NOTE: Blogger has had real issues this this post, I apologise for the haphazard layout!
I was wandering around a bookstore the other day and stumbled upon what looked like an urbancool cookbook called Danks Street Depot. After a flick though, but not really a proper read, I bought it anyway because it looked cool. I judged a book by its cover, how shallow of me. How ever its all turned out ok, since its an awesome book. A more comprehensive review of the book will be on its way due to the fact that I've only made one recipe from it. That one recipe was the pickled coleslaw.
I've never pickled anything before, but I had a couple of cool jars which needed using, too small for flour or rice, way to big for jams. Something pickled was the answer, and since this book has a few recipes for pickles, and they're really simple I figured it was time to have a go.
1 litre cider vinegar
800g sugar (FYI all the sugar in my house...)
1 tbsp celery seeds
1 onion, finely diced
2 green peppers, finely diced
1 large white cabbage, shredded
Salt and pepper
To make the brine, pour the vinegar into a large saucepan and add the sugar, celery seeds, onion and green pepper. Bring to the boil for 15 minutes then add the water.
You will need a non-metallic container large enough to hold all of the ingredients. Start by scattering a layer of cabbage, salt and pepper in the base of the container and spoon on some of the brine. Keep going until everything is used . . . you will probably have to really push the cabbage down towards the end.
Put a weight on top of the cabbage to make sure that it stays immersed . . . I use a dinner plate or tray. Cover and allow everything to pickle for at least 24 hours at room temperature or 48 hours in the fridge. This will keep perfectly in your cupboard for a couple of weeks and will last indefinitely in the fridge.
I only had half a head of cabbage so added in 2 carrots chopped into sticks, and a couple of sticks of celery, chopped. These are things I'd put into a normal coleslaw anyway, so figured it would work... I also didnt have an onion *facepalm* its one of those things I always have, but today I had none somehow. I also had no celery seeds and couldnt find any at the shops? Weird. I just went without. So I actually hardly followed the recipe...
I put the carrot in while the water was boiling to soften them up a bit (if you check his recipe for pickled carrots, cauliflower or whatever - it gives you a few tips on how to pickle veges), but left the celery for a bit later - that doesn't really need to be cooked, and I wanted it to retain its crunch.
I had a big glass salad bowl which was perfect for the overnight pickling.
So I left it overnight on the bench, weighed down by a plate... I admit I did some taste tests before it was ready - delicious!
I sterilised the jar (hot soapy water, good rinse, dried in the oven), stuffed the finished product in and covered it with the pickling liquid.
This is a great recipe for pickling... Im definately doing it again. I found it a touch sweet - however Im going to reserve judgement until I make it how its MEANT to be made, with the onion and celery seeds. I may add less sugar next time though, 800g is alot, though I do like the sweetness, and I think its sweet and sour flavour is going to be really versatile.
Ive made a salad with it - rocket, pickles and shaved aged cheddar which was great with some bbq'ed chargrilled chicken.
Its also great as part of an antipasti spread with hummus and grilled flatbreads, which I had for the first time at the Subiaco Hotel, Perth - and LOVED.
I cant wait to make more things from this cookbook such as:
pickled cauliflower, carrots or whatever
cauliflower and caper tapenade
orechiette w/broccoli, bitter greens and pecorino
pickled and spiced cherries (for a leg of ham)
poached salmon w/caper and egg dressing (he has 2 other options for the salmon - asparagus w/capsicum jam and salsa verde)
roasted scotch fillet w/ watercress and beetroot salad
slow roasted pork shoulder
bread and bean soup (ribollita)
pasta stuffed with roasted pumpkin, ox heart tomato and pecorino cheese
lamb shoulder and cardamom curry
spag with cauliflower strascicata
Danks st bread and butter pudding (made w/croissants)
Just a small list.......... more to come!
I've made the picked again (still without celery seeds - woolies dont stock them Im guessing, as here in the West Aussie countryside, there were none and I couldnt find them in the supermarket in Perth, or in the asian grocer), but this time have used red cabbage, and its a gorgeous pink colour! I love it, and think Ill be making it with red cabbage from now on, because I think it presents alot better - the green cabbage and green capsicum taste great but colourwise, its quite bland. I think the white and khaki green have their place, when you dont need/want such vibrant colour. However the colour added so much to a plate with homemade hummus, beetroot/fetta/mint/celery leaves/pine nut salad and roast pork, that its going to be hard to go back! Have left 2 jars here at mum n dads, so hope they have a hankering for it in the next few weeks!