Sunday, June 28, 2015

Chilli sauce

We've just got back from a three week visit to the West Coast of the USA, travelling from Portland down to San Francisco and then up to Seattle. I've always been a bit sniffy about Mexican food, but I was converted by the burly charms of a breakfast burrito from a Portland food cart on my first day and didn't look back. Even the tortilla chips were great (and I say that despite the fact that one of them left me needing to visit my dentist to have a bridge repaired).

As a result, our first supermarket shop back in the UK included a special three-for-two offer of a large bag of birds eye, jalapeño and habanero chillies. I pickled the birds eyes, but short of setting up a taco stand couldn't think of any way of getting through the jalapeños and habaneros. So I decided to make some chilli sauce. I wanted something hot but with plenty of other flavours going on, and a bit of sweetness, too. I think this hits the spot.

Ingredients (makes about 400 ml)
12 habanero chillies
4 jalapeño chillies
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 tablespoons of tamarind concentrate
2 tablespoons of demerara sugar
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
250 ml water
30 ml cider vinegar

sterilised bottles

  1. Cut the habaneros in half lengthwise, cut out and discard the stalks, scrape out and discard any seeds, and chop the flesh. Chop the tops off the jalapeños to remove the stalks, scrape out and discard the seeds, then chop the flesh.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
  3. Put all of the ingredients except for the water and vinegar into a medium sized saucepan, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the water and vinegar, bring to the boil and simmer for another 20 minutes or so. The sauce should be fairly liquid, otherwise it won't pour.
  5. Transfer the contents of the pan to a jug and use a stick blender to puree the cooked sauce.
  6. Use a funnel to fill your sterilised bottles with the sauce.

Ethnic is as ethnic does
I'd never thought of Scottish cooking as qualifying as ethnic food until me and Sammy came across this food truck in Portland, flanked by offerings from Thailand and Lebanon.

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