Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Inventing new foodstuffs

We lifted the chilli plants from the greenhouse last weekend, and picked all the remaining fruit.  These plants, bought from the local garden centre, were a bit of a dead loss.  Although they fruited quite heavily, and needed minimal care, the fruits were so mild, they were barely recogniseable as chillis.  In fact, we used quite a lot in place of green peppers, though they were a pain as they were so small.  Jalapeno fiery chillis my arse!

Anyhow, I decided I'd roast them and make a sort of pepper aquivalent of passata.  I started halving and deseeding them, then realised that as I was going to sieve the result, I didn't need to do that, so just cut the stems off and removed any damaged areas.  (We discovered we had a couple of snails resident in the greenhouse!)   I drizzled olive oil over them, seasoned with salt and pepper and gave them an hour in a roasting dish at 180°C. 

While they were cooling, I went and bought myself a food mill so I didn't have to push the pulp through a sieve with a spoon.  I now have a small bowl of chilli paste, and amazingly, the roasting has drawn out the chilli heat quite a lot, so now it really does have a bit of bite.  It's not excessive, but definitely useful.  Hoorah!

All is not perfect, however, as I was using a mixture of red and green chillis, so the result is a rather unappetising brown colour.  And I have yet to work out how to store it.  I guess it would freeze OK, so I just have to stick it in the ice tray and I'll have a small pile of 2.5cm cubes of chilli paste.

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