29 June, 2010

Iced Pickle Chips

Check it out: the first batch of cucumbers are in from the garden.  We grow Kirby (pickling) cukes and we harvest them somewhat on the small side.  The seeds are tiny, the skin is still thin but has a good snap to it, and they're the perfect size for making our bread-and-butter pickles.

We also enjoy them fresh, cut into spears or sliced into salads.  But when the weather is really hot and oppressive like it's been the past few days, we also make an easy and refreshing snack we call "Iced Pickle Chips" (though they really aren't pickled per se.)

Iced Pickle Chips

4 or 5 cucumbers
Kosher or Pickling salt
1 tray of ice cubes

Slice the cucumbers thinly - about 1/8-inch is good - and place them in a bowl.  Sprinkle them liberally with salt and don't be afraid to have a heavy hand with it because most of the salt will be drained off later anyway.  Cover the cucumber slices with an ice cube tray's worth of crushed ice and toss everything well to combine.

Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow to stand for an hour or two.  When ready to serve, drain off the water and ice and bring them to the table on a small salad plate  or in another bowl.  Keeping the cukes on "salted ice" for a couple of hours develops an amazing crispness because of the colder-than-freezing temperature acheived by salt and ice mixed together.  And just enough of the salt stays behind when the ice and water is drained off to season the cukes without making them too salty.
Salting and icing cucumber slices is the first step in making bread-and-butter pickles.  We simply adapted that step into a snack in its own right.


1 comment:

BarbieIQue said...

We use a similar process to make "Chilled Onions". Cut a large onion (Vidalia or Texas Sweet) into thick slices, separate into individual rings and make one break in each ring. In a bowl, combine equal parts vinegar and water. Place the onion rings in the brine and salt to taste. Before serving, add a gracious handful of ice cubes to the bowl.
They're a deliciously cool snack/side dish on hot summer days.