Some like it hot, some chilli
IAM a self confessed chilli addict! I really am. I have an obsession for all things chilli. And I don’t have to be eating it either. Every time I see a chilli – fresh, dried, hanging as a decoration or otherwise – my heart just sings.
Nearly seven years ago I opened Red Hot Chilli Pepper in Bulcock Street, Caloundra. Despite my passion for all things chilli I thought it was too risky to open a chilli shop, so I started as a boutique herb and spice shop. Fast forward to today and boy, the shop has changed! Why did I morph? Because I listened to my customers. They wanted chilli and I was happy to oblige! I now have the largest selection of chilli products in South East Queensland, possibly even Queensland now.
I’m always on the look out for new products for the shop and I particularly love the concept of Country to Coast, supporting local growers and producers of artisan products.
One of my weaknesses is chilli jam. I don’t necessarily have a sweet tooth but I just can’t get enough of it! I have two local brands in the shop (which are some of the best I’ve tried), from Maleny Cuisine and Gourmet Afrika, both from the hinterland.
Here’s a recipe I adapted a few years ago using chilli jam. It’s quick, easy and ready in no time.
Chicken with chilli jam and coriander Serves 4
Ingredients: ◗ 500g chicken thigh fillets, fat trimmed and thinly sliced ◗ 2 tbs peanut oil + 1 tsp ◗ 2 tbs Thai chilli jam ◗ 1 large brown onion, halved and cut into wedges ◗ 1 tbs fish sauce ◗ 1 tbs soy sauce ◗ 5 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally ◗ ¾ cup toasted cashew nuts ◗ 1 cup fresh coriander leaves ◗ Basmati rice, to serve
Method: Heat 1 tbs oil in a wok over high heat. (Keep on high heat for the entire cook.)
Add half the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until slightly browned.
Remove from wok and set aside. Add in the other 1 tbs of oil and cook the remaining chicken. Set aside.
Add in the last 1 tsp oil and the separated onion wedges. Stir-fry for about 4 minutes.
Return chicken and any juices to the wok. Add in the chilli jam, the fish sauce, the soy sauce and the green spring onions. Stir-fry for 3 minutes tossing/stirring regularly
Add in the toasted cashews and coriander. Toss to combine before serving. Visit Vicki at Red Hot Chilli Pepper, 9/65 Bulcock St, Caloundra.