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/

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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

 





The most expensive ingredients in the World

14 05 2012

After my recent move into the new house some people have started to wonder whether I haven’t developed ideas above my station.

Well just to cast aside all doubt here is a quick round-up of some of the most expensive ingredients in the World…

Saffron – $1,000/lb

A classic contender for World’s most expensive ingredient. Saffron is the dried stigma of the cunningly named “Saffron Crocus” or Crocus sativus to give it’s proper name.

For anyone who is wondering why some dried pieces of a flower are so expensive have a look below at what wikipedia has to say…

“To glean an amount of dry saffron weighing 1 lb (450 g) is to harvest 50,000–75,000 flowers, the equivalent of an association football pitch‘s area of cultivation; 110,000–170,000 flowers or two football fields are needed to gross one kilogram. Forty hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers. Stigmas are dried quickly upon extraction and (preferably) sealed in airtight containers.

Saffron prices at wholesale and retail rates range from US$500 to US$5,000 per pound, or US$1,100–11,000/kg, equivalent to £2,500/€3,500 per pound or £5,500/€7,500 per kilogram. The price in Canada recently rose to CAD 18,000 per kilogram. In Western countries, the average retail price is $1,000/£500/€700 per pound, or US$2,200/£1,100/€1,550 per kilogram. A pound contains between 70,000 and 200,000 threads.”

White Truffles: $ 14,000/kg

Another long time heavy weight of the culinary World, white truffles have long been sought after by discerning gourmets for their earthy taste and pungent fragrance.

Native to the Piedmont region of Northern Italy although they can also be found in parts of Croatia. White truffles are the rarest and most costly of all the various species of truffle and as such carry the biggest price tag, the highest price ever paid for a single truffle was set in December 2007, when Macau casino owner Stanley Ho paid 330,000 USD (£165,000) for a specimen weighing 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb), discovered by Luciano Savini and his dog Rocco.

Bit different from paying 99 pence for a kilo of button mushrooms in Tesco!

Edible gold: $90-100/gram

Though gold has no nutritional value, 24k gold is perfectly edible and adds a luxurious and beautiful decoration to dishes and drinks.

Edible gold leaf is popular in cake decorating and for adding a bit of flair to certain cocktails. The metal apparently passes directly through the body unaltered, not sure I would want to try and retrieve it though!

 Ass (Donkey) Cheese $700/lb.

Home to 100 Balkan donkeys, the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve along the Zasavica River produces a smoked donkey’s milk cheese that they call “Pule.”

They justify the obscene price of the cheese by quoting the rarity and  value of the milk used…Not sure I would want ass milk either to be quite honest!

 

 Hop Shoots $1300/lb

Hop shoots are funnily enough the young shoots of the hop bine, yes bine not vine.

Hop shoots are only available between January and mid April. Because of the short period of availability, labour intensive cultivation and low yields hop shoots often rank as the most expensive vegetable in the World!

 

 





New cookery book coming soon!

14 05 2012

Hey all.

Today seems like a good day to indulge in a little bit of shameless self promotion!

As such I am proud to announce that work on my new cookery book “Some Like it Hot” is very nearly complete… just a few finishing touches to be made and will be launching soon.

More updates and a sneak preview to follow shortly so watch this space!





Lancashire Cheese & Onion Tart with Black Pudding and Bacon

7 05 2012

 Back when I was at school it was obligatory to study home economics and if I am really honest it was great fun and I really learnt a lot.

One of the recipes that always sticks out in my mind is Lancashire cheese and onion tart, I can remember vividly the excitement at pulling it out of the oven, tucking into a big savoury slice and then taking the rest home to Mum and Dad.

Well that is nearly 20 years ago now and over time I have refined that original recipe quite a bit, the bacon was an obvious addition and sprang from using up leftover rashers, the black pudding however had a little more thought behind it.

Ingredients:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 160g butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 egg yolks to glaze
  • 400g black pudding
  • 10 rashers of smoke bacon
  • 2 large onions
  • 350g Lancashire cheese
  • 300ml double cream
  • 200ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Chopped thyme
  • Black pepper

Method:

In a food processor blend the flour, butter and salt until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water and egg. Mix until it becomes a dough. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Roll the pastry into a greased tart ring 28cmx 4cm and blind bake for 20-25 minutes at 180°C . Take out your baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes for a golden brown base. Brush with egg yolk.

Fry off your bacon until cooked and your onions until softened and lightly brown

 Mix together the cream, milk, eggs, yolk, black pepper,onions, thyme and half of the cheese

Pulse the black pudding in a food processor until you have a paste.

Roll the black pudding paste out between two layers of cling film so that you have a sort of black pudding patty which will cover the base of the tart

Pop your black pudding onto the pastry and cover with a layer of bacon

Spoon over the cream, cheese and onion mixture and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and add a few slice of tomato if you want to.

Bake in a pre heated oven 180°C for around 40 minutes until set. You can then finish it off for 5 minutes or so under a hot grill to crisp up the cheese.





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








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