Homemade Dill Pickles

It's that time of year again. I've eaten through my pickle stash from last summer. Recently at Vallarta, they had giant pickling cucumbers on sale, so I knew it was time. This is a different recipe than last year.    My last pickles were a bit soft and not as crunchy as I wanted. I may have also had to do with the types of cucumbers I used. Because it was my first time, I used both pickling cucumbers and Persian cucumbers.  This time I used tiny baby pickles I found at the 99 cent store. Can't wait to taste them.

In case you need a refresher on how to prepare the jars.

15 cloves of garlic
15 fresh dill heads
4 lbs small cucumbers (3"-4" long)
6 cups of water
4 1/2 cups white vinegar
6 tbsp canning salt
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Place 5 garlic clove halves and five dill heads in each of prepared jar.
Pack cucumbers into jars within 1/2" of the top.
In a large pot, bring the water, vinegar, salt and pepper flakes to a boil.
Ladle hot liquid over cucumbers, leave 1/2" headspace.
Top each jar with 1 or 2 cloves and a few sprigs of dill.
Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and adjust lids.
Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water.

Stay hungry my friend!

Maple Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops

Pork chops are great for a chilly night, when you want a hearty dinner and the take a nap.  With the addition of bourbon and maple syrup, you can't really go wrong.  I didn't have any bourbon, so I substituted with Rye Whiskey, which has a sweeter taste than bourbon.

8 boneless center cut pork chops
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup bourbon (I used a Rye Whiskey)
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a saucepan, combine bourbon, sugar, maple syrup, garlic, Worcestershire, vinegar and mustard.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let sit to thicken.
Pound pork chops  and season on both sides with salt, pepper and paprika.
In a large skillet, heat oil and add pork chops.
Sear on both sides until golden brown, 2-3 minutes each.
Place seared pork chops in a large pan.
Deglaze skillet with chicken stock and pour over pork chops.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, pour glaze over chops.
Serve immediately.

Stay Hungry my friend!
Bourbon chops and mashed sweet potato