Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hot and Spicy

Maybe not quite what you were expecting, but I see my time spent in the kitchen as just another facet of my craft work, so when I made my Hot Chilli and Ginger Jam today, I decided that I would post a recipe in pictures on my craft blog, so that, if you like the sound of it, you can have a go to.

It was far too nice a day to spend hours in the kitchen so I did the preparation out on our sunny porch. First there were two kilos of plum tomatoes to peel and deseed. I bought lovely fresh ones from the market yesterday, but 4 x 500g cans work just as well. (They still need to have their seeds removed).
Next I peeled 100g (three bulbs) of garlic. That's unbelieveably sticky stuff when you handle it in quantity! Then I chopped just 5g of dried, whole chillies, (again I would use fresh ones but they are not in season right now), and finally I peeled and chopped 400g of fresh root ginger. It was time to go into the kitchen then.

I like to work with a big pan for jams and pickles so I used my preserving pan. In went the tomatoes with 1kg sugar (no water), and they were cooked together for 30 minutes. I had to stir it at regular intervals to ensure it didn't stick.

While they were cooking I used my hand-blender to blend together the chillies, garlic and ginger, and 100ml of malt vinegar. Leaning over that is guaranteed to clear any blocked sinuses, and bring a tear to your eyes! This was added to the tomatoes in the pan, mixed well and cooked for a further 30 minutes.

Next I blended everything in the pan until there were no lumps of tomato remaining, and then left it to simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. By then it is thick and almost smooth, and it smells heavenly. This batch is still quite red, but the last lot I made was dark brown. I guess it depends on the tomatoes you use.

All that was left to do then was to bottle it, seal it and add some labels that I made with clipart on the computer. With pickles I add a cellophane cover over the jar to stop the vinegar from attacking the metal jar lids.

I was brought up not to waste anything, but that often goes by the board in our modern world, but I am trying to live the Spanish way, and they use everything. So the big colander full of tomato hearts, seeds and skin was processed with a dash of balsmic vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar to stabilise it, and then put through a sieve to remove the actual pips. I then cooked the resulting liquid for a few minutes as this improves the taste, and I now have a box of tomato purée/ sauce in the freezer, to use in my next bolognaise sauce or soup. Mum would have been proud of me!


Jill said...

It sounds absolutely gorgeous, but I don't like chilli!!! I'd give it a try though.



Tom Perry said...

Nice! Do you think it would survive air mail back to Oswestry... ?