Growing chilies has been a hobby of mine for nearly 3 years now. If you want to research the details, you can go back to my SEARCH box and key in words like Red Savina and Habanero. The chilies above are Red Savinas, and most of those below are Habaneros. But today’s blog is not entirely about chili growing.
In the peak of season, my three or four varieties of chili plants were giving mighty fine fruits, as you can see. But it’s mid-winter here in Sydney – in fact the Winter Solstice is tomorrow – and my chili plants have given up their last fruits.
I did my last chili pick a few days ago, and there ain’t no more to be seen for a good many months. I will prune what chili bushes I have and re-plant more seeds in the springtime, as per my habit of the last few years.
Yes, a bit of a hodge podge, true, but lots of flavour and a great deal of heat. That’s what chilies have going for themselves. I decided to open up a jar of dried yellow Habaneros from 2010 and add them to my last batch of chili jam. And I even threw in a couple of dried Red Savinas for lip-blisteringness (no such word, I know).
I added fresh tomatoes to bulk out my chili jam. Blanched peeled and chopped to be precise.
Each time I make the chili jam the result is different, due to the variety in the chili content and the quantity and ripeness of the tomatoes.
I added a little water and began a long slow stewing operation to soften the ingredients and bring out the flavours. I also added salt and a sprinkle of you-know-what (you DO know what).
Off we go on the long slow, unattended chili jam adventure.
I blended it all up with the aid of a bamix and added raw sugar, and reduced, reduced, reduced. Eye-watering aromas in the kitchen.
And there it is, good enough to bottle. It’s magnificent for grown-up cheese on toast, and many, many other things that require hellish heat. My son, whose inner-latino enjoys spicy food, has it on his sandwiches for school lunch. He dared one of his friends at school to try one, who subsequently came to my house begging for a jar. He got one.
Last chili jam for the year. Roll on Spring!!
Posted by Kurma on 21/6/11; 7:50:00 AM