Hey folks, today I have something slightly special for you.
It’s a weekend bonus recipe, like I used to do, only rather more refined. It’s a rich and creamy linguine that’s a lot like a korma in some respects but, instead of heavily spiced it’s highly spicy, fairly fruity and just a little bit bright and floral.
Sounds good, right? Well, there’s a catch.
This special dish was a spur of the moment creation thought up when a rare chilli I’d long been after wound up falling into my clutches fresh and in dire need of use. It uses the bhut jolokia orange copenhagen chilli.
If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry. It’s an obscure danish hybrid of various chillies in the naga family, bred with the intention of having red ghost pepper heat in an orange pepper. It doesn’t, so far as I can tell, succeed, but it sure does come close.
More interesting, though, is its flavour. I was expecting a rather ghost-like taste to it, with lighter, almost carroty or mangoey overtones replacing the deep red elements and, to an extent, that’s what I got. Only that fruity sweetness and floral hint actually took over almost completely, making it a very different pepper from most of the things it’s related to.
It’s closer to a fresh orange habanero but, even then, those aren’t as light or as soft in flavour as the orange copenhagen and lack any of its floral elements. Plus, the copenhagen is far brighter and more attention grabbing, even without taking its heat or appearance into account.
You can make this dish with an orange habanero but it will not be the same. Replicating what I made exactly will likely be quite the task for you, so I didn’t want to spend my actual recipe slot on it, even if my linguine would otherwise have been well worth it.
For the record, though, here’s what I used:
1 bhut jolokia orange copenhagen
300ml single cream
2 small red onions (or substitute 1 full sized)
half an inch fresh ginger (not really an accurate measurement)
1 tablespoon cashew nut butter
2 pinches salt
And, of course, I began by chopping the fruit,veg and ginger up as finely as I possibly could to keep things nice and smooth.
This was, as you’ll hopefully have already guessed, especially important for my chilli. Even I don’t want a large mouthful of ghost pepper flesh in my evening meal, no matter how tasty it might be.
What I wanted was to keep the heat as evenly distributed as possible, by cutting it into some incredibly small shreds.
But don’t even think about doing so without disposable gloves on. The oils from superhots are practically impossible to wash off but that doesn’t stop them rubbing off exactly where you don’t want them. Be smart and take precautions.
When that was all done and everything was in pieces, I heated just enough oil to coat the bottom of my pan and began to fry up the onions and ginger.
Within a few minutes, the onions started to soften up, both in texture and in colour.
Now it was time to stir through the mango and pepper pieces but that needed to be kept brief, to vaporise as little chilli as possible before I added the cream to contain it.
The cream was then gently simmered as I stirred through a couple pinches of mild, spanish chilli salt which, while full of flavour on its own, might as well have been table salt for all the difference it made here. I had hoped for a little red chilli taste to contrast with the rest of the dish but had no luck.
Not that my meal ended up needing it anyway.
The sauce was sweet, rich and full of fruity flavour and all it needed to finish it off was a tablespoon of cashew nut butter melted through.
Well, that and to be poured over some pre-packaged pasta:
Absolutely delicious, albeit something of a low level challenge with its mighty
that crept up on me as the meal went on.
The cream had clearly dulled it but not weakened it. This was as hot as any of the multi-night ghost pepper curries I’ve made and even slightly hotter the second day.
But it certainly wasn’t inedible and, even if it had been, I would have still tried. It was just that good.