Chillies are very versatile, we all know that. There are now so many varieties in different shapes, sizes, colours, heat levels and flavour. People are always looking for new ways to showcase the Chilli in its best light, so what better way to showcase the heat and flavour by making Candied Chillies and thanks to Fairy Fee ( Fee Campbell ) she is sharing her method here;
“Choose a chilli with a good thick flesh and tough skin as they have to withstand quite a bit of cooking. I used Bulgarian Carrots grown in the Fairy Fee greenhouse.
Slice your chillies to the desired size always mindful that they will ‘shrink’ a bit during cooking.
For every 1 cup of prepared chillies add 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water and slowly bring to the boil stirring all the time until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the chillies and simmer gently until all the stock syrup is absorbed (this takes a few hours) taking care not to allow it to burn.
Allow to cool slightly but be careful not to let the chillies stick together.
Coat each piece in granulated sugar and place on a rack to dry overnight (or on a very low heat in the oven for an hour or so but be careful because they will burn very easily).
Melt some bitter chocolate and dip half the chilli in the chocolate and lay on greaseproof paper to set.”
So there you have it, a simple but slightly different way to use some of your home grown crop and with Christmas fast approaching, giving these in a box or pack would make a great stocking filler for the Chillihead in your life!
There have been many Chilli Festivals to attend this year with the culmination being FFUK which this year was held on 14/15/16th September. This year’s festival was all the more poignant with the untimely passing of Pete Seymour, weeks before the event. He was Godfather of the Chilli world and head of the ChilliPepperPete operation which runs the festival. For the first time, the festival opened on the Friday night to extend the weekend fun. This is my report;
The gates opened on the dot of 5.00pm at the event held in Victoria Gardens, Brighton opposite the rather grand Royal Pavilion.The Friday night entertainment consisted of a “World Record” attempt by some unlucky individual (separate article coming) and the “Man Vs Fire” Buffet both compared by comedian Matt Whistler.
The buffet consisted of a whole host of different snack items including the likes of chilli pizza, chilli cocktails, fresh chillies, Super-hot burgers supplied by Burger off (a local burger restaurant) Satan’s ashes curry, Chilli Chocloate Brownies and a few other “delicacies’”.Each was labelled with how many Scoville Heat Units were in it and the contestants could collect the labels once they had eaten each one.
There was a 10 minute time limit too. Our own Darth Naga took part along with 4 others including Ted “The Fire Breathing Idiot” Barrus, who had been flown in from the US for the festival, he may be familiar to some of you, but you can see some of his videos he produced at the event on YouTube here but be aware that some of the things he attempts should not be attempted at home! and there will be some bad language.
It turned out that the eventual winner of the buffet was the only female taking part, Clare Cameron (pictured above with her trophy) who I believed consumed something in the region of 9 million Scovilles!
I was asked to be a Judge, along with Ted Barrus and Carl Anderson on the National Chilli Awards for the professional sauces which meant us sitting on our own and tasting lots of small containers of chilli products to decide the winners in various different categories.
After that we as Judges were then invited on stage with compare Rob Dumbrill to present the Chilli Awards.
These awards have become very prestigious as previous years entrants in the Amateur category were not only now set up and selling their sauces but also now winning the professional awards too.Congratulations to those that won.
Next was a very moving video tribute to Chilli Pepper Pete which was played on the large screens, you can see it below:
Then at 6.00pm the Chilli eating competition began, 15 contestants, 10 chillies, last man or woman wins.
Every competitor has to swig a mouthful of beer to start, which washes away any substance they may or may not have secreted in the mouth to help with the burn.
The whole chilli must be chewed and swallowed (excluding the stalk)
If anyone is sick they are out, even a “burp with substance” counts as Rob so nicely stated
So the competitors progressed through the rounds from the Aci Sivri at about 5,000 SHU’s and topped out at the Borg 9, topping a cool 2 million SHU’s! until there was a winner.
The evening continued with live music and the bar kept serving until the show closed at 9.00pm.
Sunday began with live music again, and the judging of the Amateur Sauce category, this is a much sought after title as previous winners of this have gone on to start up their own companies.
This was won by Karen Willmott who goes under the name “Mrs Chutney”,with her Chilli sauce called Sunrise.
Not only did she receive the award, but by winning she gets to work with ChilliPepperPete on getting her chilli sauce into production.
Also at the show was the National BBQ Network, who were running 2 days of their “Ready Steady Q” which is a take on Ready Steady cook where contestants got the same cut of meat and could choose 5 additional items from their store cupboard and in 45 minutes had to create something on the BBQ to impress the judges, everything was supplied and winners would go through to the final with a chance to win some great prizes.
This was a nice extra attraction on both days and the spectators were able to sample the freshly cooked food
But before you could say Habanero, it was time for the 2nd Chilli eating competition…3…2…1…chew!
And then sadly the festival was over for another year.
I think it was very fitting tribute to Pete Seymour.
The festival will be seen again albeit in parts, on television as ITV and the BBC were at the festival filming for different TV shows.
Have you ever been to work, gone on a weekend away camping or business trip abroad and thought “I wish I could have taken some of my hot sauce or chilli powder with me?” but the bottle was too big for the liquid to be packed or taken on the plane?
Well John Konesky in the USA thinks there is a demand for it, and has designed a Sauceman’s Satchel, a little bag you can put on your belt if you wish, made of very durable material and holds three small vials which fit into mouded foam to ensure a safe journey for the contents, The vials are there for you to pre fill with the hot sauce or powder of your choice.
There are a million other uses for the Satchel, obviously not all hot sauce related.
But the guy needs your help, he has produced them but needs to expand the range, and to do that, he needs to be able to place bigger orders with the manaufacturer, so he has listed them on a site called Kickstarter, I suppose a bit like Dragons Den in that he is pitching for your money, and needs $10,000 by the 18th October to enable the expansion to go ahead.
You wont get a slice of the company, but if you do pledge an amount, the minimum is $1 dollar but at $10 plus, you get something back for your money, they have increasing levels of pleadge amount and what you would receive if you gave that particular amount.
The website explains it in greater detail but with 14 days left he needs some help.
Please note, this is something we have read about, we are not endorsing or connected with the product or website in any way.
If you fancy taking a look in more detail clink here for the Kickstarter website or here for his own site about the product
In the year since I’ve been part of the reviewing team at the ChileFoundry, one of the names that has struck fear into my mouth with his potent products is Ged Fowler. Well known in chilli circles, Ged has brought us some cracking sauces such as Heart Throb and 15 minute burn so when I was sent a bottle of a new addition to the Chilli Pepper Company product range, I was keen to sample what creation he’d come up with this time.
The bottle certainly has an eye catching design, with a distinctive devil motif that appears on many of their range of new sauces. Removing the cap and inhaling I can detect the sweet aroma of roasted onions and peppers and hints of the sunflower oil too. The sauce is quite smooth looking with and is a rich carrot orange colour. There’s a slight glossy sheen from surface which I presume comes from the sunflower oil therein and I can also see some tiny flecks of black pepper and bits of garlic within it.
It’s quite a thick sauce and flows out of the bottle quite slowly as I try to get some onto my spoon to sample it. The sauce tastes nice and is full of flavour with the onion and garlic flavours balancing nicely. What I find however that makes this sauce distinguishable is the freshness of the taste. It’s strange to get such a quality of taste from a bottled sauce, but I’m almost reminded of the freshness of a Gazpacho (the tomato based Italian vegetable soup) as I try it.
Obviously the chilli peppers & onions used don’t give this the core tomato taste of a Gazpacho but somehow Ged has managed to capture the refreshing qualities of a Gazpacho in a bottled chilli sauce. The labelling doesn’t indicate what chillies have been used in the creation of the sauce so it looks like Ged, in a Colonel Sanders like move, is keeping this secret blend of chilli peppers under wraps. Whatever it is though, it tastes great and is spoon licking good!
I could see this sauce making a perfect accompaniment to many a pasta, tapas or a stir fried prawn dishes.
Whilst for some this sauce this sauce may not deliver the heat they require (there only a low build of warmth to it), it’s definitely worth a try if you like your sauces simple but packed full of flavour.