Photo by Matt DuckorBy Danielle Walsh, Bon Appétit
The worst part about having pickles in your fridge (store-bought or homemade) is eating the very last one. Especially when you're not sure what to do with the leftover liquid (and there's a lot of it). It's a shame to dump it out, but what else can you do?
STOP! There are a ton of ways you can use pickle juice, from straight up drinking (really) to more adventurous applications. In fact, we're not sure why it isn't bottled and sold as its own entity. (We sense a business venture coming on.)
Here are our favorite 15 ways to use the salty brine:
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1. Just re-use it! You can brine hard-boiled eggs, onions, garlic, or any other soft veggies (soft canned vegetables work well too, like canned artichokes).
2. Pickle juice is a great meat tenderizer. Use it as a marinade for pork chops or steak.
3. Boiled potatoes can be a snore. Make them less boring by adding a healthy amount of pickle juice to the water--it will give those taters a vinegary zing. (We add it to our potato salads, too.)
4. If store-bought barbecue sauce doesn't do it for you, liven it up by adding pickle juice to taste by the tablespoonful.
5. Macaroni and cheese is re-born with a dash of pickle juice. Try it in your favorite recipe, or make this Pimiento Mac and Cheese.
6. Use it in place of vinegar in gazpacho (or anything, really).
7. If your fish or veggies need a lift, drizzle a bit of the brine over them.
8. Put some pucker into your Michelada or Bloody Mary with a tablespoon of pickle juice.
9. Elevate ho-hum hummus to something more punchy with a few dashes of the stuff.
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10. An easy and flavorful way to poach fish? Use pickle brine.
11. As if your meatloaf recipe didn't have enough condiments in it already, throw some pickle juice into the mix.
12. We call this "Jewish Deli Bread," since the dough is fortified with a little bit of pickle juice.
13. Make a "pickleback," essentially a shot of pickle brine designed to follow a shot of (usually) not-so top shelf whiskey. The flavors are surprisingly simpatico, which explains why you'll find the pickleback offered at many hipster and non-hipster drinking establishments.
14. Don't want to consume it? Copper pans are a you-know-what to clean, but you can make them sparkle by cleaning them with pickle juice.
15. Weeds are a bummer, so banish them from your garden by dousing them with pickle juice. All that vinegar and salt does a job on them.
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SUPPER CLUB PICK
My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an