Udon a la Spaghet

Hello again everyone, it’s the last sunday of the month and I’m sure you all know what that means. It’s recipe time!

Now, of course, I don’t always leave my recipes until the last minute like this but, well, my access to ingredients has been somewhat restricted, lately, and I’ve had a lot to do in the last week or two. So, this time around, I’m falling back on a silly suggestion from my friends, mixed in with a family staple.

I’m making udon bolognese – A variation on the classic spaghetti dish using thicker, heartier noodles and a bit of jalapeño-based spice in its sauce.

It’s not traditional and it’s made even less so by the fact that what I know as “bolognese” is actually a twist on spaghetti and meatballs, handed down from generation to generation. Yet it’s still delicious and hey, isn’t that what really matters?

Here’s my take on an italian pasta dish, with just a little bit of a japanese twist.

UdonBolBowl

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The Marmalade Beast

My god, you lot, it’s tuesday and I’ve only just recovered from this year’s birthday post. I’m going to need something extra mild for today’s review. So it’s pretty fortunate that I’ve got just the thing

MildBeast

This is the Mild Beast and it’s from a company who’s sauces I’ve been liking a lot, lately. Yet it shows a very different side of them.

You see, while it might be another Hot Pods product, this particular sauce isn’t the work of Stephen Dixon. It’s made by his daughter – The supposed boss of the company – and it’s made for younger palates, like hers.

The Mild Beast is designed to be heavy on the fruit, light on the vinegar and much much milder. Forsaking the company’s usual chilli blend in favour of a single, not so superhot, pepper.

And yes, I picked it up now because I looked at the calendar and knew that a monday birthday spelt trouble. But I was already planning to try it, anyway, because I find the idea of hot sauce by kids for kids intriguing.

Especially when the label is so clearly their design.

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Lemondrop Curd

Alright everyone, there’s been a little bit of sweetness in these last few weeks but all the sauces therein were still predominantly savoury. So today, that’s going to change. We’re going to look at something that’s sweet to its core but, for once, it’s not a sauce. Or a jam. Or even a chutney.

It’s something new.

Today, folks, we’re looking at a chilli lemon curd.

LemondropCurd

And this isn’t the first such curd I’ve seen. Several other companies, the chilli pepper one included, produce a spiced up version of the standard spread. Yet A Bit of a Pickle are the first that I’ve found to actually state their pepper.

Albeit only in stickers on the side of the jar, because this product is that new to market.

LemondrpCurdSticker

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A Citrus Surprise

It’s another tuesday, everybody, and time for the first of my freebies from Saucey Lady. Four of her standard-sized sauce bottles that I chose but wasn’t charged for, on the grounds that it was christmas.

Thank you, Kaz.

Of the sauces that I chose, only two are new, but you’ll be seeing the lot, anyway, as the other feature in recipes and an upcoming video.

For now, though, I’d like to talk about this one:

StClements

Her St Clements, named in reference to the classic schoolyard rhyme and her inclusion of both oranges and lemons. Fruit that, when combined with the product’s aji limon chillies and yellow bell peppers, give it a warm and vibrant yellow unlike anything else in her range.

Despite having the exact same label as all of her others, this sauce stands out as a real looker. And its UK Chilli Awards sticker bodes well, too.

But can it live up to those impressive first impressions? Well why don’t we find out?

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Honest Chutney

Hey there everybody. Last week, we looked at what was supposed to be a smoky mango sauce and, while it was pretty tasty, it most certainly wasn’t what it said on the label. So, in order to get our fix of the fruit and celebrate national curry week correctly, I’m going to spend today’s post looking at a pair of chutneys:

MChutneys

A pair that promise the same product type, yet take it in completely different directions, with completely different chillies.

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The Mad Titan’s Molé

Hey folks, do you recognise this fruit?

HornedMelon

If you’re a Marvel fan, you should, ’cause this is the only thing growing in Thanos’ garden. And, while it doesn’t come from an alien cactus, the inside of the real kiwano looks more extraterrestrial than anything in Endgame:

HornedInnards

It’s a freaky-looking fruit and its taste is just as weird – A blend of cantaloupe, cucumber and lime – but it’s right at home with herbs and citrus. It’s more vegetable than fruit but a friend to fresh flavours all the same.

In today’s celebration of superhero movies and obscure, african fruit, I’m not going to be replicating the mad titan’s horned melon soup. That dish is as much of an affront to the world as his use of the infinity stones. A thick, snotty, disgusting mess of a meal, about which horror stories have trickled down through my family for generations.

You do not cook the kiwano.

This fruit or vegetable, whichever you choose to call it, is best served fresh or frozen. It’s typically recommended for use in mousses, smoothies, sorbets and citrus-heavy cocktails but, for today’s recipe, I’m going guac.

Mexico’s famous, creamy dip/condiment hybrid that brings together all things fresh and green.

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Khoo’s Hot Syrup

Happy tuesday, folks. Today’s a bit of a special one.

Why? Because it’s shrove tuesday. The start of lent, now all but stripped of its religious significance and transformed into my favourite food-based holiday: Pancake Day.

A day for the appreciation of round, flat, pan-fried breads from all across the globe. Be they ultra thin and lightly crispy like a french crêpe or thick, puffy and well-risen like a japanese hot cake. Smothered in sweetness, as per american tradition, or served up savoury like the potato variety.

And hey, I may not consider the common gluten free alternative, the banana pancake, a true member of the pancake race but it is, quite clearly, pancake-inspired and utterly delicious. If you want to spend your pancake day with those, I’m definitely not going to fault you for it.

Me, though? I was brought up on blueberry ones – Good, thick, american-style pancakes, chock full of my dad’s favourite berries. And, if you don’t count peppers, quite possibly mine as well.

The sweet yet tart bursts of randomly distributed fruit added an extra level of enjoyment to my childhood breakfasts and I still love those pancakes to this day. Despite their mess.

It should, therefore, come as no surprise that I first tried today’s product – A chilli golden syrup – in that manner.

khoocakes

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Appledrop Tart

Hey folks, today it’s tart time.

For this month’s recipe, or perhaps its bonus recipe, if you consider my mousse cake the main one, I wanted to make a spicy apple tart with a touch of my old favourite lemondrop powder. A similar combination to some of the flavours in my fruit risotto from way back but without its pear or morrocan spices, giving a very different end result.

Unfortunately, though, this one didn’t work out as planned.

I did my research, found out the science behind the perfect apple pasty and quickly realised that I didn’t have the tools to make it. I could only make a tasty second best that will, I’m afraid, have to suffice for the time being.

But I will still explain how and why, with a more professional kitchen than mine, you could go that extra mile towards perfection.

Either way, though, the ingredients are the same and they end result it highly enjoyable.

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A Salty Showdown

Happy tuesday again, folks. Today, it’s time for some seasoning.

Chilli salts, instead of sauces, this week and both from companies that we know well.

salts

The Mini Jar Company on the left, makers of salsa, chutney and a great, fiery peanut butter, making their return with an aji lemon (or lemondrop) sea salt.

And, on the right, Wiltshire Chilli Farm, sporting the same brown action lines that we saw on their Dark Habanero sauce for a chipotle salt. A product that promises to be a massive step down in heat from both that and 🔥 the last two items that I had from them 🔥.

Two rather different product flavours – One bright and citrusy and the other rich and smoky – but a single product type all the same.

Let’s see what I make of them.

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Kitchen Alchemy

Hey there heat eaters, today I feel like baking something simple with Grim Reaper Foods’ Alchemy. And what could could be simpler than a microwave mug cake? A subtler take on a ginger steamed pudding, topped with that wonderful, sweet, lemondrop and cognac sauce.

Plus, not only is it simple but it also takes under ten minutes.

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