Sweet Hots

Those of you from the Cleveland area might be familiar with Tony Packo's Sweet Hots (correction: Tony Packo's originates from the Toledo area! Thanks to everyone who got here from tastespotting who pointed this out to us.); the pickles are crisp and tangy, sweet and spicy, and there is just a hint of dill. For a while, our local grocery store stopped carrying them so I tried to whip up something similar. It's a pretty close fascimile, although I think I would cut down on the garlic next time. The only bad thing about this recipe is that you have to wait 8 weeks before you can have any!

Sweet Hots
Makes 4 quart jars

2 lbs pickling cucumbers
2 cups white vinegar
8 cups water
1/3 cup pickling salt (or kosher)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 habanero pepper, thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh dill weed
3 oz of your favorite hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
1 lb white sugar

Wash the cucumbers and soak in ice water (with plenty of ice) for two hours. Sterilize 4 quart jars and lids in boiling water.

In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, hot sauce and sugar and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place 1 sprig of dill, a few slices of habanero and a half a clove of garlic in the bottom of each jar, and fill with cucumbers. Pour the hot brine over the pickles, make sure the rims are clean, and seal the jars.

Process the sealed jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Allow the jars to cool, and store in a cool dark place for at least 8 weeks before consuming. Refrigerate after opening.

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  • Blogger Bajo Seasoned Salts says so:
    November 18, 2008 1:51 PM  

    Thanks for the recipe. Sounds terrific!

    A little recommendation, I found these to be so delicious and useful in my kitchen: http://bajoseasonedsalts.com/


    John top  

  • Blogger Mike says so:
    December 20, 2008 9:05 AM  

    They look great. I am going to have to try them. top  

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    December 20, 2008 7:09 PM  

    Just wanted to clarify that Tony Packo's is a Toledo, OH landmark, since Tastespotting labeled this as "a recipe clone for fans of Cleveland Tony Packo's Sweet Hot Pickles."

    Toledo is proud to have "the most famous buns in the Midwest". top  

  • Anonymous Dave says so:
    December 27, 2008 12:15 PM  

    Tony Packo's is from Toledo, not Cleveland!

    http://www.tonypackos.com top  

  • Anonymous Kate says so:
    January 05, 2009 1:09 PM  

    Hey Dan. Sorry I've been mia for awhile. Did you hear Nicki and Michael are engaged? Very exciting for them. They are two little peas in a pod, very cute. Going to london? I hope you had Susan have a fab time. We will have to get together after you get back from London. I have my schedule into Feb. So let me know... top  

  • Anonymous vincent says so:
    March 04, 2009 1:18 PM  


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  • Blogger dawn says so:
    April 15, 2009 1:18 PM  

    sounds gorgeous...can't wait to make this...uphere i always have a hard time trying to find ingredients....one of my friend introduced me to a great resource www.myethnicworld.com and I thought that I pass great along as well. top  

  • Anonymous Kelly says so:
    July 07, 2009 8:06 AM  


    This recipe sounds awesome! I did have one question before I try it out, will the recipe still work if I cut the cucumbers into spears?

    Please let me know!

    Thank you. top  

  • Blogger Susan says so:
    July 07, 2009 11:44 AM  

    Kelly - yes, this recipe will work if you cut the cucumbers in spears. Slices would work, too! top  

  • Blogger Caleb says so:
    July 09, 2009 5:29 PM  

    I found your food blog going through a few links. Glad I ran into it. Didn’t know that the food blog/recipe community was so big online. I love your posts!

    I was wondering if you would like to exchange links. I’ll drop yours on my site and you drop mine on yours. Email at ramendays@yahoo.com or stop by my site and drop a comment. Let me know if you would like to do a link exchange.

    http://www.ramendays.com top  

  • Anonymous flowercarole says so:
    July 30, 2009 5:35 AM  

    Just arrived at your site and have to say I love it. This recipe sounds great so I shall be putting it on my 'to do' list this week. top