I Can’t Believe it’s Not (Mostly) Mustard!

Hello again, everyone, this week we’re trying something borderline luminous:

DalstonBajan

But that’s not colouring. No, Dalston Chillies are quite proud of their all natural approach.

What you’re actually seeing is the reason why I bought this sauce: It may claim to be bajan but, unlike other island sauces, this one isn’t mustard-based. It contains mustard, sure, but its main spice is fresh turmeric and that, dear readers, is unique.

For good reason, mind you, as the stuff stains like little else, during cooking.

In flavour terms, though, turmeric is golden, rooty, somewhat mellow and at the height of its popularity as a drink ingredient, recently. I have high hopes for today’s sauce.

Here’s the full list of what goes into it:

Vinegar, Onion, Fresh Turmeric, Scotch Bonnet Chillies, Mustard Powder, Unrefined Sugar, Garlic, Salt.

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Party Rice

Hey folks, it’s the last weekend of the month and it’s time to party. By which I mean it’s time to replicate a dish that I discovered at an afro-caribbean birthday barbecue.

That’s right, if you couldn’t tell from the title, this week’s recipe is the mildly smoked “party rice” version of west africa’s traditional “jollof”. A heavily spiced rice dish made for sharing, that can be the side for your main meal but, more often, acts as the ballast alongside a tonne of fried plantain, jerk chicken and coleslaw. To name just a few of its common accompaniments.

It can be served warm or cold at just about any time of the day and, while not exactly hot, it carries a wonderful tomato, thyme and scotch bonnet taste that makes it all but impossible to mistake its native region.

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Curry in a Bottle

Welcome to june, everyone. To kick this month off in a rather special way, I’m looking at a pair of imported hot sauces that harken back to the dreams of my youth.

Coconut.jpg

Byron Bay’s Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce, imported from australia by my good friend Matt Tangent, of Aussie Hot Sauces. And Hell’s Kitchen’s Rockin’ Rasta from the US, first imported by Russel of Grim Reaper Foods but, more recently, picked up by the UK’s largest importers, Hot-Headz.

And, if you’re one of my UK readers, you might recognise the coconut sauce on the left. It may be made in australia now but, until about a year ago, Byron Bay had a partner company producing it over here, as well. Matt actually brought this one over at my request, since I really wanted to talk about it. Thanks dude!

Yet, as excited as I am for the return of the Byron Bay range, theirs isn’t the only sauce on display today. Or even the only coconut one.

Neither of today’s items are quite the korma in a bottle that young me wished for but both are delicious, creamy, rich and sweet, coconut-based, curry sauces, all the same. Ones that my ten-year-old self would have been overjoyed to own.

So the question is: Do they still hold up to the more refined tastes of my mid-twenties?

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Spirit of the Caribbean

Happy tuesday again people, it’s time for us to return to wales and experience a second sauce from Chilli of the Valley. One with the same pineapple and coconut flavours that ruined Saucey Lady’s Fireman’s Watch for me but one that gives them the centre stage, instead of pairing them badly with other, more savoury fruit.

This one is their Calypso – A sauce designed to mimic the classic piña colada cocktail’s flavours, with pineapple, coconut and rum.

Calypso

And this time, I see no reason why they won’t work.

To be truly sure, though, I’m going to have to put this sauce to the test.

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Mayan Sunshine

Speaking of finishing off things from last year, my chilli eating friends, it saddens me just a touch to tell you that today is the last we’re going to see of Opal’s range. It was, after all, a real pleasure trying her original and lime sauces.

Yet all good things must come to an end and I do, at least, have this one last bottle to try: Her Mayan Mango.

omm

And, despite habanero and mango being the two ingredients named on the front, it’s not going to be quite the usual blend. You’ll see what I mean in a second.

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The Jerk that Stole Christmas

Merry early christmas, everyone. It’s the end of november again and therefore time for another seasonal dessert. This time, a quick and easy take on christmas cake, with a blend of jamaican-style spices.

It’s not going to be a traditional jerk flavour, since it lacks any thyme, but it’ll still bring together the fragrant peppercorn flavour of allspice and black pepper with some christmassy dried fruit and the blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves that both influences share.

A real taste of the season but also of the caribbean.

Plus, I swapped out the chillies in my old “mincemeat” recipe for a couple of scotch bonnets to give this cake a little bit of extra jamaican goodness and I strongly suggest that you do the same. Continue reading

Witch Time

Happy may day, everyone! Today I’d like to celebrate a special occasion but perhaps not that one.

Instead, I’d like to talk about a lesser-known german holiday, walpurgisnacht.

It’s the night of Saint Walpurga, the last night of april and, due to my upload times, the night I’m actually posting this on. But it’s also known for being the night when the witches come out. The night when people stay indoors to avoid being spirited away, never to return.

So, with that in mind, I’d like to show you the Chilli Pepper Company’s Witches’ Brew. A sauce which is supposedly their caribbean take on Tabasco.

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The Welsh Dragon

Happy thursday folks, we’re getting close to christmas and this is a bit later than I’d originally hoped to have it but here’s the dragon’s breath:

dbart

And yes, it’s in a sauce.

In fact, it’s a sauce you’ve already seen. It’s an updated version of The Chilli Pepper Company’s earlier, less grammatically correct “Dragons Breath”.

Whether this change is just to avoid confusion or because they seriously believe in the strain, I couldn’t say but I appreciate it. It keeps the sauce from having the name of a chilli it doesn’t contain and, more excitingly, it gives me a way to check the pepper out.

I never did manage to get a sample from either of the two people who claimed to have developed it but, while I’m still very sceptical of the dragon’s breath chilli, I’m definitely curious. I’m definitely happy to have my hands on it.

And, as the first superhot said to be literally inedible, I feel I have a duty to prove its growers wrong.

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Tropical Blood

Greetings, spice lovers, and welcome to the last of my Dragon’s Blood reviews.

There is one more item from Chilli Pepper Pete that I’ll be looking at but it’s not a part of their main line. It’s a wild stand alone item that I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait for because today, we’re looking at the Dragon’s Blood Hot Fruity Sauce.

DB Fruity
Image provided by Chilli Pepper Pete.

 

A far brighter bottle than most of the others. Maybe even than the neon product art of the Green Salsa.

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Something Cheesy

I hope you’re all enjoying the start of your weekend. I know I am.

Why? Because I’m particularly happy with this month’s recipe.

It’s a common, highly popular, streetfood item, spiced up in my own signature style and, while it was never my intention for it to be such, it’s come out as another part-italian fusion food.

We’re talking scotch bonnet mozzarella sticks, using many of the same spices as a caribbean jerk.

They’re tasty, they’re savoury and they’re more representative of jamaican food than most of my past work has been. What’s not to love?

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