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How To Make Piccalilly.
The Victorians loved spicy food. Spices had for centuaries been extremely expensive, valued more than gold per ounze. When the British Empire was in its hayday spices became more easily available and more affordable.
You may think that the love of curry in GB is new, but it goes back to the eighteenth centuary. The first curry restraunt was opened in 1860.
Piccalilli is great with meat, cheese, meat pies. If you like a pickle with a bit and some flavour this is for you.
My cooking friend Fabio and I make lots of meat dishes and savoury pies, and almost always we round the dish off with homemade pickles, sometimes onions, beetroot, but most often piccalilli.
Here is our recipe which we have developed over a number of years using different spices and flavourings, but no dreaded ‘E’ numbers, or artificial anythings.
- six medium sized tomatoes, cut them in quarters and take out the seeds
- Four courgettes,, chop them into squares.
- A cucumber,, chopped into cubes.
- Two onions, or shallots, finely diced.
- A medium sized cauliflower, split the florets and remove the thickest of the stalks.
- One pint of cider vinegar,, I like this better than malt for this pickle.
- Spices, one teaspoon of each; coriander, turmeric, cumin, mustard, garlic, ginger
- Half a teaspoon of chilli powder.
- Two tablespoons of corn flour.
Vegetables in Brine
The vegetables need to be placed in a colander for about two hours with a good covering of salt, this will reduce the water content of them.
Wash the salt from the vegetables and then place them onto a some kitchen roll to dab away any excess water.
You will get the most flavour from your spices if you very lightly toast them before you use them.
Mix your spices together and gently toast them in a frying pan. They will begin to release a wonderful aroma and you will know that they are ready.
Make sure a that you do not burn them; toasting them gives the spices a much richer taste.
In a large pan place your vegetables, and then add the corn flour. Using a medium heat, gently begin sweating the vegetables, and now add the litre of cider vinegar and your spices.
Don't forget to use all your senses, and enjoy the incredible aromas and fragrances you will get from this dish.
Home Made Is Simply The Best
Most of our friends and associates ask why we bother doing all this cooking and preparing food when the supermarket shelves are loaded with the stuff. There are many reasons for making your own meals, even Pickles. Just read any label you buy and see if you recognise everything that is written there; I’d be surprised if you did, unless you are to be chemist. Last piccalilli that I bought had minimum vegetables cooked in a thick glutinous sauce that had very few merits taste wise. The list of ingredients, was made up of various additives, sugars, and E-numbers; and to be honest it went in the bin.
Fabio and I are passionate about our foods, there is nothing to replace it.
Something that would be great with this
- Chicken and pork pie
a traditional pie filled with chicken and pork. The pastry is a hot water dough.
Enjoy Your Cooking
Back to the cooking, whilst we do all this cooking, we have great fun telling stories and jokes, but the best bit is anticipating what we have created, and the pleasure we and our loved ones will get from eating it.
Boil and Jar Your Pickle
Boil everything together for twenty minutes. Prepare your jars by washing in Bicarbonate of soda, and then placing in the oven for ten minutes at 120 degrees.
Ladle the mixture into the jars and leave to set and cool. Once they are cooled down place in a dark place for at least 8 weeks. I usually label them all with the date so I know just how long they have been there.
Eat with cheese, meat pies, I have been known to have a piccalilli sandwich, yum yum.
I hope you have enjoyed this recipe and that you will try to make this great pickle. You can make more or less spicy to suit your taste. Please leave a comment so I know someone is out there.