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Sweet Dill Pickles


Makes three to four 16-ounce jars

10 large cucumbers
¼ cup kosher salt
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons mustard seed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Cut cucumbers into ⅛-inch slices. Toss slices with salt in a non-reactive bowl and let them sit for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. When ready, strain off the liquid.

Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil in a stockpot and then gently stir in the cucumbers. When they begin to boil, remove the pot from the heat.

Mix the spices and herbs together in another bowl. Using tongs, start layering the cucumbers in sterilized jars adding a teaspoon of the spices and herbs a little at a time. Once the pickles are removed, return the pot to the stove and bring the liquid back to a boil. Ladle this pickling liquid into the prepared jars leaving a ¼-inch headspace. With the bubble utensil or a knife, remove all air bubbles. (See canning book for details.)

To refrigerate: Cool and cover. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

To preserve: Wipe the jar’s rim clean before sealing. Center lid and gently screw on ring until it’s fingertip tight. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. (See canning book for details.) Remove jars from bath and leave undisturbed for 24 hours. Store in a cool, dark pantry for up to one year.

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Chef Robert Lyford is co-owner of Patina Green Home and Market in McKinney.

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