Paprika

The Dukkah Company Hot SandDukkah, Dakka, Dukka or Duqqa is a spicy mixture of herbs, nuts and spices. Its name from from the Arabic “to pound” and that is exactly how you make it, collect together your ingredients and pound them into mixture. It is often served as as a dry dip that you then dip oiled bread into.

As a spice mixture it is not limited to dipping, but can be used to season a salad, sprinkling over you soup or even mixing with some plain yoghurt and using to flavour some chicken before barbecuing.

I have tried a few dukkah recipes over the past decade, but this is my first one from The Dukkah Company that have passed across my desk. It looks very appetising with lots of sesame seeds and a few larger chilli flakes in the otherwise orange mixture.

Ingredients: Sesame seeds, Almonds, Fennel, Cayenne, Paprika, Chilli, Black pepper, Celery Salt.

I have set myself up ready with a few chunks of rustic bread and a small bowl of my best olive oil, now this one of the few times when it is acceptable to double dip.

First taste is a complete joy, not to hot, but warming, I can feel the texture of the sesame seeds and the warmth of the cayenne and paprika, with the black pepper with just a hint of the celery salt. Often the cheaper Dakkah mixes I have tried are far to salty, the balance here is just about perfect, it is irresistible combination that just seems to get better the more I dip.

Making your own Dakkah mix is not hard, there are lots of recipes, but this one is worth the £3.75 for the 65g pot and it is surprising how far this little pot will go. I have used about 1/3 of the pot so far. Tonight it will be used to sprinkle on some chicken pieces before being cooked in the oven. Then how about a sprinkle a little on some freshly cooked croutons to go with the salad.

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(9/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8.5/10)


{ 0 comments }

This is the first review I have done of a product from The Chillees, while others have reviewed a couple of their products in the past (HabApple Chilli Apple Chutney & Orangatongue Tingler Chilli Sauce) here at the ChileFoundry for me this is a first.

The Chillees Smoky Jo's Chipotle_smI found this product while visiting the Sherbourne Castle Country Fair a while back. The Chillees is a small family concern run by Nick and Francine Lee who grow the chillies and make the sauces just down the road from us in Taunton, Somerset.

The sauce comes in the standard sized 140ml bottle and as you will see from the picture it picked up a silver award from the Taste of the West organisation in 2014.

Open the bottle and it smells a bit like a chilli style tomato sauce, but once the more volatile aromas have escaped, I can still smell the tomato, but also the onion and maybe a bit of garlic. I am not expecting this to be a hot sauce with only 1% chipotle in the mix, but butternut squash is not something I often find in the chilli sauce, I love using them in soups as they give such a great texture.

The sauce is mild, but you can taste the smokeyness from the smoked Garlic and chipotle chillies, then a bit of sweetness with the onion, red wine and balsamic vinegar, it is not as thick as I expected but the flavour in excellent no single ingredient is overpowering, the combination works very well.

Ingredients: Onion, Tomato, Butternut Squash, Water, Red Wine Vinegar, Red Peppers, Sugar, Apple, Rice Vinegar, Smoked Garlic, Chipotle Chilli (1%), Worcester Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Mustard Seeds, Ancho Chilli, Paprika, Sea Salt.

A few teaspoon later and I can already see this going into some mayo as a mild dip, or mixed into mince before making burgers.. I am getting hungry just thinking about it.. I think we are having a BBQ this weekend..

I can see why this won a silver award, it is an outstanding sauce that would appeal the the whole family.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(1/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8/10)


{ 0 comments }

Simpson’s Seeds have long been supplying us with a bountiful selection of sauces, seeds, plants, books and lots more.  Professional green thumb folk and truly passionate about what they do, their reputation is amongst the top growers, suppliers and sauce makers in the UK, with a motto of ‘Putting Flavour First’, and making small batches of no more than 50 bottles a time, Matt Simpson lovingly creates an inspiring set of sauces personally for you to enjoy.

Simpsons Seeds CenturionI find ‘Centurion’ modestly dressed in a plain white label on the 140ml. This beautiful russet-orange coloured, well blended, medium viscosity sauce carries such a varied aroma.

Ingredients:

Sugar, White Wine Vinegar, Fruit Juice, Pineapple, Madre Vieja Chillies 19%, Honey, Smoked Spanish Paprika, Lemon Juice, Salt.

Bottle kindly supplied by Simpsons Seeds

Smoked Paprika is the forefront of the scent, bringing the fruit juices closely behind, keeping a sweetness in the air. There is a pleasant sharpness that lingers on after the initial aroma has been taken. The first flavour I taste is the intense smokey paprika and the sweet pineapple juice, when this has subsided, and you swallow the smooth blended sauce, you’re left with the soft earthy taste of the Madre Vieja.

A beautiful tingle is left on the sides of your tongue and all across the insides of your lips. The vinegar really opens up the taste buds to be tantalised with the slow building heat. Not too aggressive, but notably medium

As a vegetarian, I would pair this with most barbeque situations. I feel it would be incredible to use with some southern style chicken (the sweetness would lend itself well!) I see it being used as a marinade and would fair well mixed with a little mayonnaise for a celery dip.

£4.00 for a 140ml bottle is quite frankly a steal!

I will find this sauce on almost everything I decide to eat for a while, til I run out and have to buy more.

This is currently in stock on the website, but could run out anytime due to the limited batches made.

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (10/10)
Overall
(9/10)

 

{ 3 comments }

Matt Simpson of Simpsons Seeds, a Chilli expert, author and general all round nice guy tells us how to make paprika;

“We don’t have the nice dry climate here in the UK that is enjoyed in the US and Mexico, so sadly we cannot dry chillies out in the open. It can be possible to dry chillies in a greenhouse, but this is risky, this last year, the ‘wet one’, it would have been pretty much impossible.

I have spoken to folks who dry them above ranges, Aga’s and over fire places, this may well add an extra element of flavour to them, but this can take some time, also, if there is much moisture in the kitchen from kettles or boiling water, it can take longer.

I have found that best way to dry them is to use a dehydrator, I have owned a couple over the last few years, surprisingly, the cheapest, has produced the best. It was bought online can was just under £40.

Unlike the more expensive one, this one does not have a thermostat, so I have to rotate the rays a couple of times. If I don’t the sliced up flesh tends to get a little bit caramelized. Brilliant! I do check the trays every couple of hours to make sure things are drying well.

Combined with the de-hydrator is a very basic blender, and also a cheap coffee grinder. I have been asked why I don’t invest in more expensive equipment. I found that they have the same life expectancy as the cheap stuff. What I would say is make sure that you cover your face, or buy a decent dust mask when it comes to processing the hotter chillies.

The drying fumes from the de-hydrator can be pretty harsh on the non chilli lover in the house hold, chilli fume related coughing fits are a common place occurrence for me, more so when drying Habanero’s and especially so the 7-Pots, which as mentioned earlier are insanely hot. Best thing to do is place the dehydrator in a spare room, shed, or somewhere unlikely to cause domestic problems. Do remember that pets noses are far more sensitive than ours, dogs many hundreds of times so.

The procedure is to cut the pods into slices, or pieces, try to make sure that they are as similar sizes as possible. This ensures that the drying time is the same, if the pieces are of uneven sizes, the drying time will be varied, some pieces will be caramilising, (which does add to the flavour), whilst others are still soft. Once dried, they need to be allowed to cool to room tempreture.

The next part of the process is the blender. It’s also a good chance to experiment with mixing two, or more varieties together. As a seed producer, I tend to make quite a bit of sweet paprika, this as you can imagine, I find a bit dull. So a few years ago I began experimenting using the sweet paprika as a base, and then adding the powder from a hot one.

The use of a blender leaves largish pieces, these have their uses, why not keep some back and mix them with crystal sea salt, this was they can be used as BBQ rub or steak seasoning. I tend to go for fine powder, it takes up less space, and mixtures are less likely to settle. This is where the face protection is very important. As mention I have been using a cheap, (less than £10) coffee grinder. The powder does float up in the air, even more so when emptying the grinder into a storage jar.  I found that using a spoon was kinder on the lungs, also giving each batch a few minutes to settle within the grinder before opening to decant also helps.

Suggested sweet peppers, Napoleon Sweet, Marconi, Honur F1, although any that take your fancy should do, I like to use a thick fleshed type. As for the hots, well, there is a huge range out there, go for ones which suit your tastes, remember that you will get less paprika from thinner fleshed, which includes the stupidly hot 7-Pot. Try some of the Aji’s, or thicker fleshed annums.”

Link to Simpsons Seeds Sweet Pepper Seeds

Link to  Simpsons Seeds Chilli Seeds

 

{ 0 comments }