Category: Preserves and Pickles

Delicious Home Made Pickled Beetroot

Delicious Home Made Pickled Beetroot

Our good friend and close neighbour Mick regularly supplies us with fresh vegetables grown on his allotment located across the road from us.

Mick has had his allotment for over fifty years, planting vegetables and even fruit trees.

One of my favourite vegetables he grows for harvesting each autumn time are beetroots. Mick grows a popular type called ‘Boltardty AGM’. Boltardy seeds can be sown at various times during the growing year and in most types of soil. It does not have excessive ‘bolting, a gardening term, which means premature sprouting of stalks flowering stem(s). Bolting can divert resources & nutriment from the beetroot and reduce it’s quality.

All Photos By PH Morton

After harvesting, Mick then produces jars of delicious slightly sweet pickled beetroot for his family and us. We save a jar for Christmas time. Beetroot is perfect to accompany Christmas meals.  This year, Mick invited me to harvest some of his beetroot. He then showed us how to make his ‘signature’ pickled beetroot. I took various photos from harvesting to our jars filled with delicious picked beetroot. Under Mick’s tutelage and help, Jean & I enjoyed producing our own jars of this delicious vegetable. Making pickled beetroot is quite simple & straightforward. 🙂

If using home grown beetroots from garden or allotment etc., a good time to harvest is from 50 to 70 days after planting. Avoid letting the beetroot get too big. A hand or tennis ball size is ideal. Do not let the stalks/stems bolt or grow above 6 inches (15cms). Dig around the beetroot and pick up avoiding breaking the stalk/greens from the beetroot.

Thoroughly clean & wash the dirt off and trim the stalks/stems short. Again do not pull out the stems, as water can get into the beetroot and damage it when boiling prior to pickling.

Harvested fresh beetroot can be stored in a refrigerator for about seven days.

Depending how many beetroots you are pickling, you will require:-

  1. Pickling /preserve jars with airtight lids. The normal size is around 500ml, or as large as you want. Most hardware stores will supply.
  2. Pickling vinegar, which comes in 1.4 litre size. Most larger supermarkets etc supply.
  3. Brown or white sugar granules to sweeten the vinegar taste to your choice.

Place the beetroots in a suitable sized saucepan(s) and cover with water.

Boil for two hours.

Carefully strain off the water and either allow air cooling or running cold water over the beetroots then dry.

Completely remove remaining stalks/roots etc.

The boiled soft skin of the beetroot does not need to be peeled with a knife as can be easily removed by hand.

Cut or slice the beetroot to whatever size you prefer.

Pour in small amount sugar, then add a small measure of the pickling vinegar, enough to cover the first layer of the slices of beetroot into the bottom of the jar.  Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar (to taste) then add another layer, pour pickling vinegar, then another layer, sugar, pickling vinegar until it reaches the top of the jar.

Close the jar, gently shake it then turn it upside down and leave for about 30 minutes. This will allow the vinegar and sugar to seep through the beetroot. Top up with the pickling vinegar if needed to completely cover the sliced beetroot in the jar.

If you want you can label the jar with day & month of pickling.

Home made pickled beetroot can be kept for 6 weeks to 3 months, refrigerated.
In practice, it can be longer.

But if you store them beyond 3 months and you’re worried, check for signs of spoilage (rising bubbles, cloudy liquid, unnatural colour) and don’t eat or taste.

Green Tomato Chutney

Green Tomatoes, photo by PH Morton

Green Tomato Chutney

The origin of chutney comes from Hindi word chatni, which apparently means to lick and lick you shall with our green tomato chutney recipe.

Green tomato is not an offshoot species of the red fruit.  They belong to the same tree; just pick the tomatoes while still green prior to ripening.

Below is the easy and very straight-forward recipe:

Ingredients:

6 cups of sliced green tomatoes

4 cups of cooking apples (or the tart variety)

2 cups chopped onions

2 cloves garlic

1 cup raisins and sultanas mix

1 cup white wine vinegar

4 cups Demerara sugar

3 tsp salt

1 tsp mustard seed

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves (use that mortar and pestle hiding at the back of the cupboard 🙂 )

a pinch of cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Using a heavy bottom large sauce pan, arrange the apple slices at the bottom, followed by the tomatoes, then onions.

Add the garlic, raisins and sultanas.

Pour in the vinegar.

Tip in the sugar and salt.  Add the mustard seed, cinnamon, cloves and cayenne pepper.

Leave to simmer under very low heat.  Stir often to incorporate all the ingredients together; stirring will also prevent burning the bottom.  Cook until it is mushy and really syrupy.

Let it cool and store in distilled jar or lidded pyrex containers.

Enjoy with hot pitta bread or naan.

Korean Yellow Pickled Radish

pickled radish, photo by jmortonn

pickled radish, photo by JMorton

Korean Yellow Pickled Radish

Due to excessive, almost obsessive newly acquired habit of watching Korean dramas (Kdramas), Korean way of life as depicted on television has influenced how Peter and I eat our dinner.

Suddenly we are going to Korean restaurant to try Korean cuisine, which thankfully is rather good

Korean pickled radish is daikon radish

Ingredients
  • 1 large daikon (labanos) radish
  • 2 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 11/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorn
  • 3 bay leaves
  • distilled tall pickling jar
Instructions
  1. Peel the daikon and cut in half lenghtwise; each half cut crosswise in two parts or 3 portions if radish is really long.
  2. Arrange the pieces standing up into the tall pickling jar.
  3. Make the pickling liquid by mixing the vinegar, sugar, salt turmeric, bay leaves and pepper corns together.
  4. Pour the spiced vinegar over the pieces of daikon.  Ensure that they are soaked through with the the pickling marinade.
  5. Cover the jar and leave overnight in the fridge.
  6. Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Delicious as addition to grilled meat, fish and vegetables also as a side to a freshly made ramen soup.

Easy Spiced Onion Recipe

Sliced Red Onions, Photo by PH Morton

Sliced Red Onions, Photo by PH Morton

Easy Spiced Onion Recipe

The weather is getting colder, sooner or later all sorts of viruses will come a calling.  We do not need to welcome them with open arms and ,therefore, we need to prepare, after all prevention is better than a cure.

A bit of spice in our food can only be a good thing to build or immune system.  A recipe of spiced onion, which is very easy to make and can be made a few days before and  use as you want, is just the perfect cupboard food.

Spiced onion can be made to taste rather sweet or sour instead of sweet and sour.  I, myself, prefer it to be more on the sour side.

Anyway here are the ingredients:

1/2 caster sugar (or less if preferred, I would used just 1 heaped tablespoon)
1 cup white one vinegar (for a stronger taste, use red wine vinegar)
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed finely
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed (cumin powder can also be used)
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 clove
1 heaped tsp salt
2 large red onions, peeled and sliced into rounds

Method of preparation:

Using a large pan, put the sugar, vinegar, spices and salt to boil.  Stir thoroughly to mix.  Leave to simmer for at least 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the onion slices on a clean glass pyrex dish or any heat resistant non-metallic covered container.  Pour in the hot spicy vinegar marinade onto the  onions.  Give a stir to ensure all the pieces are drenched with the marinade.

Cover and store in the fridge or pantry until needed.

Delicious with fried food, roasts and salad.

Red Onion Pickle Recipe

Sliced Red Onions, Photo by PH Morton

Sliced Red Onions, Photo by PH Morton

This red onion pickle is a perfect accompaniment for barbecued o grilled fish.  And now that summer is almost upon us, it is time to bring out the charcoals and heat up the barbecue.  Yippeee 🙂

Red Onion Pickle Recipe

Ingredients:

500g red onions, sliced in rings
1 litre hot/boiling water
2½ tbsp sugar
100ml lukewarm water
100ml lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Method of preparation:

Pour the hot or boiling water over the red onion rings, leave for 2-3 minutes and then drain. Transfer into a large clean sterilised covered jar. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar, salt, garlic powder and black pepper using the lukewarm water.  Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly to make a pickling brine.

Spoon in the pickling brine over the red onions.  Ensure that the onions are submerged in the brine.  Leave in the fridge overnight.

To serve, drain the onions by squeezing out the brine.  Delicious with fish, grilled pork and chicken.

This pickled onion can be left refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Enjoy!

 

Putchani (Tomato Relish)

tomatoes

Putchani (Tomato Relish)

is a Bengali spicy tomato relish.  What makes this relish special from other tomato relish is the addition of panch puran.

What is panch puran, you may ask?  Well it is a Bengali special spice mixture made from 5 main ingredients: cumin, fennel, nigella, mustard and fenugreek seeds.

Ingredients:

6 tbsp mustard oil
4 large onion chopped finely
6 tbsp panch puran
2 kg ripe tomatoes
2 inches ginger, chopped finely
1 head garlic, minced
fresh red chillies, according to taste
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp Demerara sugar or honey
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 cup water
salt and pepper

Method of preparation:

Using a large heavy bottom pan, like a le creuset, fry the onions in the mustard oil. Cook until the onions have turned translucent.

Stir in the panch puran and cook for a few minutes until the seeds start to pop.

Add the ginger, garlic and chillies.  Stir fry until the fragrance is released.

Mix in the sugar or honey, vinegar, lemon juice and tomato puree, plus the cup of water.  Cook until it has turned into a smooth paste.

Add the chopped tomatoes and let it simmer until the liquid has virtually dried up.

Remove from heat, set it aside to let it cool.

When cool to the touch, transfer to sterilised jars to preserve.

This tomato chutney is lovely with meat, cheese or pieces of bread.

Enjoy!

Macapuno Preserve Recipe

IMG_0880

Macapuno Photo by JMorton

IMG_0881

Macapuno with Halaya Photo by JMorton

 

I had macapuno with a bit of halaya ube which both came from a jar earlier today.  It was delicious too.  See above photos.

Filipinos have a love affair with macapuno, as a race, we just can’t get enough of it.

We add these  grated thin strips of macapuno into puddings.  We flavour ice-cream with macapuno as well as top up chiffon cake with it for a sumptuous indulgent dessert.

The Philippine Coconut Authority has developed a variety of coconut that would yield Macapuno, which is as fleshy as the ordinary coconut but softer for easier grating and turns gelatinous when cooked.

Macapuno is also called a rather scary name of mutant coconut and sometimes it is called coconut sport as well.

Anyway, if you happen to find a macapuno coconut and would like to try to cook it, then below is an easy to follow recipe.

Macapuno Preserve Recipe

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Macapuno or mutant coconut or coconut sport
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cup water

Method of Preparation:

 

  • Scrape and grate the macapuno meat into long thin strips.  Set aside.
  • Make up the syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water under a low heat.  Don’t let the sugar syrup caramelise.
  • As soon as the sugar had dissolved into a clear syrup, add the macapuno strips a handful at a time to ensure that the sugar syrup is in a constant boil.
  • Let it cook until the strips have turned rather transparent and going to the bottom of the pan under the bubbling syrup.  Again, do not let it caramelise.
  • Set aside to cool slightly then transfer into distilled jar and store until needed.

The macapuno will be very sweet, so you will probably eat a couple of tablespoons at a time.  Mind you, you will keep eating it (maybe not in one sitting) until the jar is empty.  It is that good.  It can be eaten as an accompaniment to fruits, ice-cream and cakes.  It can also make a delicious sandwich.

 

Pickled Onion Recipe

pickled onionsThis time of year, pickled onions will certainly show up in our Christmas table.  It is a favourite all year round but especially for Christmas when there is an abundance of cheese, both soft and hard.

I have to say that, we prefer the sour pickled onions rather the sweeten version.  The sour ones are more spicy and just the ideal accompaniment to roast turkey, the stuffings and all the trimmings.

Fondness for sour food, which I think is very Filipino, has been inherited by two generations.  My son loves pickles and my grandson would happily munch on a lemon. ;(

Anyway, before I truly digress into the wonder of sour foods, below is the recipe for pickled onion:

Pickled Onion Recipe

Ingredients:

4 lbs pickling onions (unpeeled)

675g salt

2 pints white vinegar

2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tps all spice berrries

1 1/2 tsp cloves

2 inches cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp peppercorns

Preparation:

In a large  heatproof bowl, place the unpeeled onions and sprinkle with the 675g of salt.  Put enough water to he onions and salt to cover them.

Place a lid to the bowl, for convenience use a plate, and set aside to marinate for two days, while giving it an occasional stir.

Drain and peel the onions.

Place the onions back into the heatproof bowl and pour boiling water to cover.  Leave for 3 minutes and repeat these process for 3 times more.

Pack the onions into pickling jars.

Mix all the remaining ingredients in a sauce pan and heat slowly to a boiling point.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

Pour the vinegar to the jars, ensuring that the onions are covered.

Cover the jars while they are still hot.

Store in a dark cool cupboard or in the pantry for 2 to 3 months.

Do not forget to put a date to your jars.

Serve with meat and cheeses with crackers!

ICEBOX PICKLES

Got this awesome recipe from my Facebook friend, Bizzie MacDonald Lepp.

I sure am going to try making this. I love pickles.

JXXX
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ICEBOX PICKLES

Ingredients:
6 cups sliced, unpeeled cucumbers
1 cup sliced red onion
1 cup sliced green bell pepper
1 Tablespoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon salt
4 cloves garlic, peeled (can be omitted)
1 cup white sugar (I prefer to use 1/2 c stevia)
1 cup white vinegar

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar or crock. Cover with water and refrigerate. You can eat them immediately, but I will tell you that the pickles are much, much tastier if you let them sit in the refrigerator for a few weeks. They will keep up to 3 months in the fridge.

Atchara (Pickled Papaya)

I love this pickle.  It is so versatile.  It will go with anything fried, be it chicken, beef, pork or fish.  It would even go nicely with some mature cheddar.

Atchara is a Filipino preserve or pickle which is made from unripe green papaya.  This recipe is sweet with a hint of tartness from the vinegar.  This of course can be made spicy by adding a hint chili.

Atchara (Pickled Papaya)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated unripe green papaya
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1 green pepper, sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1/2 carrot, cut into circles or flower shapes
  • 1/2 cup sectioned cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 100 grams raisins
  • salt to taste

Method

  1. Soak the papaya in a mixture of salt and water for 5 minutes.  Rinse and squeeze thoroughly to remove all the juices.
  2. In a bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic and onion.  Then stir in the papaya shreds together with the rest of the  ingredients.
  3. Transfer into a large distilled jar or a few smaller ones.  Cover tightly and refrigerate until needed.  This pickle will keep for a good couple of weeks, if chilled.
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