1 jar dill pickles (48 ounces), preferably homemade or use kosher garlic dill pickles, 4 1/2-5 inches in length
1 package cream cheese (8 ounces), softened
1 medium onion or 2 small shallots, very finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
3/4 teaspoon red hot sauce, such as Tabasco brand
Cut off both ends of the dill pickles to form a flat area.
Using a thin potato peeler, a small sharp knife or Uncle Bill's Dilly Core* (a dill pickle corer), core each pickle; save the cores for another use, such as in a salad. Stand the cored pickles on end on a paper towel and let them drain for about 20 minutes. After draining, roll a paper towel and push it through the cored pickles to absorb as much moisture as possible.
Meanwhile, in mixing bowl, cream the cheese. Add the onion, garlic and hot sauce and, using a fork, mix until ingredients are well blended. Using a cake decorator, a piping bag or a small spoon, stuff each cored pickle with the creamed mixture. Wrap the filled pickles in batches in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until the cheese filling is firm.
Just before serving, cut the pickles into 3/4-inch slices and place on a serving tray and serve. Refrigerate any unused pickles.
P.S. You can also add some finley chopped smoked salmon to the filling. Also, try adding some finely chopped cooked ham of your choice. You may also use pimento cream cheese instead of the regular kind.
Stuffed carrots are another tasty and decorative dish. Peel and partially boil large carrots until just tender. Slice the carrots about 1/2-inch thick, core the slices and fill with the cream cheese filling.
*The Dilly Core can be used to core fresh cucumbers, which can also be stuffed with the filling. Cut the fresh cucumbers to about 4 inches long before coring. The Dilly Core can also be used to make holes in roasts so that you can stuff the cores with garlic and your favorite spices or herbs. You can find the Dilly Core at www.unclebillskitchen.com.