Tag Archives: Chili pepper

Scottish Tapas

8 Jul

My favourite sort of lunch at home is what my Mum would call ‘little bowls of this and that’. The rest of us call it a Wolffe Lunch. The table groans with plates of this and bowls of that, with things to nibble and with salads you want to pile onto your plate. The worry is always that the thing you’ve got your eye on will be passed round the table the OTHER WAY and there will be hardly any left by the time it gets to you. No need to worry though, there is always plenty.

I’ve adapted the Wolffe Lunch, of course. And this weekend it has included homemade baps, beetroot and orange salad, warm chilli sweetcorn fritters, prawns in chilli lime dressing, tabbouleh (with fresh herbs from the garden), a cheese board, dressed crab, homemade mayonnaise, salad leaves from the garden, and cucumber from the greenhouse. I never knew that cucumbers tasted like that, always thought they were like watered down versions of a flavour – but this was sweet and aromatic in a most surprising way.

So, what do you want first? The fritters? OK then, here we go.

The chilli sweetcorn fritters were entirely inspired by finding a half can of sweetcorn in the fridge. And the purchase of this month’s Olive magazine.

Chilli sweetcorn fritters with prawns

  • 100g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1 duck egg or 1 egg, plus a yolk
  • 80ml milk
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped nice and fine
  • 100g or so of sweetcorn (about half a small tin)
  • sunflower or rapeseed oil for frying
  • 200g prawns
  • 1 red chilli, sliced fine
  • spring onions, sliced fine
  • juice of 1 lime and lime wedges to serve
  1. Put the prawns in a bowl, and sprinkle over the chilli, the spring onion slices and the lime juice. Set aside while you make the fritters
  2. Sift the flour, soda and a pinch of salt into a big bowl
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, yolk and milk
  4. Beat with a wooden spoon, or balloon whisk till you have a smooth and thick batter
  5. Add the sweetcorn and chilli
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan on a medium heat
  7. Spoon tablespoons of batter into the pan and fry for a minute or so till you see bubbles on the surface. Turn over and cook for another minute or so, till golden, puffed and cooked through
  8. Drain on kitchen paper.
You’ll probably want to serve these while they’re still warm, so think about that before you get started… just make sure everything else is ready to go before you start frying. The batter can be made and left for a wee bit before you fry.
They’d probably be tasty with a choice of dips – salsa, hummus, cream cheese and chives. I’d also like it with mango salsa I was introduced to by the inimitable John Murphy. John is someone very special – he’s a philosopher, a therapist, an alcoholic and a cattle rustler (ex). And so much more.
That Mango Salsa
Cut up a mango into chunks. Add a clove of garlic, chopped up fine (or smooshed if you prefer it that way), a sliced up red or green chilli and the juice of 1 lime.
Eat immediately if you want, but it’ll be much nicer if you can bear to leave it for 24hours. The other things in your fridge might not thank you though.
Oh, and don’t even think about making these fritters if you’re on a diet. Unless of course you think you can limit yourself to just the one. Which you can’t. Trust me.

Sweet chilli dipping sauce

3 Jul

I love chillies.  I love their heat.  And I love thai sweet chilli dipping sauce.

And then I found a recipe to make sweet chilli dipping sauce.  Thanks Thane Prince, from your Jellies, James and Chutneys book.  Lots of lovely things in there, but this is the one I kept coming back to, and thinking I had to make it.

Edited to say the title of the book would of course be Jellies, Jams and Chutneys.  Not James.  

So, last weekend, or was it the one before, I bought my chillies (my ones in the greenhouse aren’t ready yet) and made my first batch.

It’s another great quick recipe, and one that I think I will come back to again and again, although next time I’ll remember to put on a pair of latex gloves before chopping up 60z of hot chillies.

Sweet chilli dipping sauce

2 cups rice vinegar

15oz unrefined caster sugar

6oz red chillies, stemmed and finely chopped with the pith and the seeds

1 TBsp maldon salt

  1. Put the vinegar and the sugar in a large deep saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Increase the heat, and boil rapidly for 5-8 minutes until the mixture becomes syrupy.
  3. Add the chiles and salt and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully as the mixture can bubble up when the chiles are in there.
  4. Pour into hot sterilised jars, cover with vinegar proof seals and label.
The version I made is extremely hot and is perhaps nicest when added to other things like cream cheese or mayonnaise to make a dip.  Or a stir fry to pep it up a bit.
I keep it in the fridge, but it would probably be fine in a cupboard. It evidently keeps for 6 months.  Not in my kitchen it won’t, maybe 6 weeks.
%d bloggers like this: