Here’s the deal: Amy is famous for her potato salad. She makes ten pounds at a time and it disappears faster than homemade ice cream on a hot summer day. Her secret, which she confides to only a chosen few, is sweet pickle juice. Not pickles, not relish–only the juice. And lots of it.
So, I said to myself, I wonder if there might be other uses for the briny stuff? A quick search of the multiple thousands of tips people have sent to me over the years came up positive. Really, I had no idea.
Sweet pickled chops. Arrange four pork chops in a shallow pan and sprinkle with salt. Place a slice of onion and a tablespoon of catsup on the top of each. Pour 1/2 cup of sweet pickle juice around chops. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Yum!
Pickled beets. Pour a can of drained, sliced beets into the pickle juice and after nine days enjoy delicious pickled beets.
Deviled eggs. For a lively taste, use leftover sweet pickle juice in deviling eggs, or mix into meatloaf or meatballs.
Veggie pickles. Put any variety or combination of fresh vegetables like sliced cucumbers, onions, carrots or pieces of cauliflower in leftover pickle juice (dill or sweet) and in a couple of days you’ll have delicious veggie pickles.
Bread. For the more ambitious, using that last dill pickle brings a surge of joy, knowing that Dill Pickle Rye Bread is but a few hours away:
- Mix and let stand until bubbly:
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 cup dill pickle juice
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 1/2 cups rye flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seed*
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Knead until dough is smooth and soft, adding more flour as necessary. Cover and allow to rise until double in size. Punch down and shape into a loaf. Let rise again. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Makes one 1 1/2 pound loaf.
*If you don’t like the sight or texture of whole caraway seed, grind them in blender or spice grinder. This gives you the flavor without the seeds.
Amy’s Potato Salad Dressing. While she insists that she never makes it the same way twice, Amy insists on Best Foods (Hellmans) mayonnaise, lots of sweet pickle juice, mustard, salt and pepper–all to taste.
Garden. If you don’t cook or bake don’t pour that juice down the drain. Work leftover pickle juice into the soil around an azalea or gardenia bush or any other plants that need acidic soil.
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