Pickles in the Kitchen

Pickles are often eaten as a snack or as an accompaniment to a meal. A good reuben or pastrami sandwich would not be the same without a few pickle spears alongside. In addition to being served as a side dish, pickles are also used in many recipes to add a tangy or sweet flavor.

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Pickle slices or chips are often served in hamburgers and some recipes call for adding a touch of chopped pickles or relish to the meat before cooking. This method also works to add a bit of zing to meatloaf.

Most potato salad recipes call for pickle relish or chopped pickles. Some people prefer chopped dill pickles or dill relish while others prefer chopped sweet pickles or sweet relish. Neither way is wrong, it is simply a matter of personal preference. Many people also add a splash or two of pickle juice to the potato salad for added tang. Tuna salad, chicken salad, and macaroni salad recipes also usually call for chopped pickles or relish. Again, any variety can be used.

Chopped pickles or pickle relish is a main ingredient in tartar sauce. To make a simple homemade tartar sauce, mix together 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon chopped sweet pickles or relish, 1 tablespoon of minced onion and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add salt and pepper according to taste.

Deep fried pickles are a Southern delicacy that seems to have originated in New Orleans. Cold pickle slices are battered with a mixture of flour, corn meal, spices, and sometimes hot sauce and then deep fried. Beer batter is also widely used on fried pickles.

The French cornichon pickle is generally served with pates and smoked fish. The French also use cornichons in a dish called cornichons and goujons. This is a twist on the classic British fish and chips with deep fried cod or sole dipped in a sauce similar to tartar sauce made from cornichon pickles.

A traditional Swiss recipe called raclette uses cornichon pickles in a mixture of potatoes and onions covered with Swiss cheese. Sweet pickles, gherkins or cornichons are often served as appetizers on trays with a selection of smoked meats and fish.

The Dutch, especially the Pennsylvania Dutch, are famous for serving a selection of seven sweets and seven sours. Many of both the sweets and sours are pickle dishes. Dutch spiced cucumbers are sliced cucumbers pickled with turmeric, cloves, green, and red peppers. Cucumber chowchow consists of chopped cucumbers, onions, and peppers mixed with celery, celery seed, and mustard. The Dutch are also famous for pickling other vegetables and fruits including watermelon rinds, corn, cabbage, Jerusalem artichokes, cherries, and beets.

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Associated Content: How to Make Deep Fried Pickles
Oddity Recipes of the Pennsylvania Dutch: Seven Sweets and Seven Sours
Ochef: What Are Cornichons and Goujons

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