This recipe was featured in my first monthly column at Expat Focus
Piglet in Portugal: Missing Food From Back Home – Is It Just Me?
There are many foods I miss from home including Paxo stuffing, Teabags, Cadbury Cream Eggs, Mincepies, English Christmas cake, English mustard, Horseradish, Piccalilli and Baked Beans to name a few.
When you move to a new country you make many changes to your lifestyle; compromises have to be made and you learn to adapt – especially regarding your choice of food. However, this does not stop your “food-from-home” cravings. Picallili is one “food-from-home” I missed, which I now make myself.
Piccalilli is delicious served with a hunk of fresh bread, cheddar cheese and one of Mr Piglet’s Pickled Onions. I had never “pickled” anything before moving to Portugal now I experiment with all types of recipes.
If you moved abroad and you had to list the top 5 foods you would miss what would they be?
1 lb/450g onions cut into pieces
2 pints/1.2litres malt vinegar or white wine vinegar 6%
½ whole nutmeg grated or ½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
½ teaspoon powdered allspice
2 medium cauliflowers – cut into small florets
1 cucumber, peeled and cubed
1lb runner beans or French beans cut into ½ inch/10cm lengths
12 oz/350g caster sugar
2 cloves of garlic
3 teaspoons salt
2 oz/50g mustard powder
1oz/25g turmeric powder
6 level tablespoons plain flour
5 tablespoons malt/white wine vinegar (in addition to above)
3 tablespoons water
Large saucepan, sieve, large basin and a variety of sterilized jars
Makes approx 5 lb/2.25kg
Place vinegar in large saucepan and add onions, nutmeg and allspice. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes. Add cauliflower florets, cucumber, runner beans and sugar. Crush garlic in salt, add to pan and then bring mixture back to boil and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the mixture simmer for too long as vegetables need to be “al dente”.
Strain the contents of the saucepan through colander over a large bowl and leave vegetables to drain. Reserve the hot vinegar.
In a separate bowl, mix mustard powder, turmeric and flour together. Gradually add the 5 tablespoons of vinegar/water and blend well. The mixture once blended should resemble a paste. Gradually add all the hot vinegar to paste mixture and stir well to avoid any “lumps”.
Boil gently for 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and then add the vegetables. Mix well and make sure all the vegetables are coated with the sauce.
Spoon the mixture while hot into the screw-top heated sterilized jars.
When the piccalilli is cold; store in a cool dark place for 3 months before eating. Refrigerate once opened.