Tag Archives: preserves

Homemade vinegar

Homemade vinegar

Vinegar is one of the most important and underrated store-cupboard ingredients. It has the ability to totally transform your cooking, so use it with confidence and authority. That contrast of rich and fatty flavours with vinegar and pickles is amazing. That’s why having pickles in a kebab, and vinegary mint sauce with lamb, is so good. Vinegar is also a wonderful stomach settler, and helps you digest rich foods. Give it a go. Make your own vinegar. There are two main, easy ways you can have a go at making your own vinegar. To start off with, you need a bacteria called a vinegar ‘mother’ to essentially spoil wine and turn it into acidic vinegar. These spores are floating around in the atmosphere invisibly all the time.

Cucumber pickle

Cucumber pickle

Cucumber pickle goes very well with salads. It can be served with pork pies, corned beef or just with cold meats. It is great to serve it with fish, in particular salmon. We have all heard of smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches, a classic combination. This pickle eats very well with simple poached salmon, but it goes particularly well with seared peppered salmon, too. Cucumbers are in season from May to October, but are available year-round. Look for firm, vibrantly green fruit without wrinkles. Smaller ridged cucumbers differ little in taste to the more common smooth variety. Store fresh cucumbers in the fridge for up to one week. Small examples, or sliced cucumbers can be pickled very successfully: pickled cucumbers are also known as gherkins or cornichons.

Preserved lemons

Preserved lemons

Make preserved lemons with ripe, new-season fruit that have not been waxed. Store-bought lemons are usually coated with wax, which has to be removed by scrubbing in warm water with a soft-bristle brush; even then it is very difficult to remove. Pieces of pickled lemon may be washed before using to remove any surface salt, or blanched to remove more of the salt and bring out the natural mild sweetness. They may then be sliced, chopped, or minced as needed for the texture of the dish. The rind may be used with or without the pulp. Preserved lemon is the key ingredient in many Moroccan dishes such as tagines. In Cambodian cuisine, it is used in dishes such as Ngam nguv, a chicken soup with whole preserved lemons. They are often combined in various ways with olives, artichokes, seafood, veal, chicken, and rice. Lemon Pickle is a standard accompaniment to curd rice, which is often the last course in South Indian Cuisine.

Toasted walnut butter

Toasted walnut butter

Toasted walnut butter is healthy option and with addition of dried cherries and cacao or chocolate it is something delicious and new on your breakfast menu. It’s so easy make customized nut or seed butters at home- all you need is a food processor or high speed blender. Walnuts add texture and crunch to dishes. Walnuts are high in omega-3 oils which make them a healthy snack, but also likely to go rancid quickly. Keep them in a cool, dark place and use as soon as possible. If the shell is firmly sealed you can store them for a few months.

Red pepper Indian chutney

Red pepper Indian chutney

This red pepper chutney is tangy, spicy, oily and can perk up literally anything. Red bell peppers cooked slowly in oil have the most beautiful sweetness to them which compliments the fiery red chili powder used in the recipe. You can replace the red peppers with ripe tomatoes in this recipe for a tomato chutney. In this recipe the mustard oil is used because the pungency and the flavor of it. You can use any oil you like instead. You can reduce the oil considerably if you are looking at using it up immediately instead of storing it. Jaggery is purely optional. Skip if you don’t like your chutneys slightly sweet. 2 tbsps of chili powder does make this chutney very hot. Reduce if are not too good with spice. This chutney can be stored for 4-5 weeks if refrigerated in an airtight container.