Uber Garlic Pickles

Uber Garlic Pickles

1 24oz jar of Claussen spears or halves dill pickles
   (must use Claussen or other fresh refrigerated pickles, not cooked)
2-3 Habenero peppers, sliced
   (Omit these for a milder pickle)
3-4 Serrano peppers, sliced
   (Omit these and the Habeneros if you're a real wimp)
2-3 Jalapeño peppers, sliced
   (Omit these and use the Serranos and/or Habeneros if you're a serious conniseur of hot foods.)
12 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
That's not 1-2, as in 1-to-2, that's twelve cloves — or between half and a whole head of garlic. You'll have to decide what number is right for you, and this might require a little trial and error as the size of garlic cloves varies by as much as 10x from smallest to largest. Generally, you want about 1 medium-sized clove for every 2 ounces of volume the jar holds.
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
   (Optional; doesn't really add any additional flavor or hotness; just there to scare people when they see them floating in the jar)

Day one:
Drain and discard 2 oz. picklewater from jar.
Remove pickles from jar, cut into 3/4" slices, and return pickles to jar.
Add garlic and peppers to jar.
Cover jar (close lid tightly) and shake vigorously for 2 minutes.
Scrub hands thoroughly.
Scrub hands thoroughly, again. (Seriously. Hot pepper oils are nasty.)

Subsequent days:
Shake for 5 seconds every 24 hours.
Taste becomes fuller with each passing day.

Unless you adore the taste of pure, raw garlic, it is possible to go overboard on the garlic you add. The first thing you should taste when you bite in is the hot peppers and the dill, with the garlic coming later as your mouth fills with its aroma. The aftertaste should be a warm, buttery sensation that lasts for half a minute or so, with a secondary aftertaste lasting 15 minutes or more, sometimes an hour or two. Too much garlic and it tastes like raw garlic. Not enough garlic and they just taste like regular hot pickles. If you get the warm, buttery flavor without the raw garlic taste, then you know you've done it just right!


Dan Delcollo

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