Some like it hot! – a little update

21 06 2012

So, those who were paying attention will remember that I recently announced the imminent release of my new cookery book – Some like it hot!

Well I figured I would give you a little update on how things are going…
At the moment we are well on track for our scheduled release at the end of July.

The recipes have all been compiled and finalised, pictures have been taken and a lot of very, very tasty food has been consumed!

The only real sticking points have the foreword and the cover. I think I must have gone over each about a dozen times at least!

Still as of late last night I have finally settled on a cover design which I actually like, hoooray!  All that remains now is to polish off the foreword and give everything a quick once over.

Some like it hot! will be available in both Kindle/ebook format and old-school dead tree format via Amazon and selected book stores in the UK and Ireland before gradually spreading from there to conquer the World….

Stay tuned closer to the time for a chance to win some free copies.





Moruga Scorpion

24 05 2012

 

Well if you thought that the Bhut Jolokia was too hot to handle then be prepared to be blown away by the new kid on the block…..The Moruga Scorpion!

Jim Duffy from Refining Fire Chillies  grew them out in California, and as of earlier this year (February if memory serves) they have now officially been crowned the Worlds hottest chilli at  an average of1.46 million scovilles by New Mexico’s State University’s Chile Pepper Institute.

To put that into context the Bhut Jolokia, the former official hottest chilli, is a mere 1 million scovilles so that is 50% more pain

In a rather restrained comment the institutes director Paul Bosland had the following to say “You take a bite. It doesn’t seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty,”

Find out more about Jim and his chillies over at his site http://www.refiningfirechiles.com/





Danny Cash’s Radical Heat Red Habanero Hot Sauce

17 05 2012

Two words describe this little gem: awesome sauce

Quite literally.

The flavour of the habaneros is great and comes through strongly, really fresh and fruity. The heat is pleasant, more than enough to notice but not enough to destroy your taste buds for days.

The sauce is a little thicker than Tabasco but still quite thin with just a few flakes of pepper and seeds

To say I really, really like this sauce would be an understatement of epic proportions.  If I had to pick just one table sauce, this would be it. Kudos Danny Cash!

Great sauce 5/5 in my not so humble opinion.





Texas Creek Products Pure Evil 16 Million SHU Capsaicin Drops

15 05 2012

As you may or may not know I like spicy foods, hot sauces and pretty much all things chile related. In fact there are very, very few products in the realm of firey foods that do not have me salivating.

However even thinking about Pure Evil 16 Million SHU Capsaicin Drops from Texas Creek Products has me breaking out in a sweat!

I have tried a number of pure capsaicin products/extracts in the past and have never really been that much of a fan, there just seems to be way too much pain in relation to the amount of pleasure.

That said when someone is kind enough to send me such a thoughtful gift it would simply be rude not to give it a try….

According to my Fedex tracking details my very own bottle of liquid pain is about 3 days away from touch down. Guess I should started stocking up on milk and toilet paper.

Just so you can get a complete overview of just how hot this sauce is have a look at this video review from Scott Roberts

 





Pork Vindaloo

4 08 2011

Ah Indian food, where would I be without it!

Vindaloo is a Goan dish, heavilly influenced by the Portugese who settled in the area and left their mark on everything from cuisine to religion, the vin part of the name comes from the liberal use of vinegar in the dish.

Traditionally made with pork but this obviously isn’t the case in Muslim areas where it would be lamb/mutton or chicken instead and trust me it is just as good.

Ingredients

1lb Pork.

1 medium onion.

3-4 cloves garlic.

1 inch root ginger.

5 Green chillis.

Chilli powder.

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

½ teaspoon cumin seeds.

½ teaspoon ground ginger.

3 cardamom pods.

8-10 black peppercorns.

3 cloves.

6″ Cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves.

Vinegar

Sea Salt

Method

Heat  a dry frying pan and add in the coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon sticks and peppercorns. Heat for a few seconds until the coriander seeds just start to change colour.

Grind these spices together with the ground ginger, bay leaves, chilli powder, the seeds from 3 cardamom pods and salt.

Chop the pork into cubes, add the spices and the garlic to the meat and stir well so that everything is covered.

Put in a non-metallic bowl and pour in enough vinegar to just cover (it should be between 2-4oz) leeave the pork to marinate for about 6 hours.

Finely chop the onion ginger and chillies.

Heat some oil in a heavy bottomed pan and toss in the onions, chillies and ginger and fry until the onions are soft and just starting to brown.

Using a slotted spoon, put the meat from the marinade into the pan and seal stirring constantly, once the meat has started to brown you can add in the remainder of the marinade





Stuffed Jalapenos

29 07 2011


Stuffed japaleños are great for parties and picnics. I like these stuffed jalapeños instead of cheese and crackers they are just a much more manly hors d’oeuvres.

Ingredients

  • 12 large jalapenos /poblanos halved and deseeded
  • 8 oz. soft cream cheese
  • 8 oz. grated cheddar cheese
  • 6 rashers of  smoked back bacon

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Halve and deseed the  jalapeños.

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese and Cheddar cheese.

Chop the bacon in to small pieces (bacon lardons work perfectly for this) and mix in with the cheese.

Stuff the bacon and cheese mix into the peppers and dust with a little chilli powder

Arrange jalapeños in a single layer on a lightly greased medium-sized baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, but cooking time can vary, so keep an eye on it. When the cheese is brown and bubbling the jalapeños are done.





Chilli Rellenos

27 07 2011

 To make  really great chile rellenos you need to balance three ingredients just right

The first and most important is the chile. The pod has to be of the right size, thick fleshed, and with the right heat level. You want something along the lines of a large Jalapeno or Poblano because it has these characteristics. Here in Ireland I often find it difficult to get large chillies so often use those long Romesco peppers that you can get in some supermarkets, because the heat in these isn’t much more than a bell pepper I often chop up a jalapeno or two and mix them in with my stuffing.

Next the stuffing, you want to use a cheese that will melt well and has just the right strength of flavour, I personally like to use asadero  as it is a traditional Mexican cheese and goes well with the chillies. The basic recipe calls for just cheese but I often like to mix things up a bit and throw in some shrimp some lightly fried lardons… delicious!

Finally, the batter must be light and with just  the right amount of salt and black pepper to enhance the combination, but not detract from the flavors of the chile and stuffing. A great chile relleno captures the unique TexMex flavours of the USA

Ingredients

  • 8 Jalapeno or Poblano chillies, roasted, peeled, and de-seeded.
  • 8 sticks of asadero or mozzarella about the size of a finger.
  • 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup flour, plus more for the chiles
  • Oil, enough to cover 1½-inches deep in a skillet

Method:

Prepare chile pods. Peel and deseed the chiles. Remove the seeds by cutting a slit in the pod from just below the stem and slice about half way down the chile. Stuff the pods with the cheese, but don’t force things. The open edges of the chile must still come together. Hold the edges together with toothpicks.

Next, prepare the batter. Beat the egg whites with salt and pepper until stiff. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks, add salt and flour and mix well.

Fold the yolk mixture into egg whites just enough to mix. (Use quickly, as this batter will separate.) Roll chiles in flour to coat. Dip chiles into batter. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. If oil is hot enough, this will only take a few minutes. Turns chile once, then drain on several layer of paper towels.






PIco de Gallo / Salsa Fresca

11 07 2011

 Quite simply Pico de Gallo is the freshest, cleanest, most delicious condiment you could wish for to accompany Mexican food or indeed anything that could do with something light and zingy alongside.

   Ingredients:

2x  Tomatoes

2x White onions

1x Red Chilli – I use Habanero or Scotch bonnet but its completely up to you and the level of heat would desire

a good handful of fresh coriander leaves

the juice of 1 lime

sea salt to season

Method:

Chop the onion and chilli into fine dice and place into a bowl.

De-seed the tomatoes and dice the flesh.

Finely chop the coriander and combine together with the onions, chilli and tomatoes. ensure that everything is well worked together and squeeze over the juice of 1 lime.

Season to taste with a little sea salt.

 

 

 

 

 





Cottage Delight – Very Hot Cajun Sauce

22 05 2011

Cottage Delight are a UK-based speciality foods company manufacturing a range of snacks, preserves and sauces including several different hot sauces. Our local supermarket is stocking 4 of their hot sauces at the moment but as I have quite a few sauces on the go and even more on order I decided to limit myself to just one.

The sauce that I have sat in front of me is their Very Hot Cajun Sauce which is a scotch bonnet and habanero based concoction, according to Cottage Delight’s website this is the second hottest sauce that they manufacture; second only to their Seriously Hot Carribean Sauce.

I have never tried any of Cottage Delight’s products before and I will be interested to see what exactly about this sauce makes it in any way Cajun.

The sauce is a really attractive yellow/orange colour with a liberal smattering of bright red flecks of chilli, some chilli seeds and a few specks of spice. There is a really good medium consistency that allows ease of pouring yet is still thick enough to coat food well.

The aroma of the sauce is really appealing, there is a really a great fruity kick from the Habaneros and Scotch Bonnets, there is a slight hint of spice and a nice tartness that just balances everything out…my attention has been well and truly grabbed!

In terms of the level of heat I would have to say it is actually pretty good. Sure for most chile heads it wont be Earth shattering but there is more than enough kick to make you sit up and take notice.

In comparison to most other sauces that you would find in your local supermarket this is a real cracker, great taste and a decent heat level that will leave you wanting more.

4/5





Jamaican Jerk Marinade

22 05 2011

Well it has been far too long since I last posted a recipe so I thought I would get back into the saddle with something nice and simple.

 Jerk is a style of cooking that originated in Jamaican and involves the use of a delicious hot and spicy rub or marinade to give a really great flavour to meat, fish and chicken, it is also equally good vegetables, Tofu or even just poured over some plain white rice (a favourite snack of mine)

Now I know not everyone enjoys a lot of heat in their food but I would argue that making any sort of Jerk sauce or rub without using Scotch Bonnet peppers is like trying to drive a car with no suspension, sure you can do it but it just isn’t any good. You really need the delicious fruity taste of the scotch bonnets to make the marinade stand out.

If you are concerned about the level of heat in the peppers then make sure that you remove all of the seeds and the little ribs off the inside and maybe use a mix of half scotch bonnet and half jalapeno but trust me you will be missing out if you don’t add any

Most supermarkets will sell you a jar of jerk sauce or little packets of jerk seasoning but as I have said loudly and often unless you are able to pop into a specialist food shop or deli and pick up something truly authentic then don’t bother, the mass-produced products are inferior in literally every sense

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks spring onion
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Jamaican pimento (allspice)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ tsp  cinnamon
  • 4 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider or white vinegar

Method:
Put all of the ingredients into a food processor with a steel blade attached and blitz until you have the correct consistency – a slightly thick paste
Store leftover marinade in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar for about a month.








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