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Chilli Sauce

1 Oct

This delicious fruity chilli sauce is a great way of preserving fresh chillis and making the most delicious condiment for the table.
Cooking time 20-30 minutes Shelf-life 1 year
*chillis, de-seeded
*onion, roughly chopped
*tart green apples, cored*sugar
*white vinegar
*salt to taste

Measure out an equal volume of each of the main ingredients or thereabouts. If you have a food processor bung the whole lot in it and give it a blitz or just chop everything up. Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly then blend the sauce with an electric blender, a hand mouli or pass it through a sieve to get a smooth sauce with a pouring consistency. While it is still warm pour the sauce into sterilised bottles and seal.

Note If you grow your own chillis then you can really experiment with the heat levels and flavours using this basic recipe as a guide. Each type or combination of chillis will give a different character to the sauce. Originally posted 28/10/2008 updated and re-posted here
Chilli Harvest 2008

from left Thai Red, Relleno Jaun, ‘Kashmir’ red and green, Satan’s Kiss, Jalapeño, Exploding Ember, Cayenne, Peach Habanero.


Pickled Walnuts

21 Jun
Pickled walnuts are a real delicacy wonderful with cheese or cold meats and all you need to make them are green walnuts, salt and vinegar. There are two walnut trees at mas du diable so it is easy to pick them at their green imature stage, which is just before mid-summer here.

Immature walnuts where you can see the white nut forming but no hard shell has started to develop
  • Green walnuts
  • Brine*
  • Vinegar
Prick the walnuts all over (I use a darning needle) and put them into a mixing bowl. Cover with brine and leave to steep for 3-7 days. Make up a fresh batch of brine, drain the walnuts, re-cover with brine and leave for one week. Drain the nuts and layout on a tray to air dry in the sun if possible until they are dry and black. Pack into sterilised jars cover with vinegar and seal.

Shelf Life – Stored in a cool dark place several years

Cooks’ Tip
Walnuts stain clothes, hands and porous crockery so use a stain proof equipment when preparing the walnuts.
*To make brine boil a kettle of water and to each litre add 1/2 cup (120g) of sea salt, stir well to dissolve, cool then strain ready to use.

Sweet Marrow & Ginger Pickle

23 Feb

Marrows are something my dad used to grow but I was never that keen on eating them as a kid, they were just watery tasteless lumps but worst of all there was always a never ending supply. The only excitement a marrow ever brought to our kitchen was when one exploded while making marrow rum. I had a few courgettes go marrow last year and, once the skins go hard, they can be stored for 6 months or more so by default I had a few huge marrows to deal with so I came up with this pickle. Cubes of marrow are boiled in a sugar and vinegar syrup, laced with ginger, until the cubes are translucent and almost candied. I don’t grow marrows now, but maybe I should give them another go as this pickle is lovely. It must be 20 years since I last made it and I don’t know where the recipe originally came from but it just transforms a bland watery cucurbit into something rather extraordinary. Great with cheese, curries and all kinds of savory dishes.

  • 1 large marrow, peeled and cubed 
  • 2 pints of cider vinegar 
  • 350-400g granulated sugar 
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 4-5 tbsp ginger root, peeled and minced 

Put all the ingredients in a large non-corrosive pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and cook until the marrow pieces are translucent and tender but not too soft. Spoon the pieces into sterilized jars, I used large kilner jars, then pour over the cooking liquid until all the pieces are well covered. Seal and store in a cool, dark place and leave for a month or so before eating. Once opened keep refrigerated. 

Cooks Tip If you want to adjust the measurement to the quantity of marrow you have I find the best method is to cut the marrow up as above and pack into the jars. Fill with water then pour the water out into a measuring jug to measure the quantity of vinegar you will need then add 200g of sugar per pint (or just over half a litre) or thereabouts. Dry the marrow and follow the process as above.
original post 23/2/2008