Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Name of the Game

This is a pickle that eats well with cold meats. As the flavour improves with storage,it should be left a month before opening.

Cauliflower Pickle: makes about 1 pint
1 medium cauliflower (700g approx)
1 green bell pepper
8 oz (225g) French beans
8 oz small button onions
8 oz courgettes
5 oz (175g) salt
3 pints (1.7ltrs)cold water
1 pint (500ml) spiced pickling vinegar
Cut the cauliflower into small florets, remove seeds from pepper and cut this into chunks, cut courgettes into wedges, top and tail beans and chop into small chunks, and remove skins from onions.
Layer the vegetables with the salt in a non-metallic bowl, and pour over the water, placing a plate over the veggies to keep them under the liquid. Then leave in a cool place overnight.
Next day rinse the vegetables well to remove the salt, and pat dry with kitchen paper, then put into a pan with the vinegar, bring to the boil, simmer for one minute, then remove from heat and immediately place into warm, sterilised jars making sure the vegetables are completely covered by the vinegar. Seal with a vinegar proof lid and store for at least one month before eating.

Always seeking new ways to use up something, came across an original idea to use up both a loaf past its best (rather dry) and the scrapings from a jar of Marmite. All you do is mix the Marmite with a little melted butter, spread this on slices of the bread (in other words just make an open Marmite sarnie), cut into squares or triangles, and place on the top of a beef casserole for the last half hour or so of cooking. If the dish is then covered, the slices end up a bit like flat dumplings, if the dish is left uncovered, the topping then becomes a crisp topping. No need to make a casserole to try this - just prepare the bread/Marmite, then freeze away until needed. Alternatively, make a proper Marmite sarnie, then blitz into crumbs, and bag these up to scatter over the top of a casserole or even a meat pie instead of using pastry.