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Feeling Hot Hot Hot!


I have had a bumper crop of chillies this year.

They really have been good and now I am looking to use up the glut I have. And I really have found 4 decent ways to preserve them or use them to their fullest extent. I have about 170 chillies on the plants.

First the warning. As always when cooking with chillies make sure that you are careful. Either wear gloves while preparing chillies or take all the necessary precautions beforehand (namely if you wear contact lenses then take them out first and by all that’s good and holy go to the toilet before you start! This advice comes from personal experience. Ouch!). Washing your hands will not remove all the active ingredient (capsaicin) from them.

Anyway, here are the recipes. I’ll start using my chillies up in the next week or two, so I hope that you have fun with the recipes if you use them …

Chilli vodka
Vodka with a little heat to it.

1 bottle of vodka
Lots of red chilles

Pour all the vodka out of a bottle into a measuring jug, don’t throw this away or you’ll miss one vital element.
Now cut the chillies up into halves or quarters and put them into a large 1 litre jar. It’s up to you how many you use, but the more you use and the hotter the chillies you put in then the more chilli taste the drink will take on.
Pour the vodka into the jar. It may not all fit in, so you do get some perks from this.
Make sure that the peppers are covered by vodka. Now leave it somewhere dark and cool for as long as required, that’s anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months.
We tend to decant it into smaller bottles (after sieving it to remove seeds) and put a piece of chilli in each bottle. That way one bottle of vodka goes a long way and does a few presents.

Chilli jam
This is like a Thai dipping sauce rather than a classical jam, if you want it very hot then use hot chillies and leave some of the seeds in, if you want it milder then don’t add so many chillies and take the seeds out.

500g red pepper – deseeded and cored
100g red chillies
375ml cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1.3kg granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place the chillies and pepper in a blender with a little of the vinegar and process till finely chopped.
Transfer the chilli mixture to a pan with the rest of the vinegar and the salt.
Bring to the boil over a medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and sugar, stir and bring to the boil.
Boil for 5 minutes (be careful here as it can boil over very easily, so use a pan a lot deeper than you think you need).
Remove from heat and store in steralised jars.
I put a small chilli of the appropriate colour in each one as an extra surprise!

You can make a green version too, just use green peppers and green chillies instead.

Dried Chilli
Spread out your chillies on a baking sheet and put in a low oven for a few hours. They will start to shrivel up and dry and when all the moisture is gone they can be stored in a sealable jar. If anything they tend to get hotter when you do this.

Garlic and Chilli Chutney (makes about 3kg)
This should be a slightly sweet chutney with a small amount of chilli, you can add more if you want.
2 kg red tomatoes
500g demerara sugar
500g apple
500g onion
1 yellow bell pepper
4 fat cloves of garlic – finely chopped
4 hot chillies (we use red and green) – finely chopped
2 tablespoons salt
1 pint malt vinegar
extra slices of garlic and mild chilli to put in the jars
Skin the tomatoes (this is not necessary but if you don’t you’ll get skin in the chutney and it’s better without).
Place everything in a preserving pan and simmer gently till the desired consistency is reached (they say it’s ready when you can draw a spoon through the chutney and you can still see the bottom of the pan because it doesn’t collapse in immediately, personally I also leave a little liquid).
Pour into warmed, steralised jars.
Insert the slices of chilli and garlic and seal. We try and get the chilli and garlic in the chutney and also around the edge of the jar, so you know what it is you pick up the jar.

More blog posts by muddy_knees

Previous post: Harvest time is here again.

Next post: preserving a boozey weekend



Like the sound of Chilli Vodka...........

8 Sep, 2009 too Milky! Thanks Muddy...the hubby is well interested in your recipes...especially the chutney! Chillies are so colourful aren't they?

8 Sep, 2009


I'm not overkeen on vodka but the garlic&chillie chutney is going to get a try.

8 Sep, 2009


I've always found my contact lenses protect my eyes when chopping onions, garlic and chillies. Why would I take them out Muddy?
Mind you, they are the old hard lenses - almost extinct I think. Chopping chillies the other day I did rub my nose - oh dear, big mistake.

8 Sep, 2009


Pepper inthe eyes is painful too. Would it work with gin?

8 Sep, 2009


Thanks for all that information, will def give the vodka and the chutney a go......

8 Sep, 2009


Oh and the jam, have been looking for a recipe for chilli jam for years, after buying some at a summer fete.

8 Sep, 2009


Yum yum Yum

x x x

9 Sep, 2009

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