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Sunday, 15 June 2014


This was our first attempt at home made PICCALILLI.
There are so many recipes around, and most call for salting the vegetables for 24 hours before cooking. However, I found a few recipes where the salt stage was left out - which intrigued me.
We decided to compromise with the methods - and used a shorter brining period.
Two jars of piccalilliThis recipe yields two large (800g) jars of bright yellow, spicy, crunchy vegetables at a fraction of the retail cost.
Most recipes using a similar amount of vegetables, use around 200g sugar. I adjusted this slightly. We used pointed sweet red peppers for added colour too.
With the reduced sugar content our piccalilli works out at around 400 calories per 800g jar - around 50 calories per 100g. This works out much lower than most shop bought varieties which seem to range anything from 70-100 calories per 100g.
As we weren't sure how hot and spicy the recipe would turn out, we added one whole sliced red chilli to one of the jars.
Here's our recipe and taste results:
1 kg mixed vegetables - we used 500g cauliflower, 150g courgette, 150g cucumber, 100g pointed (sweet) red pepper, 100g green beans 
Brine: 200g table salt mixed with 2 ltr water 
1 x 568ml bottle distilled (white) malt vinegar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 crushed clove garlic
150g granulated sugar
3 tbsp English mustard powder
small jar of silver skin onions
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp cornflour
100 ml malt vinegar
one whole red chilli, sliced (optional)
Clean vegetables and cut into small pieces. We chose 1 cm pieces - the photograph shows how small we cut the vegetables (against a teaspoon). 

If using cucumber, peel and remove seeds before cutting into small chunks. We left the skin on the courgettes. Keep the cauliflower from the rest of vegetables as you'll be cooking this first. 

Place the above vegetables into the brine

Leave vegetables in the brine for 4 hours. 

Drain and rinse the vegetables.

Put the white vinegar into a pan and add the sugar, mustard powder, ginger and garlic

Add the cauliflower

Bring to the boil then simmer for 4 minutes. 

Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for a further 4 minutes. Drain vegetables and put the liquid back into the saucepan. 

Boil the liquid for a couple of minutes to reduce.

Blend turmeric and cornflour with 100ml of malt vinegar

Add (slowly) to the liquid, whisking as you go. 

Cook for 2 minutes. 

Return vegetables to the pan. Add the (drained and rinsed) silver skin onions. Add the finely sliced red chilli if using. Stir. 

Fill (sterilised) jars. Here's a link about sterilising jars
Using less sugar lowered the calories, although the results were slightly tart. You may like this - we did. As the flavours develop over time, it's difficult to tell. We may use more sugar next time. But, it could be that if we had used cider vinegar, the result could have been slightly sweeter. I certainly wouldn't use less than 150g sugar. Heat wise, the amount of mustard powder seemed about right as it left a nice slow, lingering heat. If you like it hotter, just add more mustard powder. The vegetables were lovely and crunchy. Next time we will try out the traditional 24 hour salt method to see if there is any discernible difference.
REMEMBER: We all have a calorie allowance - do you know yours?
We began our weight loss journey in January 2011 - and began our blog in June 2011. Here's a link to the first post. (here's the link).
Read about our UNIQUE METHOD of weight loss and find out how you can lose weight eating the food you love.
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