Oh Yes! It is a fruit!
I expect you were wondering when I was going to get around to one of my favourite fruits, The Chilli Pepper… Chillies are in season all year round here…although a pepper’s hotness is generally determined by genetics, the environment can play a role. Long hot days cause peppers to produce more capsaicin, the specific alkaloid that delivers the spicy kick…The chillies I am picking at the moment have certainly racked the heat up a bit..they are spicy hot babies…
This wonderful versatile fruit which some love to hate… Are the fruits from the flowers of the Nightshade plant family. Mainly eaten as a vegetable but most definitely it is a fruit.
Chilli peppers are a rich source of spicy-hot capsaicin. They are also very high in antioxidant carotenoids, which are linked with many health benefits. … Capsaicin: Is one of the most studied plant compounds in chilli peppers.
Did you know? Chilli has seven times the Vitamin C of an Orange. Also, a big bowl of chilli can help you lose weight? It is because the capsaicin in the chillies and peppers used to make a chilli raise your metabolic rate…
Chilli Con Carne
- 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here.
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
- 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
- 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 pint of fresh-made beef or vegetable stock
- 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.
Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)
Now what can be better than a Smokin hot chilli sauce this recipe was gifted to me by my friend Susan and it is awesome…Thank you, Susan, it is now my go-to chilli sauce…
This recipe is a sort of add how many chillies you like or it depends on how big your hands are…lol
Take a half kilo of Cayenne peppers or peppers of your choice.
A large handful of garlic cloves, peeled and blanched…it is not a requirement but the sauce will be less acrid if you blanch the garlic.
Smoke the chillies and garlic over charcoal mixed with smoked applewood for 2 hours.
Then put in a blender with a cup of organic live cider vinegar, a cup of sugar and half a tsp of salt.
Just look at that lovely rich, red colour, it looks amazing.
After you have made your first batch you might want to play around with the quantities to suit your taste …but that is the fun and what cooking is all about. The high sugar content makes it great for BBQ’s and helps with the preservation.
Put the sauce into sterilized jars.
It is then ready to use as a spread on your bacon sandwich, to coat your meats and is a great base for chilli or my friend Susan makes her version of Mole by adding cocoa powder, nuts, and some Mexican spices.
Play around with flavours you might find something new and exciting. Maybe blanch some red bell peppers and char them with the chillies and garlic.
If the sauce starts to ferment, bubble up then loosen the lid and let it do its work…I wouldn’t eat the sauce while this going on and fermenting but it will settle down on its own and you will be left with a lovely mature sauce with a deeper flavour, albeit less sweet.
Have fun and enjoy!
Do you like something a tad sweeter??? Then this Thai Sweet chilli sauce may be for you??
This recipe makes about half cup of sauce which is ideal for me because if I buy a bottle I end up throwing it away either because I have had it in the fridge or cupboard so long or I have read the label.
- 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup white sugar plus 2 tbsp.
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp sherry if you don’t have sherry then this article gives you replacements for sherry in cooking
- 2 cloves of garlic grated/ minced or very finely chopped
- 1/2 -1 tbsp dried chilli crushed ( 1 tbsp is hot) or chilli pepper flakes.
- 1 plus 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot dissolved in 3-4 tbsp water.
- Optional… Sometimes I julienne a small piece of carrot or red pepper and add to the mixture during the reduction period of cooking.
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan except for the cornflour mix. Stir to combine and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a slow rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture had reduced by half. Lower the heat and add the cornflour mix, stirring until the sauce has thickened.
Taste and adjust the seasoning more sugar if not sweet enough for you and if not hot enough then more chilli.
This is so quick and easy to make and far superior to shop-bought sauces and without the preservatives.
One of my favourite fruits…The chilli…
The chilli and lots of other fruits are in season in September and of course, eating fruits in season brings many benefits to your health and the taste…of course, depending on which zone you are in the world fruit seasons and types vary to what they do here…what doesn’t change is why we should eat the fruit in season …I have listed the benefits below but it really is a no brainer as fruit in season is glorious…
- Richer flavour – Produce that is picked when it’s fully ripened tastes amazing. If your product is coming from across the US or another country, it is picked before it’s ripe. As it travels to your local grocery store, it ripens in a cardboard box, often after being sprayed by chemicals to prevent it from ripening too quickly…who hasn’t been tempted by those strawberries out of season and at a far higher cost both in pennies and their carbon footprint to find the taste was a great disappointment…Hands up I have in the past but no more…I have learnt that lesson the hard way…
- Better nutrition – When produce is picked before it’s ripe, the nutrients do not fully develop in the flesh of the fruit. Plants need the sun to grow and picking them before they are ripe cuts off the nutrient availability. Genetic modification is also sometimes used, which can alter how the crop was naturally supposed to be consumed. Also, if you eat seasonally, you are guaranteed to consume a variety of produce, which will assist you in eating a healthier, balanced diet.
- Environmentally friendly – As produce is transported from other areas, it requires gas to get the product to the store. This fuel charge is something often added to the cost of the food upon delivery, not to mention what this does to the carbon footprint.
- Community benefit – Buying your produce from local farmer’s markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to build community, but also allows you to feel more connected to where your food is coming from and who is growing it…I think we owe our families that and ourselves…
Don’t forget it is National Organic Month…if you missed my post yesterday explained what constitutes an organic product…
Thank you for reading, I do hope you have enjoyed it… I am looking forward to your comments. Thanks, Carol xxxx
About Carol Taylor:
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Have a great weekend, stay safe and be well xx