Best pickles, with or without vinegar?
I am assuming without, and in that case do I leave them out of the fridge for a few days?
what what? how do you make or store pickles without vinegar? I'll just say I have heard of no way to do so and wait with baited breath. not being snarky am truly curious if it's possible.
Abe, there are essentially two ways of making pickles.
Salt pickles, as the name implies, are made with salt which draws the liquid from the veggies and converts it to lactic acid. Very common in Asia. The most familiar non-Asian forms of this kind of pickling are sauerkraut and old-fashioned dill pickles, with kimchee, perhaps, being the most familiar Asian style. Less time consuming variations of lactic acid pickles are a commonplace in Japan, however, with innumerable vegetables prepared that way.
Lactic acid pickles, in theory, require no refrigeration. But they can take a long time to produce, sometimes a matter of weeks.
Other pickles are made by adding a vinegar solution to the veggies. There are two gross categories of these; refrigerator pickles and those that are processed for long-term preservation. In theory, again, the latter do not need refrigeration, but it's best to keep them that way after opening.
"Best" is a nebulous term, and is incredibly subjective. Did you have particular vegetables in mind?
Ain't gonna happen quickly without vinegar, Abe. Salt fermentation of cucumbers takes about six weeks, and a lot of attention to sanitation. For instance, the brine has to be skimmed at least daily, and the crocks kept cool.
My advice: Either pick up some books on preserving, or do a search under "refrigerator pickles" to find quick versions. But keep in mind that refrigerator pickles, for various reasons, do not keep all that long. So they're not a good way to use up lots of produce.
Here's one example of a refrigerator pickle:
Cucumber Pickles Ohio Hotel
Wash 5 medium cucumbers and cut off the ends. With a lemon peeler or sharp knife cut 4 or 5 lengthwise ridges about 1/8 inch wide through the peel. Slice the cucumbers about 1/4 inch thick and put them in a large bowl.
Chop 3 garlic cloves and mix them with 1 cup salt and 2 tablespoons dill week until the mixture is very fine. Add the mixture to the cucumber slices with 2 1/2 cups sugar and a tablespoon of white pepper. Toss gently but completley and let stand for an hour. Stir in 4 cups white vinegar. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for several days.