Pikliz

It’s getting hot down here! Really hot! And it’s not just the summer… It’s this delicious pikliz too.

You will want to throw it on all of your food, starting with sandwiches, rice and beans, grilled meats, “bananes pesés” (plantains) and more… ohhhh much more !!!

How is my pikliz recipe different from any other you’ve had, well for starters, you can taste the difference in its vinegary taste. I add some fresh lime juice, sugar and salt to balance it out smoothly, which I find takes away from the acidity. Vinegar comes from the French origin of “vin aigre” that translates to “sour wine” and though it is true we want the sourness in our pikliz, we still want it to be smooth, thus the reason why I don’t use the vinegar as is, but balance it out with lime juice, salt and sugar.

The extra spices thrown in there really bring some extra flavor too, and your pikliz will smell exquisite.

I have been planning on posting a pikliz recipe from the start of this blog adventure, but for about a week now, an email I received from a blog reader, really touched my heart, and made me want to post this recipe sooner.

The reader, who will know she is reading this, wrote to me saying that she had adopted two young boys from Haiti, and that in order to keep their home country close to heart, she tried to cook Haitian food at home for her sons, and wanted to know if I could share a pikliz recipe.

“I am trying” she said, “to keep our family connected to Haiti, through culture, holidays, traditions, language, and of course food!”

Wow! What a great motivation for me to keep bringing my recipes and my twists of classic ingredients and recipes from our rich Haitian cuisine and terroir, to your tables!

Thank you for your email “M” that came to me as words of encouragement!

Thank you for grasping on to our culture and celebrating it at home everyday!

I am sure that your sons too will thank you one day, when they will have fully grown into the well grounded men you are raising them to be, for this great gift of cultural heritage that you are affording them, amongst so many others.

And as for now, I am sure the whole family will thank you for putting some great pikliz on the family diner table!!!

Thank you! Merci! Mèsi ! :)


Ingredients
1.5 cups shredded white cabbage
1/2 cup julienned carrot
1 small red bell pepper julienned
1/4 thinly sliced shallots
2 tsp black peppercorn
2 tbsp pink peppercorn
2 cups white distilled vinegar
1 lime juice
1/2 lime cut into thin slices
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 "piman bouk" (habanero peppers) 
4 sprigs of fresh thyme

* TIP: for those of you abroad, you can save time and replace your cabbage and carrot shredding by purchasing a bag of cole slaw salad at the supermarket. Perfect for making a quick pikliz.

Start by shredding your cabbage, thinly slicing your shallots and cutting your peeled carrot and sweet peppers into thin juliennes. Slice half of your hot piman bouk, and reserve the two others for putting whole in your jar. If you like to pikliz a lot spicier, you may want to slice them as well. But, I personally don’t like it too spicy, so the pikliz doesn’t overshadow the food it is accompanying with its spiciness, but simply adds flavor. Mix together the cabbage, carrot, shallots, bell pepper and hot pepper together. You should have a nice mix of color in there with reds, whites, light greens and orange.

Now, once all your vegetables are prepped, mix together your white distilled vinegar, lime juice, sugar and salt together.

In an airtight glass jar, throw a couple pink peppercorn and black peppercorn at the bottom with your whole peppers, and fill the jar with the cabbage mix, placing. Slide one or two slices of lime on the inner sides of the jar, add a few sprigs of fresh thyme and fill up with the vinegar mix.

Top with extra pink peppercorn and black peppercorn and you are good to go.

You can keep your pikliz in the fridge for about 1 or 2 weeks, and even longer, but I myself, like it best within the first week, as it is nice and crisp.

Bon appétit!

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