Passion Fruit Dansak

It’s that time again, everyone. Time for my recipe of the month. And this month, I’m going to be using one of the peppers that I picked up in challock.

Cereja

The cereja roxa*.

Why? Well, two reasons really. One, they’re starting to look a little old and wrinkly so I really do need to use up the last of them. And two, I was wanting to revisit this dish anyway and I thought that it would be the perfect fit for such a fruity chilli.

If, however, you don’t have access to the cereja roxa or its relatives, today’s curry will still work great with the scotch bonnet’s more savoury, earthy fruitiness. Just don’t expect it to have the same light and refreshing top notes.

Because, despite being a rather gentle flavour, this rare pepper really pulls its weight when cooked into my passion fruit dansak.

And yes, this is a dish that I’m rehashing but it’s one that you’ve never seen before. One that I first made for a shokugeki, prior to ever writing this blog.

It was formulated to showcase lentils as an ingredient, without sitting heavily on the stomach like a full on daal, and it was created to capture the hearts of vegetarian chilli lovers, without relying on overly rich additions like soy or black garlic.

It was a winner at the time but, with the light and refreshing quality of its new chilli and a few years worth of refined cooking techniques, today’s version is greater than it ever was before. I just know that you’ll love it.

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Lemon Spice Salsa

Hey there everyone, do you like mango, citrus and salsa? If so then I’ve got the perfect recipe for you!

Today’s is exactly that, with lemon, lime and the lemon spice jalapeño that I recently found all building on a smooth and fruity mango base. Naturally a little sweet but so fresh and tart that it’s definitely not dessert.

Instead, this recipe is an excellent dip for tortilla chips and samosas, a great way to liven up a salad or bean burger, a terrific topping for tacos or the perfect accompaniment to oily fish. Among other uses that I haven’t yet discovered, I’m sure.

And, while it does use a particular numex chilli that I found at challock chilli fest, you can make some substitutions if you don’t have access to it.

I don’t see the lemondrop/aji limon working here because, while it would compliment the citrus, it lacks the yellow pepper and jalapeño-specific notes that help it stand out. Instead, I would recommend the milder, 📽️ regular yellow jalapeños 📽️ if waitrose has them ripe again, orange or yellow habaneros if you want a bit more fruitiness and heat or any of the roxa family of peppers if you can get them, because they, too, are delightfully fruit flavoured.

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Opal Sunshine

Today, everybody, we have a new addition to my review lineup. Another company who has sent me free sauces to sample, a mere two weeks after my last Mahi review.

Today, I’ll be introducing you to Opal Sunshine:

Opal

A small business run by one woman and her family through all the usual social media platforms. I am told that Opal has a website on the way but, in the mean time, you can find her and her sauces @sunshineopal on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Blueberry Barbecue

Today, my fiery food fans, we’re returning to the fruity sauces again and, in particular, an old favourite style: Berry-based barbecue sauce.

Chilli Pepper Pete did it well with their cranberry Dragon’s Blood BBQ and Hot Plot Chilli Co even better with their cherry chipotle 💀 T.N.T. 💀 but, this time, we’re trying out a blueberry version from Rubies in the Rubble.

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A company that I found recently at a local community event and who specialise in working with food waste to make sauces that are edible and hopefully delicious – Their chipotle ketchup certainly was.

As someone who hates to see good food go to waste myself, I can definitely appreciate their ethos but there is one quite major downside: Their production is at the mercy of others.

When blueberries go out of season at the end of summer, they’ll still be around in supermarkets but less so. And they won’t be chucked out in the quantities needed to produce this sauce.

This sauce, like much of what Rubies in the Rubble produce, is a limited edition. Perhaps it will return next year if it goes down well but it won’t be around for much longer in 2018.

So, read on, see if it appeals and, if it does, get it quick before it’s gone.

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Mexican Mango Sorbet

Hey there heat eaters, it’s the last sunday of the month and you know what that means. It’s recipe time and, being that it’s now the height of summer, I figure it’s time for some frozen dessert.

A delicious mango sorbet with a fiery mexican twist.

You will need:

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450ml mango pulp

1 tablespoon red chipotle powder (or 2 small dried)

125ml golden syrup

1 passionfruit

1 lime

And surprisingly little effort.

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Chickpea & Peppadew Paella

Happy sunday, spice lovers. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far.

This month, I had plans for another anime-inspired recipe but I’m afraid that the ramen are going to have to wait. Because I came across something far fancier:

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Saffron, one of the most expensive per weight spices around, going buy one get one free.

Today, I’m going to be working with that but don’t worry, my recipe requires only a pinch and, while it won’t taste the same without it, I do have a substitution to suggest should you really need one.

The ingredients, as I made it, were as follows:

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2 cloves garlic

2 small red onions

3 decent sized tomatoes

16 pickled malawi picanté chillies

1 tin chickpeas

1 cup arborio rice

1 teaspoon cumin

1½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon saffron

1 chive for garnish

And yes, that’s a whopping sixteen chillies – The most that I’ve ever used in a recipe – but there’s a reason for that. They’re also the mildest.

In fact, between coming pre-cored and losing a little of their strength when cooked, even the little fire that they have was almost gone by the time I served my paella. If anything, I’d give the finished dish the bare minimum of what I can taste. A

1/10

Heat

that comes across more as a warmth in the throat than any actual burn and isn’t obvious until you’ve eaten most of a portion.

Today’s non-traditional, vegetarian and vegan take on a paella isn’t about the burn or even that warmth. It’s about showing off the flavours of a highly prized, delicate spice and some mild but delicious chillies that have a wonderful natural sweetness about them.

Because why else would I leave out the seafood?

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Cowley’s Callback

Hello again everyone and welcome back to the third week in what I’ve recently decided will be a no sauce month. You know, to keep me on my toes a bit with a rather different selection of products.

Last week, I was going to feature a Mahi marinade but had to switch it out last minute for some tasty cheese truckles. I do need to actually show off a free sample or two at some point this month, though, so here’s some more vegan jerky from Cowley’s Fine Foods.

jerkypacks

One sweet potato and one mushroom, a good indication of the range, now that they no longer seem to list their tofu jerky online.

At a glance, these products appear to only be slight variations on the sweet potato and mushroom ones that they sent me last time but I’m excited for them all the same.

The first of these, the sweet potato sort, didn’t impress me much in my last review but this particular product sounds a lot closer to the heatless “Texan Barbecue” variety I mentioned in my introduction to the company.

And, as for the “HOT Shrooms!”, well, if they’re anything like the “Shiiiitake! Thats Hot!” then I’m going to absolutely love them. Albeit at a rather leisurely pace.

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Kiwi Crazy

Hey there heat eaters, I’m still working my way through 2017’s backlog of reviews so I’m sorry if I come off as a bit of a broken record with regards to Reading.

It was a great festival with searing heat, in more ways than one to tell the truth, but I survived the summer sun and made it back with some awesome finds. Perhaps even a few too many.

Yet, while they all stood out to me in one way or another, Dorset Meadows, from the chilli shop of the same location, stood out more than most.

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For a start, it was wrapped in a smooth foil label that really caught the sunlight on their stall but, beyond that, it also has some pretty unusual ingredients:

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Homemade Hot Chocolate

Hello and welcome to the year of the dog. It’s chinese new year today but this isn’t going to be a themed post.

My chinese recipe didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped and I haven’t had time to refine it yet so, while it may make an appearance later in the year, today is going to be something mexican.

A mildly spicy, molé-inspired hot chocolate to warm you through the winter.

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Cooking With Vanilla

Hey folks, it’s the last weekend of the month so it’s time for another recipe. This one, however, is a little different to most.

It’s an adaptation of something I found in Janet Sawyer’s vanilla cookbook, kept mild and made vegetarian (vegan even) to suit the relatives I’m eating with. Yet, for those who do want it, I’ll be giving instructions on how to sub the meat back in.

The tofu may add texture to the dish and it’s an unusual but lovely vanilla curry either way but, for those who do eat it, chicken would most definitely help to bring the flavours together and give them a base on which to build.

Regardless of which version you choose to make, though, I’ve made a few other tweaks to ensure that you get the best possible flavour from the curry, while also highlighting a more interesting chilli.

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