I had the pleasure of meeting this man, Yashka Ginzberg, while at Katz's Delicatessen in New York City. We talked about pastrami, Schwartz's Delicatessen, Montreal's best deli, and his Hungarian and Israeli roots. I'm sure you will also enjoy seeing him in action in the video.
Yashka says his favorite delicatessen when he is not at Katz's is hanging at his hometown delicatessen famous for its smoked meat, Schwartz's!
Marc's Simple Sour Pickles (Inspired by Sando Katz)
In summer cukes are most abundant but any time of year you can make sour pickles. Basically transforming a cuke into a pickle means fermentation. That means things do go wrong. Just try and see what happens. Then try again...and again! Also it is fun to experiment. Add some hot peppers or cauliflower. Maybe a little less salt.
- A large glass or ceramic bowl - A plate that you will put on top of the pickles and brine - A weight to hold the plate down so the pickles stay in the brine - A dish towel that you'll put over the bowl - A few pounds of unwaxed cucumbers - A half cup of sea salt & half-gallon water - A bunch or two of fresh dill or a couple Tbs. dried and/or 1 Tbs. seeds - In summer also add a few heads of flowering dill and a couple fresh grape leaves if you can - A half-dozen or so black peppercorns - A handful of peeled garlic cloves. You can put in a lot more than that if you like pikled garlic.
The steps are:
1. Make your brine by stirring your sea salt into the half gallon of water 2. Rinse the cukes and let them sit in water for an hour 3. Dump everything in the bowl 4. Pour in the brine and put the plate on top of the floating pickles 5. Put the weight on the plate to keep the pickles in the brine 6. Put the dish towel over the top of the bowl 7. Tuck the jar away in a cool spot 8. After a couple days you'll notice the water getting cloudy and maybe a little bubbling. Don't worry. Take off the towel, weight and plate. If there is any mold on top of the brine just skim it off and wash the plate. Taste one of your pickles and decide if you want them more sour. If so then just put the plate, weight and towel back on and check it again every day or two. Keep repeating this process till the pickles are sour enough. 9. When they are ready place the pickles in jar and store in your fridge.
Below are pictures to give you a sense of what things should look like.