Food, Recipes

Sugar and spice

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No work today. Which sucks. But the splendid vege shop is heaving with ripe toms, so it’s been a great opportunity to potter about in the kitchen, stereo at full blast, and replenish my stock of chilli jam.

I’m addicted to this stuff. It rocks my world. The recipe comes courtesy of the wonderful Peter Gordon, from his Sugar Club Cookbook.

His suggestion to spread it on toast with a fried egg on top is what got me actually enjoying eggs. Ace hangover food.

We kicked off our Christmas dinner one year by layering it on top of seared scallops, along with blobs of creme fraiche; each towering little mouthful topped with a sprig of fresh coriander. Yum. And it’s great with grilled mackerel, too.

500g very ripe tomatoes
4 red chillies
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 thumbs of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
30ml Thai fish sauce
300g caster sugar
100ml red wine vinegar

Blend half the tomatoes, the chillies, garlic, ginger and fish sauce to a fine puree in a blender. Put the lot into a deep pot, along with the sugar and vinegar, and bring to the boil slowly, stirring all the time. When it reaches the boil, turn to a gentle simmer and add the remaining tomatoes, which you have cut into tiny dice, skin, seeds and all.

Cook gently for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every five minutes to release the solids that settle to the bottom. Also, be sure to scrape the sides of the pot during cooking so the entire mass cooks evenly.

When it’s done, pout into warmed glass jars and allow to cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge for later use. Makes two and a half cups.

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