I am going to use a whole head of Garlic for this batch of Pickles.  Garlic has anti-biotic properties, and is part of what makes these Pickles Kosher.  The other part that makes these pickles Kosher is Salt.  The Brine kills harmful bacteria.
Dill is the second flavoring we are concerned with.  I'm going to start filling the Pickling Vessel with a big bunch of Dill, which also has anti-biotic properties.  So it not only tastes good, its also good for you.  I'm also going to throw in a handful of Pickling Spice to give it that familiar Pickle flavor.  I'm also going to throw in a couple whole Cayenne Chiles, to give them a little heat.
Then I'll start stacking in the Cucumbers, alternating directions, and adding crushed cloves of Garlic as I go.  These will sit on the kitchen counter for around a week, until the brine "sizzles".  What I mean by sizzle is the brine will release a significant amount of Carbon Dioxide bubbles when agitated.  This is how you know the Lactobacillus Culture is highly active, making the Lactic Acid that makes the Pickles sour.  After the brine reaches the "sizzling" state then the Pickles can be refrigerated for the curing stage where the Lactobacillus goes dormant, the flavors meld, and mellow, and the Pickles reach the state of Umami, or ultra-nomlishousness...

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