I love spicy foods. Not the tear your head off, how hot can you make it sort of spicy, but a good solid heat. I also love the balance of sweet and spicy, which is why I find these pickles to be positively addictive. I often have a jar of them open when I’m cooking, and just snack on one occasionally. They’re also fabulous on pulled pork.
The first step is to slice all of your cucumbers and onions and put them with water and pickling salt in a large, nonreactive bowl for 2 hours. This draws moisture out of the cucumber so it will result in a crisper pickle. Oh, and the reason you’re seeing such huge quantities is that I’m making a quadruple-sized batch for Christmas gifts. Normally a simple stockpot or lage bowl would suffice.
After 2 hours, rinse the cucumbers and onions thoroughly, then drain them and set them aside. Now, it’s time to make the brine. First, take the garlic, red peppers, and habaneros, and puree them in a food processor. I like doing this because it makes sure the heat is very finely distributed among all the pickles. You could also chop everything very fine, but I prefer to avoid direct chopping of habaneros if at all possible. Add the vinegars, tumeric, sugar, mustard seed, cloves, and pepper/garlic puree to a large stockpot, and bring to a boil.
Read the rest of this entry »