Using The Pickle Brine
When the last pickle has been enjoyed, don’t think you’re left with an empty jar! The brine (a.k.a. pickle juice) can create an entire second jar of delights, or be added to another kind of dish.
Save that brine!
- Refill. When you finish with the original contents, add more: more green beans, more beets (use canned if you don’t want to go through the travail of peeling and cooking fresh beets), or try carrot sticks, broccoli and cauliflower florets, bell pepper strips, roasted peppers—pickle anything you please (we even pickled pear spears). Refrigerate for four days and you’ll have more delicious pickled vegetables. Sliced onions turn into pickled onions that enliven sandwiches and burgers.
- Marinate. You can use most brines to marinate fish, poultry, vegetables or tofu. Add a little olive oil and chopped fresh herbs if you like. We marinated boneless chicken breasts in pure Rick’s Picks Spears Of Influence brine as an experiment. As the raw chicken bathed in cumin-lime vinegar with dill flowers, whole red chiles and garlic cloves, peppercorns and pickling spices, including large chunks of clove, we wondered if it the straight vinegar and water brine would be too much of a jolt. Nope—it was pure heaven. We didn’t even want a shake of salt.
- Barbecue. Most any barbecue sauce is improved with some brine—it adds tanginess and, in the case of Rick’s brine, dimensions of flavor.
- Cook. Mix brine in with the mayo for potato salad and cole slaw—it adds flavor and lowers the calories. Add to gazpacho: a in food processor, purée tomatoes, onions, green pepper, cucumbers and/or zucchini. Thin with a little tomato juice and add the spicy brine. Here’s a recipe for Macaroni And Cheese from ILovePickles.org: Blend 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup heated pickled pepper juice [brine] and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard; pour over 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni in casserole dish. Stir in 2 cups shredded cheese, top with bread crumbs and bake until bubbly. Add chopped pickled peppers for a colorful variation.
- Drink. Add the brine to tomato juice or Bloody Marys. Instead of squeezing a wedge of lime into a beer, stir 1/8 cup dill pickle liquid into 12 ounces of your favorite beer and garnish with a Spear of Influence, Mean Bean, or Windy City Wasabeans.
- Freeze. If you have popsicle molds, freeze the brine into pickle pops. Once you taste how refreshing they are, you’ll look at pickles as a bounty from appetizers to dessert.
Continue To Page 4: The Pickle Club
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