Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chilli Glut

This year for the second year in a row I have grown a Chilli Plant and it has produced a nice crop of small hot red chillies, unfortunatly this years plant only came labeled as a chilli plant and I do not know the variety.
But this good harvest has lead me to have to work out what to do with my sudden glut of chillies since I have got out of the habit of cooking with them recently I found that the first few harvested had ended up shrivelling up in my fridge and this would not do to have the whole harvest go this way.
After a bit of deliberation I decided to have an attempt at making chilli jam (or more precisely jelly since it is strained) as I also had a glut of cooking apples brought down from my parents garden in Essex.
The first attempt at making this jam didn't set properly as I had not put enough sugar into the mix. (the perils of not actually owning a set of kitchen scales) but after adding more sugar it set very solidly.
I have found my new favourite condiment to have with cheese and crackers :D

After this I had a few chillies left to ripen on the plant and needed to find something else to do with these. BBC good food then gave me an idea, Chilli vodka, but I have adapted the recipe to make more of a liquor by adding sugar and leaving it to absorb the chilli kick for longer as the sweetness will now combat the flavour.
Additionally I have added red food colouring so it is not drunk by mistake.

Now I only have the job of deciding how to over winter my chilli plant. The plant has such nice foliage on it that I am reluctant to cut it right down as one of the sites I looked at said to do. I may just leave it out with all the damaged foliage cut off and see how long it will stay green for and once the rest of the leaves start dying back then cut it down so that it can focus on keeping its roots alive.
Then I should have a good crop of chillies for next year. *fingers crossed* I am also looking for another chilli plant to grown next year and have been trying to find out what a chilli I saw on a gardening/food show is. It is a small purple chilli which is not too hot but has a lot of flavour to it. It just seemed so exotic and wonderful that I might have to try and find it. But if not then I will be looking for a cooler chilli to the one I currently have so that it is more likely to be used in cooking...