Garlic & Herb

Greetings again, everyone. It’s the weekend, oncemore, and time for another recipe.

This one, like many of my recent uploads, was something of a spur of the moment decision. Which is a pleasant example of how this year’s “mini recipe” focus has changed the way I work. I have a lot more freedom to post simple recipes and the occasional adaptation of a previous dish (like last week’s blueberry vindaloo), most of which would never have graced my site before. It’s somewhat liberating and I hope that you lot enjoy it as much as I do. Feel free to drop a comment down below or hit up my contact page if you have anything to say about the matter.

Today, though, my simple recipe isn’t even my own. It’s a collaboration with a friend of mine who was convinced that I was making garlic bread wrong and just had to prove it.

Personally, I still disagree. Garlic bread doesn’t need herbs or spices to be enjoyable. You can turn a baguette into something wonderful with just garlic and butter.

His herbs and peppers were far from necessary but, in the end, they were also far from unwelcome. If basic garlic bread is a wonderful treat, his french herb and mixed chilli twist is pure bliss. A far more nuanced flavour with all the same garlic punch as before, alongside that touch of heat that we all crave.

For the maybe five minutes of extra preparation time, the difference that my friend’s additions made were utterly unbelievable. And he has no problem with me sharing what he did.

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Easter Pickles

Hey folks, I hope that you all had a good easter.

I know I did. But then, I always do. There’s just something special about combining chocolate with a treasure hunt so that you feel like you’ve earnt it.

Blog-wise, though, I’ve already done one massively chocolate-themed post in recent months and I have another cocoa-based review coming up shortly. I don’t want to overdose on the sweet stuff all of the time and I certainly don’t want to sicken you all with a lack of variety.

So, instead of a chocolate review this year, I’m looking at the other side of easter. The themes of death and rebirth, often represented by eggs.

ChilliEggs

Yes, chilli eggs – Pickled ones, even – from a company who specialises in just that.

An item I may never have found, had it not been for someone’s recommendation.

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Vin D’ Blue

Greetings, hot things. This week, I’m back for another fiery twist on a traditional recipe but, this time, the traditional recipe is my own. My vin d’ aloo. I’m returning to that recipe, and to Exban’s place, to put a newer, bluer twist on it, using this sauce:

2018-08-23 15.22.20

Bravado Spice Co’s Ghost Pepper and Blueberry.

Why? Because the two are a perfect match. A sauce that’s full of dark berry tanins and pepper but has a tad too much vinegar tang, and a curry that wants more fire and a wine-like flavour but previously wasn’t the most religiously appropriate of dishes.

The sauce gives the curry all the depth and slight fruitiness that it needs without actual alcohol, while the curry gives the sauce a highly spiced base to tone down its unpleasant acidity.

All that’s left is to swap from pork to a more halal meat in lamb.

I will mention, though, just to be completely upfront and clear with you all, that this dish will still be only debatably halal. The vinegar in our sauce comes from white wine and, while it has been fermented to a point where it no longer has any chance of affecting one’s sobriety, some muslims may still be upset by the idea of alcohol byproducts in their food.

I’m sorry to say that makers and eaters of this recipe will have to assess the situation themselves and make their own decision as to whether my recipe matches their beliefs. All I can say for sure is that making vin d’ aloo with wine vinegar, rather than wine, has a historic and religious precedent behind it and that the added berries in this sauce make for a far more accurate flavour substitution than simply using such a vinegar alone.

It’s not going to be the same as our previous dish, of course, since this vinegary sauce adds rather more heat and tang, but it’s still going to be a fiery-flavoured, garlic and ginger-heavy, goan delight full of red meat, rich berry undertones and soothing spuds. A proper vindaloo, despite the extra acid.

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A Posh Pair

Hello again, chilli lovers, today, we’re trying some Posh Pickles & Preserves.

Poshpair

Another small company but, if their place at Reading Chilli Fest is anything to go by, they’re a big favourite. Their products were all over Chilli Bob’s stall alongside his Dragon’s Breath plants, to the point where I almost thought they were his own brand. Clearly at least one major name in the chilli world loves them but, this week, we’re going to find out what I think.

I have for you their Fiery Chilli Extra Jam, made with Peppadews, and a vietnamese lemongrass relish known as “Sẚ Và Tu’o’ng ó’t”. Or “Sa Va Tuong Ot”, if your device can’t read the accents.

Two very different preserves in very similar jars.

The only differences, in fact, are the colours and a printed medal on the relish – One that says that it got gold at the World Hot Sauce Awards.

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Fat Man Green

Hey there fiery food folks, you remember Fat Man Chilli Co, right?

Some time ago, we looked at their spicy ketchup – A rich and only mildly spicy take on an artisinal tomato sauce.

This time, we’re going up the scoville scale, just a little, for an equally standard-looking sauce: Their Green Chilli.

fatbottlegreen

As we already found from that ketchup, though, looks can be quite deceiving and this is not the basic jalapeño concoction that it appears to be.

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Biber’s Best

Hey folks, I’ve got a confession to make: Just this month, I’ve finally caught biber fever.

Not that one, though. I have no interest in twenty-tens pop stars, catchy as they may be, since that’s neither my genre nor my era.

No, I’m a 90s punk rock kid at my core, with a love of chiptune and rap metal on the side. The biber that I’ve fallen for isn’t a singer but the turkish for chilli. More specifically, the rich, vaguely paprika-like pul biber that I was recently introduced to by Rafi’s Spicebox.

So today, we’re going to be making up something equally middle eastern, adapted from a jewish friend’s home cooking.

For march’s main recipe, we’re going to be reworking the modern vegetarian classic that is shakshuka.

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Hot Todd

Hello again spice lovers, today I’d like to look at Russell from Grim Reaper Foods’ latest:

Todd

Terracotta and black, with his classic flame patterning and smoothed-foil, metallic finish. It’s unmistakeably one of his but this artwork feels a little busier than the rest.

The twin sets of flames behind its skeleton are more complex than his usual sort and the figure has traded in its smooth, rounded cloak for the harsh lines of a shirt and waistcoat. Attire that fits with his character, of course, but it’s the cut-throat razor, dripping with blood, that actually sells his identity.

The undead form of Sweeny Todd.

Everything else just overcomplicates the label to the point where, for once, I’m not thrilled by Grim Reaper Foods’ design. I actually prefer its other label – The simple one made for Whitbread’s Cookhouse and Pub restaurants.

GrimBonnet

Which brings up an interesting point. This isn’t just a Grim Reaper sauce. It’s a Grim Reaper sauce made for a mainstream food outlet.

How will that affect the bottle’s contents?

Well, Russell claims that this is his mildest sauce yet but I think we ought to judge that for ourselves, don’t you?

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My Mood Ring

Hey folks, today I’d like to talk to you about a recent purchase of mine.

Not another sauce though, or even anything edible. No, today I’d like to talk about my mood ring.

moodring

A silly piece of jewellery which, supposedly at least, measures small fluctuations in the wearers mood and signals it to the world. But that’s not what it really does.

Or why I bought it.

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A Saucey Favourite

Greetings, everyone, and welcome back for another tuesday review.

This week, we’re looking at Saucey Lady again and not just any one of their sauces. The Birds & Bonnets, named for its signature blend of bird’s eye and scotch bonnet chillies, is my favourite of her whole range.

BBfront

And sure, it’s not anything special to look at but that just means that I don’t have to talk about the bottle. If you are interested in Kaz’ packaging, though, I did do a brief overview of her container choices almost exactly a year ago. Back when I wrote this week’s post.

You can still get what you’re after in that one.

Today’s, on the other hand, is all about the deliciousness within. Which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is what really counts.

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Chimp Choc Chip

Hey folks, it’s a few days late but I decided to make you something for white day, after all.

And, of course, it was always going to be late. I don’t do recipe posts on thursdays.

This weekend, though, I’ve made something thematically appropriate for you all to have a go at: Chimp chocolate chip cookies, using the leftovers from my recent review.

Truth be told, they didn’t come out exactly as I’d planned but they were so soft, cakey and tasty that I had to share them, regardless.

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