Chef Andy: “Quickles” is a summer staple

By Chef Andy

Owner, Kitchen 57

Now that Mother Nature is adjusting the thermostat, the last thing I want to do is stoke the fire by turning on the oven or turning on the stove. I look for salads of all kinds and make things that don’t require cooking. The less we turn on our kitchen appliances, the less the air conditioning has to go on, which reduces the energy bill. If you can achieve this while still making great food, I call that a win-win!

Some call them fridge pickles, some say quick pickles, and some, like me, shorten them and call them “Quickles”. I know very few recipes that are easier to make and require only eight ingredients: cucumbers, onions, vinegar, sugar, water, salt, dill and garlic.

Most pickles you buy at grocery stores are pressure cooked for safety and long shelf life. These are fresh pickles that marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours and stay crisp and shiny, while having that sweet and sour side that we love in a good pickle.

In the winter I’ll make a creamy version of this, but at this time of year we often eat out and anything with cream or mayonnaise on it won’t last long in the hot sun and can be potentially dangerous after a few hours. These pickles travel well, last a long time and are perfect for a BBQ, picnic and any party you bring them too.

Preparation is easy, only takes a few minutes and once you read the recipe you will have it memorized because everything is in equal proportion. You will see what I mean when you read it.

I prefer English cucumbers to household cucumbers because they are crispier, contain less water, and have fewer and smaller seeds.

Make this quickles recipe and you’ll be cool as a cucumber all summer long.

Quickles

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 small sweet onion, peeled, halved, thinly sliced, set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt (adjust with more if needed)

Whisk the ingredients briskly for a few minutes until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Add to bowl:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp dill (fresh if available)

Add the cucumbers and onions to the liquid and mix well. Transfer everything to a glass dish with a lid or a large jar with a lid. Make sure the container you transfer it to is large enough to hold all the ingredients, but small enough that the cucumbers and onions are completely submerged. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before digging. The quickles will be good for about a week.

Enjoy!

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