Some like them hot, some like them hot­ter still – chillies can add gen­tle warmth to sweet jam, spice to trop­i­cal fruit, heat to an eggy break­fast or fire to a Caribbean pep­per sauce

The Guardian - Cook - - Our 10 Best -


1hr+ A bold pre­serve that sits well with many dishes, from stir-fries and cur­ries to mild, soft goat’s cheese. The se­cret is not to over­cook it. It won’t set like a jam as there is no pectin, so use your judg­ment and keep tast­ing as it cooks and re­duces.

Makes 5 x 200ml jars

125g gar­lic cloves, crushed

125g gin­ger, peeled and grated

60g medium-hot red chillies, stems re­moved

1.25kg toma­toes

825g sugar

30ml red wine vine­gar

½ tbsp salt

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Blitz the chillies with the toma­toes in a food pro­ces­sor un­til smooth. Scoop the mix­ture into a saucepan with the other in­gre­di­ents and bring slowly to the boil, stir­ring to dis­solve the sugar.

2 Cook for about an hour, stir­ring more fre­quently at the later stages, un­til the chilli jam has thick­ened and is a good colour.

3 De­cant into five ster­ilised jam jars. Store in a cool dry spot and con­sume within six months. Mel­rose and Mor­gan’s Good Food For Your Ta­ble (Salt­yard)


1hr+ Aubergine is a veg that can stand up to some spice; it’s par­tic­u­larly at ease with the Sichuan trio of gin­ger, gar­lic and a blast of chilli. Serve along­side a bowl of steam­ing brown bas­mati rice.

Serves 4

4 large au­bergines (about 1.2kg)

A pinch of salt 100ml veg­etable oil

For the sauce

2 tbsp corn­flour

3 tbsp veg­etable oil

2 tbsp Sichuan chilli bean paste

1 chile de ár­bol or

2 Sichuan chillies, crum­bled

2cm gin­ger, peeled and finely chopped

3 gar­lic cloves, finely chopped

250ml chicken or veg­etable stock

2 tbsp dry sherry

1 tbsp brown rice vine­gar

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

4 spring onions, finely sliced

1 small bunch co­rian­der, roughly chopped

1 Cut the au­bergines into rounds about 1-2cm thick, then cut the rounds in half. Sprin­kle them with a lit­tle salt and leave to drain in a colan­der over the sink for at least half an hour, to draw out any ex­cess wa­ter.

2 Pre­heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. When the au­bergines are drained, toss them in the veg­etable oil and roast in the oven for 30-40 min­utes, un­til the au­bergines are com­pletely soft and golden on the out­side.

3 Mean­while, pre­pare the sauce. Mix the corn­flour with 2 tbsp wa­ter. Heat the oil in a large wok and when hot, add the chilli bean paste. As soon as it starts siz­zling, add the

chilli, gin­ger and gar­lic and stir-fry for a minute or two, tak­ing care not to burn the chilli and gar­lic or the sauce will taste bit­ter.

4 Pour in the stock and corn­flour paste and cook for a few min­utes to al­low the sauce to thicken, then add the sherry, vine­gar and sugar and sim­mer to­gether for a few min­utes.

5 Pour the sauce over the au­bergines and scat­ter with the spring onions and co­rian­der. Thomasina Miers, Chilli Notes (Hod­der and Stoughton)


30 mins Quick and easy does it with this ap­pe­tiser – sauteed cau­li­flower makes an ex­cel­lent back­drop for a shower of chilli.


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