It's no secret I like canning and preserving, so when I found a recipe for Hot & Spicy Garlic Pickles in this month's Better Homes and Gardens (yeah, I know), I was way too excited. Unfortch they need to sit for a week before I can see how they turned out, but I'm going to share the recipe with you anyway because they look and smell delicious already. I'm not going to get into canning instructions, so if you are new to it, the National Center for Home Food Preservation has some great information on the process.
Hot Garlic Pickles
from Better Homes and Gardens, July 2010
3 to 3 1/4 lbs small pickling cucumbers
4 cups water
4 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup pickling salt
6 tbsp dill seeds
chili peppers (1 per jar)
garlic (1 to 2 cloves per jar, halved)
Some notes before we begin:
-Pickling (canning) salt is the same thing as kosher salt - free of iodine and anti-clumping agents, but a much finer grain, so you can't pack kosher salt as tightly when you measure it. I couldn't find it anywhere, so I found a couple sources that suggested putting the kosher salt in a food processor for a couple seconds to get it a bit finer and then measure it, and that totally worked!
-I found pickling cucumbers at Ralph's only because the farmer's market was yesterday and I slept through it (my dude had a late show the night before, so it's forgivable!). Not as cheap as regular old cucumbers, but they make for crunchier pickles, which you definitely want.
-The recipe I have calls for cayenne peppers, but of course the grocery stores I went to had none. I went with red Fresno peppers, which are really similar to jalapeños. I used pint jars instead of quart jars, so I figured the less intense heat was better for a smaller jar.
-I bought a canning kit last year at Target for $7 and it has saved me SO much time and trouble, so I highly suggest picking one up at Target, Walmart or ordering from Amazon to spare yourself boiling water incidents. I also saw a canner at Walmart for $18, but unfortunately I am still unemployed which means I have to stick to my stock pot and tongs method for a while longer, saaaaad. But moving on!
First things first, gather your main players.
I like to do everything assembly line style, but I also like to pretend I'm on the food network, so whatevs.
While you are preparing and sterilizing your jars, rinse the cucumbers & peppers and peel & halve the garlic cloves. Cut off a thin slice from the end of each cucumber and slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices. In a large nonreactive pot, combine water, vinegar, sugar, and pickling salt, and bring to a boil.
Pack cucumbers loosely into hot pint canning jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1 to 2 peppers, 1 to 2 garlic cloves (halved) and 1 tbsp dill seeds to each jar. Pour hot vinegar mixture into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Discard any remaining vinegar mixture (I had none!). Wipe jar rims and top with lids.
Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes - start the timer when the water returns to a boil. The water should cover the jars by at least 1" and the water should be a rolling boil. Remove cans from water bath and let stand for 1 week.
But seriously, how good do those look???