Posts Tagged ‘chillis’
By MEREDITH KIRTON
Chillies have become one of the most popular flavours in food around the world, featuring in all sorts of cuisines from Asian to Mexican, Italian and Spanish. The fruit comes in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours – yellow, red, purple, orange and indeed vary with their intensity of heat. Botanically speaking they are actually related to Capsicums, or Bell Peppers as they are known in North America. The smaller the fruit however, the more intense the heat tends to be, with birds eye chillies ranking fairly high up on the scale and long yellow peppers tending to be sweet rather than hot.
Chillies are an easy annual to grow. They like a warm, sunny frost free position with good drainage and regular water and can grow happily in pots too. They are self fertile so you only really need one plant in order to produce fruit, but with so many types available, who can stick to one? Their size varies in height from 2m tall down to 30cm or so for some of the more ornamental types. Popular cultivars include Habanero, also known as Scotch Bonnets, Jalapenos and Bird’s Eyes.
To grow your own you can easily raise seedlings from shop bought fruit. Simply wait until ripe, then cut them open and remove the seeds. Sow these seeds into a tray of seed raising mix and keep them moist and in a warm spot to they have germinated. This is in spring for temperate climates but any time of the year in more tropical areas. Once they are about 10cm tall, they are ready for individual pots or planting out in the garden.
Like any fruiting plant, potassium is required and too much nitrogen can cause excess foliage and soft growth at the expense of flowers and fruit, so be careful not to overdo applications high nitrogen fertilisers like chicken manure.
When your bush is over producing, string up excess and dry them, but be careful to wear rubber gloves as the heat from even this can burn your skin if you accidentally touch your eyes. The only antidote really is using yogurt to calm the sting.
Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICSTags: chillis, container planting, grow from seed, planting, pots, vegetables
Posted under grow
By MANDY SINCLAIR
Choose chillies that have firm glossy skins, with no soft spots. Store refrigerated in a plastic clip lock bag. They will keep for up to 2 weeks.
What to do with glut
Freeze chillies whole in plastic bags. To use, thaw and chop – the flesh will not be as firm and probably not suitable for garnish, but certainly ideal to use as a flavour base in a stir-fry, soup, or stuffing.
3 red capsicum
10 long red chillies
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 rosemary sprigs
1. Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan. Lay capsicum and chillies on a baking tray and bake for 25mins, turning once. Remove chilli and cook capsicum for another 10mins. Place in a plastic bag and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and remove seeds. Chop flesh.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan on low. Cook onion for 5 mins, until softened. Add capsicum and chilli with remaining ingredients. Season well and simmer, covered, for 25mins, until thick and caramelized.
3. Spoon into sterilized jars. Store in refrigerator for up to 3months. Serve with grilled fish, chicken or in a stir fry.
Remove seeds from 10 long red chillies. Place in a small food processor and process until chopped. Add 2 tbsp sea salt flakes and process until combined. Place on a large tray and set aside over night to dry. The salt will have become hard and clumped together. Smash up and store in a jar. Use in marinades, sauces or just scatter over fish, chicken or prawns.
Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICSTags: chillis, drying, pickles, preserves, recipe, sauces, vegetables
Posted under harvest
By MANDY SINCLAIR
Piri piri prawns
9 long red chillies
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1kg king green prawns
lemon wedges, to serve
1. Place chillies on a chargrill and cook for 10 mins, turning until blackened. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle rub skin from chillies and remove stalks. Place in a food processor with garlic and pulse until chopped. Add oil and vinegar and process until combined.
2. Place prawns in a shallow dish. Pour over half of piri piri sauce and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hrs.
3. Barbecue or chargrill prawns for 1-2mins each side, until cooked through. transfer prawns to serving bowls. Sprinkle over sea salt, drizzle with remaining piri piri and serve with lemon wedges.
Serves 4 – 6
Peel and de-vein the prawns before marinating if you prefer – when cooking prawns on the barbecue, I cook them unpeeled – it helps to keep the prawns moist.
try this ….
Blue eye with chilli salsa
Combine 2 chopped small red chillies, 1 chopped green onion (shallot), ½ cup chopped coriander and finely grated rind and 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Grill or pan fry salmon fillets. Serve salmon topped with salsa.
Photography by SUE STUBBS | Blog designed by RED PEPPER GRAPHICSTags: chillis, recipe, salsa, seafood
Posted under cook