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Tip: - When handling fresh chillies be careful not to touch sensitive areas such as your eyes. Even washing your hands afterwards is no guarantee to removing all the chilli oil. I would recommend rubbing a little olive or vegetable oil into your hands before you start to give a protective barrier to the chilli oil, but be careful with knives when you have oily hands!
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Scotch Bonnet Chilli
(Submitted by Chillihead)
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All the various wet jerk rubs, dry jerk rubs, and marinades have the same core ingredients: scallions, thyme, Jamaican pimento (allspice), ginger, Scotch bonnet peppers, black pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Jamaican pimento (allspice) is essential; it is more pungent than allspice from elsewhere. The scallions used in Jamaica are more like baby red onions than the green onions we find in our produce sections. The thyme is very small leafed intensely flavoured English thyme. These are the most critical herbal flavours in jerk seasoning; the next most important flavour is Scotch bonnet peppers.
Jamaicans all grow their own Scotch bonnets, or "country peppers" as they are sometimes called. Scotch bonnets come in several varieties, all of which have a similar "round taste," an intense heat with apricot or fruity overtones. The best substitute for a Scotch bonnet is a fresh habanero pepper.
1/2 cup fresh thyme
Combine all the ingredients into a thick, chunky paste. The mixture will keep in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for several months.
Most Jamaicans grind their spices by hand in a mortar and pestle. The whole spices tend to retain more aromatic oils in them and therefore more of a natural pungency. To save time, you can pulverize the spices in a spice grinder or coffee mill, and then add them to the other ingredients.
Yields 4 cups
3 chilli peppers,
Place the peppers, onions, and ginger in a jar of a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the chilli paste and oil and blend. Then add the allspice, oregano, and water. Rub this mixture all over the pork. Marinate overnight. Barbecue pork fillets or roast in a 400-degree oven.
Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce
Handle Scotch bonnets with extreme caution. It's best to wear gloves when cutting and cleaning them. The tiniest drop of pepper juice on your hands can result in incredible pain should you inadvertently wipe your face or rub your eye. Enjoy this Scotch bonnet sauce, but use it sparingly!
In a no reactive pot, heat the oil. SautÚ the onions until they are translucent but not brown. Add the mangoes or pawpaws, carrots, cho-cho, pimento berries, peppercorns, thyme, and ginger. SautÚ the mixture 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and Scotch bonnet peppers. When the sugar has become syrupy, add the vinegar, and cook until the carrots are soft, about 5 to 10 more minutes.
Puree the mixture in a blender, and strain it. Store it in a tightly closed bottle in the refrigerator.
Yields 3 to 4 cups
2 chickens, cut up
Place the chicken pieces and pig's foot in a large stew pot and pour water in to cover. Add salt. Bring to a boil and skim scum. Cover partially and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove as much fat as possible from surface of water. Add pork, cassareep, onion, brown sugar, chillies, cinnamon, cloves, and thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, for another hour. Remove the cloves and cinnamon and discard. Stir in the vinegar.
Harisa is the most important condiment used in Tunisian cooking, and, in fact, you need to make this recipe and keep is in the refrigerator before attempting any other Tunisian recipe. It's hard to believe that so essential a condiment could evolve only after the introduction of the New World capsicum. Harisa comes from the Arabic word for "to break into pieces," which is done by pounding hot peppers in a mortar although today a food processor can be used. This famous hot chilli paste is also found in the cooking of Algeria, Libya, and even in western Sicily, where c¨scusu is made. In Tunisia it would be prepared fresh in a spice shop. The simplest recipe is merely a paste of red chilli peppers and salt that is covered in olive oil and stored. Harisa is sold in tubes by both Tunisian and French firms. The Tunisian one is better but neither can compare to your own freshly made from this recipe.
Be very careful when handling hot chilli peppers, making sure that you do not put your fingers near your eyes, nose, or mouth, or you will live to regret it. Wash your hands well with soap and water after handling chilli peppers.
2 ounces mildly hot dried guajillo chilli
1. Soak the chilli peppers in tepid water to cover until softened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and remove the stems and seeds. Place in a blender or food processor with the garlic, water, and olive oil and process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.
2. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the caraway, coriander, and salt. Store in a jar and top off, covering the surface of the paste with a layer of olive oil. Whenever the paste is used, you must always top off with olive oil making sure no paste is exposed to air, otherwise it will spoil.
1 cup peanut oil
Heat peanut oil in a small saucepan. Add sesame oil and warm for a minute. Stir in chopped peppers and ground cayenne. Stir well and let stand for 1 hour. Strain and pour into a jar. Store in the refrigerator.
Piquant dips do double duty as condiments and seasonings in Vietnamese cooking. The base for these is always nuoc mam and you can add ingredients such as lime juice, chopped chillies, chopped nuts, spring onions, fried garlic, ginger and fresh herbs such as coriander, sweet basil, and mint.
4 red chillies
Remove stalks from chillies and de-seed if you want a milder dip, though this defeats the purpose of nuoc cham. Pound garlic in a pestle and add chillies one by one, processing until you get a fine paste. Add sugar and lime pieces and pound to a pulp. Remove to a small sauce bowl and add water, vinegar, and fish sauce. Mix well and serve. Variations on the sauce can include chopped coriander, chopped ginger, pineapple, and any fresh herbs.
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