1 (one) 24-oz. jar Claussen® Spears or
1 (one) 32-oz. jar Claussen® Halves
For top quality, use only Claussen pickles, found in the
Note that the flavor in the Spears matures more quickly than
the flavor in the Halves.
Do not use any other brand unless
they are uncooked and refrigerated. Cooked pickles are limp and
soggy. Uncooked pickles (like Claussen) are firm and crunchy.
If you know of any other uncooked refrigerated brands,
I'd like to hear about them.
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 go straight for 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 amongst
the plump green dills.)
- Drain and discard 1 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.)
- Shake for 5 seconds every 24 hours.
- Taste becomes fuller with each passing day.
Too much or too little?
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.
Make sure that you have tried the taste of pure, raw garlic at least once
so that you know what it tastes like this is how the pickles should
not taste. Pure, raw garlic burns your tongue in a different way than
hot peppers do, and it's not a very pleasant experience.
There is something about a proper balance between the hotness level of
the peppers and the amount of garlic, and there seems to be some kind of
chemical reaction between the two which produces the right flavor when well
balanced. 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
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