Kind of a big dill: beer-brined pickles

‘Tis the season to grill, chill, drink & BBQ! I’m currently working on a few fun recipes for your next summer soiree with dishes that pair up nicely with a few cold ones. Guinness has a new Blonde American Lager which is the perfect blonde brew to match up with these summer favorites.

That post will be coming soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe you can make ahead that will be the perfect complement to your next BBQ or picnic – beer-brined pickles!

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Beer-brined pickles

Makes 2 large mason jars (24 ounces each)

2 pounds cucumbers (I use Parisian pickles sliced in half lengthwise)

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups beer (I used Guinness American Lager)

2 bunches fresh dill

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon seasoning blend (I love Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute)

1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper (If you prefer more heat, you can always add more to taste)

8 cloves of garlic – smashed and skin removed

 

Start with clean jars. 

Wash and slice cucumbers into either slices or spears. When using Parisian cucumber I prefer spears. Tip: make sure to cut off the ends of the cucumbers. There are enzymes in them that will make your pickles soggy. 

Pack the sliced cucumbers into the jars while leaving some room in the middle of each jar for spices and herbs. Divide the spices noted above between the two jars and then add them to the middle of each jar with the dill and garlic.  

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, beer and sugar. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat, and stir until the sugar is melted. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the hot liquid into each jar, filling it to the top but leaving 1/2 inch head space. Put on the lids to seal and let the pickles cool before putting them in the refrigerator. Let the pickles hang out in the fridge for two days in order to maximize their marination and full flavor. They will keep in the fridge for a month (but I don’t think they’ll last that long). 

How do you like to eat your pickles? Straight out of the jar like me? Or on an actual burger or sandwich? 

This post is a part of the Guinness Blonde BBQ Challenge to use their new Blonde American Lager in BBQ-inspired recipes. I’m just getting started, as there will be another post with more summer fun recipes coming up soon!

 

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Wings & Things

It’s so easy to pick up that phone on game day and order takeout wings, but it’s almost as easy to make your own batch of tasty wings at home. Chef Dave Santos, from Louro in the West Village, shares his Super Bowl Spiced Honey BBQ Wings so that you can get your game on without having to order out.

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Dave’s Super Bowl Spiced Honey BBQ Wings

Serves 4

12 whole wings, cut in half and tip removed
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (Chef Santos prefers Bull’s Eye Brand when he isn’t making his own)
1/4 cup of hot sauce (Chef Santos recommends Frank’s red hot)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. ground black pepper
5 scallions sliced for garnish
home electric fryer.

Preheat the fryer to 350 degrees. Mix the remaining ingredients except for the scallions in a medium bowl.

Drop half the wings into the prepared fryer and fry for 7 to 8 minutes (fry the wings in two batches to ensure even cooking). The wings should be nice and crispy and a deep golden-brown color. When the wings are done, place them in a large bowl and pour the desired amount of sauce over the wings, and toss them so that they are fully coated. Place in a clean serving bowl and garnish with scallions.

Love this wing recipe? Then most likely you’ll love Louro and the rest of chef Dave’s dishes too. Fun fact: On Monday nights he hosts a supper club at the restaurant with different themes and menus. Up next is the Oyster Bowl on February 2nd and a sustainable seafood meal on February 9th. Ditch your case of the Mondays and get more details here.