Whether you're serving a nice pâté or are putting together a charcuterie platter, want some crunch in your sandwich or just need a quick burst of flavor, a sweet pickle chip is just right! Michael Ruhlman published a recipe for a delightfully simple, wonderfully flavored sweet pickle chip in Charcuterie, a book I highly recommend to anyone interested in smoking, curing, salting, or otherwise preserving meats.
Sweet Pickle Chips
1 lb./450 g cucumbers (about 2) sliced in ¼"/0.5 cm disks
¼ lb./115 g sliced white onions
¾ cup/185 mL apple cider vinegar
1½ teaspoon/8 g kosher salt
¼ teaspoon/2 g mustard seeds
1 cup/225 g granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon/4 g celery seeds
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/155 mL white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon/4 g allspice berries
½ teaspoon/2 g ground turmeric (optional)
In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the cucumbers, onions, cider vinegar, salt, mustard seeds, and 2 tablespoons (30 g) of the sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. The liquid will not cover all the cucumbers and onions, so you'll want to stir frequently. Drain and transfer to a warm, sterile 1 quart/liter jar.
Combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. As soon as the sugar is completely dissolved, pour into the warm jar over the cucumbers and onions. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.
These pickles are ready to eat as soon as they've chilled, and will keep for a long time in the refrigerator. I've never had pickles go bad so long as they're kept refrigerated, so I really don't know what the life expectancy is. As tasty and crunchy as these pickles are, they won't be around very long, so it really doesn't matter!