Thursday, May 3, 2018

Pickle Juice: Don't toss it!

Use it.  There are several ways to reuse this "magical" elixir. 

 1. Re-pickle. Make refrigerator pickles. Stuff in the jar one of the following like hard boiled eggs, onions, garlic, or sliced cucumbers. Make your own pickled beets with a can of sliced or whole beets.  Plain canned artichokes work, too. Add some beet juice to the pickle juice and add thinly sliced onions. They're a wonderful addition to a sandwich - and pretty in pink, too.

 2. Pickle juice is the perfect meat marinade for hearty meats like beef or pork. Toss a tablespoon in your meat loaf mix to add an interesting kick. 

 3. Liven up your favorite BBQ sauce recipe. No doubt it will call for vinegar, so substitute pickle juice instead.

 4. Salad dressings. Again, most salad dressings call for vinegar - use pickle juice. I use it for my coleslaw dressing. Pretty simple. Mayonnaise and add pickle juice and stir for desired consistency. And take advantage of the small garlic chips often found in the bottom of the jar. 

 5. Put some pucker into your Michelada or Bloody Mary with a dash to a tablespoon of pickle juice.

 6. Instead of water, steam vegetables or poach fish in pickle juice. 

 7. I keep reading about pickle juice sno-cones. I will probably avoid it, but if you are a fan - go for it. 

 8. Want to kill weeds the natural way? Yup, spray those pesky weeds with a dose of pickle juice. The vinegar and the salt will send them away - and keep your animals safe.

 9. Clean your copper pots and pans. Don't forget to add some elbow grease. 

10.  And last but not least - when making potato salad, while the potatoes are still hot (and peeled), pour pickle juice over them - just enough for the potatoes to soak up the juice. And while I am thinking of it... 

This "Dill Pickle Pasta Salad" from "Spend with Pennies" is a must. I have made it several times since I discovered it last year. It's so easy considering I usually have all of the ingredients at hand - perfect when I need a fast and easy salad. I have also switched it up and changed the pasta, the cheese, and even the onions. And if I don't have any fresh dill, I use a dash of dry - or none at all. But don't leave out the cayenne pepper. It adds such a great kick with guests asking "what's that nice hint of spice?"




Ingredients:

1/2 lb dry shell pasta (about 3 cups - sometimes I have mixed up the shapes like farfalle aka bowtie and casarecce)
3/4 cup sliced pickles
2/3 cup cheddar cheese, diced (also Gouda or Colby works)
3 tablespoons finely diced white onion (or use green onions or red onion)
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1/2 cup pickle juice


Dressing:

2/3 cup mayonnaise (or a skoosh more)
1/3 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons pickle juice
salt & pepper to taste

Boil pasta al dente according to package directions. Run under cold water to stop cooking. Drain. Toss cold drained pasta with 1/2 cup of pickle juice and set aside for about 5 minutes. Drain & discard pickle juice (if there is any left). 
Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy. This salad is almost addictive!


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