When your chilli plants are ripening more jalapenos than you can keep up with under normal circumstances and then throw the lack of a kitchen into the mix…. This will be rectified soon, hopefully I’ll be cooking up a storm by the end of next week. Well you need to get creative with your produce producing. I have already found a fabulous way to process some of the quince, but I really want to make a jelly with the rest as you really can’t beat a quince jelly! But oh you should taste what I did with the quince…. Oh my. I can hardly wait for it to mature.
Not being someone who sticks with the ordinary, I like to dabble in the mildly unusual and can tell you from experience pickled artichokes are delicious, pickled radish seed pods are ok, but pickled green tomatoes are a little odd in flavour.
Anyway – I didn’t pickle my quince, although I did see an interesting pickled quince recipe… I followed an age old tradition. Actually it really was ages old. The recipe was from 1733! From Vincent la Chapelle, The Modern Cook (London: 1733) I made a Ratafia of Quinces! I followed the recipe as close as I could, but resorted to modern technology when it suggested I “rasp them with a Grater; all being grated, you must have a Piece of strong Cloth, put in a small handful, and squeese it with all your Might, that the Juice may come from it” I didn’t have a the will to be pfaffing about with a grater when I had my food processor and as for “squeesing” with all my might – I’m just a wee thing and don’t have much “Might” so I got out my fruit crusher. The best bit was adding all the spice and brandy. Then I popped it into bottles but I’m not sure if I got this stage right as it says to “put it up in Bottles flopped very close.” And I really don’t know if I have flopped them close enough – whatever flopping is! But I do have to say it tastes amazing already and will be divine sipped slowly in front of a roaring fire in the cold of winter – when my fireplace is reinstalled and the living area made liveable. And all made without a kitchen!
Alcohol wasn’t involved with my jalapeno processing – no matter how tempting it may seem. Hmm now that is an idea – Chilli vodka…. Yeah Nah… that may be a step too far for my poor long suffering Hubby the Un-Gardener. Besides, what I did was pretty awesome. I smoked them in my wee fish smoker. I have found it’s greatly improved by loading it all up and popping the metal smoker box on the BBQ and shutting the lid. Normally you lay down your manuka wood chips and then put methylated spirits into a little metal dish and set it alight. Most of the time the flame goes out before the wood chips start smoking. Either that or I’ve been doing it wrong. But it works well enough in the BBQ.
Once I had these darkened chillies I took them off the heat, as I didn’t want overdo them. I once found out it was indeed possible to over smoke a fish. It was tough, leathery and had a really odd flavour that wasn’t even remotely fishy!
Then I transferred the jalapenos to my dehydrator and blasted all the moisture from them and lobbed them all in my food processor and blitzed them into a fine powder of smoky chilli goodness! I believe it has the official name Chipotle. Apparently it smells really amazing. Sadly I can’t tell as I have picked up a cold and have a blocked nose and can’t smell a thing. That is a delight that will have to wait for another day!
Come again soon – I’m going somewhere really exciting and I shall take loads of photos to show you when I get back! Hopefully my cold will be gone and my kitchen will be waiting for my return!
Sarah the Gardener : o )