Monday, 23 February 2015

"We can Pickle That"

Happy Preserving Day!!

After a fabulous summer of growing, a few of my friends and I decided to pickle and preserve the best of our summer crops!

We made a zucchini and capsicum pickle, pickled onions and tomato passata....

We also purchased some Tomatoes from the the green grocer, and as a bit of an experiment, decided to preserve them in separate batch to our home grown tom's...

Our store bought toms.. peeled and ready to 'get saucey'...

The mix of our garden toms - heirlooms, black russians, truss, roma's and then some other random ones...
The different smells while cooking was quite noticeable, with a much richer flavour coming from our home grown batch. The other noticeable difference was the colour, a much bolder, darker red.. On tasting the home grown batch won hands down!

Zuchinni Pickle simmering...
The Zucchini pickle was a particular favourite for the day - tasting amazing on crackers with some cheese, still warm from the pot!

The recipe is my aunt's - which I have attached. 

Because everyone needs Zucchini pickle in their lives..

And pickled onions... Traditional pub style, with pickling spice and vinegar!

They look tasty.. but fingers crossed in four weeks that is how they taste!

Our 'recipe' for the passata was VERY simple and pulled from about 30 different references.. Being first time saucers, we didn't want to go getting to fancy.. 

We simply de-skinned our tomatoes - we used about 8kg. 

First coring the top and marking an x on the bottom, a 45-60 seconds in the boiling pot and then into the ice bath to slip the skins off...

Then blending - we did ours in the food processor and then  straight into the pot to cook for 45 minutes... 

After 45 minutes we added just under 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar per batch (4kgs in each) to get the acidity right for preserving..

At this point it looked a little separated - so in went the stick blender for a quick whiz up.

And then our spoons for sampling.. we all agreed it was tasty at this point... high fives all round.

Into the pre-sterilized jars (which we kept warm in the oven post boiling.. Jars only.. we lost a few lids learning this process...)

And then boiled in the preserving pot until sealed - about 30 minutes! As we recycled our jars, we just waited until the little poppy bit had been sucked down, and bingo! They were ready...

We made 2 big batches (store purchased vs. home grown)

After sampling our fine preserves - making a tasty prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, basil, chilli, garlic and onion sauce, on fresh pasta, we were some very happy preservers!

Our pickling and preserving efforts...

Photo credits:

Rhi & Karzi.

On another note - I spent the preserving day thinking about this..

Portlandia - "we can pickle that"..

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