Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fire 'n Ice Pickles

Not a pickling recipe, but a fun way to dress up some plain dill pickles with some sweet and spicy flavor. Super easy and if you prefer them on the milder side simply eliminate the jalapeno and red pepper flakes.

Fire 'n Ice Pickles

Fire and Ice Pickles are not a true pickling recipe, so no scoffing at me okay y'all? It's just a yummy way to dress up a jar of plain ole, cheapo, boring sour dills into a pickle that has fire and ice flavor, with a combination we southerners seem to be endeared to - sweet and spicy. We have a tendency to turn a sour thing into somethin' sweet down here, don't y'all know? Yes, that can also mean personalities. It's kinda hard to frown when you get around these thick accents we have.

Seriously, Fire 'n Ice pickles kinda sorta remind me of those Alabama Wickles pickles that I have gotten addicted fallen in love with here lately, only much more accessible if you don't happen to live in the state of Alabama, and certainly much cheaper less expensive. And, get this ... the Fire 'n Ice Pickles aren't difficult at all to do - it just takes a couple of days to transform them from sour to sassy. These are perfect for simple snackin' or to put on your favorite burger, sandwich or in salads.  At least now I have something to fill in with in between my Wickles Pickles fixes.

Start off with a large jar of plain, whole dill pickles, the big one that is around 46 ounces, and then slice the pickles about 1/4 to 1/2 inch or so, depending on how you like them.  You can use the pre-sliced pickles too of course, but go for the thicker sliced ones instead of the thin chips. Do not, however, get the kosher dills. While some brands may work, generally speaking kosher dills don't react well to this process and will often turn into a shriveled mess. I once tried the large jar of Great Value dill pickles and they reacted the same way even though they were not marked kosher, so just a caution there. I actually like to do two large jars when I do these. I used Vlasic brand here.

You can mix everything together right away, but I prefer to layer all of the ingredients for the first soak. That way, as the sugar begins to draw out the juices from the pickles, all of the seasonings slowly infuse into the pickles, instead of everything sinking to the bottom.  Use a large glass bowl, container or jar - I use an old sun tea gallon jar for mine. Divide the sliced pickles into 4 equal parts.  The first layer will be 1/4 of the sliced pickles (not 1/4 cup, 1/4 of the total pickles you have). Top that with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 garlic clove that is either chopped or very thinly sliced, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped pickled jalapeno and, if you like, add 1/2 teaspoon of a pickling spice blend.

Repeat all of the layers, top off with the remaining sugar, then seal the jar and leave it on the counter for an hour or until the sugars have broken down and liquified.  Stir well, cover and leave out several hours or overnight. Give the pickles another good stir, stick them in the refrigerator, and except for a stir every once in awhile, ignore them for a couple of days.

After that you'll have a super delicious, crunchy, spicy, garlicky, sweet dill pickle. Crazy huh?

You can of course use more or less garlic, jalapenos, and red pepper flakes, according to your own taste.

Recipe: Fire 'n Ice Pickles

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Inactive time: 3 hours to overnight

  • 1 large (46 ounce) jar whole sour dill pickles, about 6 cups sliced (not kosher dill)
  • 2-1/2 cups of granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or thinly sliced and divided
  • 2 teaspoons of pickled jalapeno, chopped, or to taste, can also substitute fresh jalapeno peppers if desired
  • 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of pickling spice, divided, optional (recipe below)

Drain the pickles and discard juice but reserve the jar. Slice the pickles into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and divide into four equal parts. 

Begin layering into a larger jar, bowl or container, starting with one-fourth of the pickles - in my case it was roughly a 1-1/2 cup measure of pickles per layer. Top the pickles with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 clove of garlic sliced or chopped, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped jalapeno, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pickling spice, if using, dropping a clove in between the layers. Continue repeating the layers, pouring all of the remaining sugar on top.

Cover jar and store on the counter for about an hour, or until the sugar begins to liquify.  Stir or simply shake to mix the pickles well, and pull any undissolved sugar up from the bottom.  Cover and leave on the counter for several more hours, or overnight. Stir and refrigerate 1 to 2 additional days. If desired, transfer the pickles with their juices back into the original or other smaller jars and store in the refrigerator. Avoid consuming the whole pickling spices.

Use for snacking, in sandwiches and burgers, in potato and pasta salads, or wherever you would usually eat pickles!

Cook's Note: To keep these on the mild site, simply eliminate the jalapeno and red pepper flakes. Use a large jar (around 46 ounces) of plain, whole, sour dill pickles and slice them 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick for best results. Don't use kosher dills. They don't react well to this process and just turn into a shriveled mess. Be cautious about generics. I used the large jar of Great Value dill pickles and they shriveled on me even though they were not marked kosher. Though I have not personally used it, and since this is not a canning recipe, I am told by those who have made the substitute, that it is okay to substitute generic sucralose or Splenda for the sugar.

Homemade Pickling Spice
From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
  • 1 tablespoon of whole mustard seed
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves, optional
  • 1 small bay leaf, crushed
Combine ingredients. Use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of mixture per layer.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on June 10, 2010
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