|spicy and gloopy and delish!|
Surprisingly I love spicy food, and I love chillies. Surprising because one of my earliest memories of eating curry was a beef dish that my Dad made for us one night. Mum worked part time at the local hospital, so Dad would take over the cooking duties. This particular night, he used a heap of curry powder and he left the pot on the stove and forgot about it. Oh boy, was it burnt! Completely black like lumps of charcoal. We were not well off so there was no question of throwing it out. Those poor blackened and blightened bits of beef had to be eaten regardless.
Even so, it did not diminish my love of spices. And unlike my dad, I am very keen on chillies and garlic, and spectacular herbs like basil and coriander. You get my drift - I love food that is full of flavour. So we come to this recipe. I had plums, I had spices, I had a desire to combine them into a spicy sauce. And here it is.
600g. plums, roughly chopped - (don't bother to skin or de-seed)
250 mls. cider vinegar
250 mls. water
175g. brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 cm. piece of ginger root, grated
1/2 tsp allspice
3 cloves or 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
2 small red chillies, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Place the plums (still with skin and seeds) into a large, wide-bottomed pan
Add the vinegar and water
Bring to a boil and simmer rapidly for 10 minutes
Cool for a few minutes
Press the mixture firmly with a wooden spoon through a fine sieve into a bowl or Pyrex jug
Discard the seeds and skins
Place the plummy liquid back into the pan
Now stir the sugar and all the spices into the pan
Simmer for 20-25 minutes till it thickens
Remember to take out the cinnamon stick and the 3 cloves!
Cool for a few minutes then pour into 2 small jars which have been washed in hot, soapy water then baked in a 130C oven for 20 minutes
This sauce can be used straightaway though it will taste even better in a couple of weeks
Serve as a dipping sauce with spring rolls, or anywhere you would want a spicy relish or sauce
Make sure the jars are still hot when you pour in the sauce
Test the readiness of the sauce by putting a saucer into the freezer, leaving for 10 minutes, then spooning on a blob of the mixture - if you can run a spoon through it and it stays separated, you know it is done!
You will need a jar or bottle or 2 - enough to hold about 350 mls.
|plums, vinegar and water into the pot ready for simmering|
|squishing the cooked pulpy mix thru a sieve into a 1 litre Pyrex jug|
|this is what you are left with after lots of squishing down :=) (throw it away)|
|the strained liquid goes in the pan with all the sugar and spices for 20-25 mins. simmering|
|all done - 2 small jars of tangy sauce for your delectation|
|ready for eating in a couple of weeks or now if you can't wait :=)|
Over Christmas, I had been reading the lovely book A Table in the Orchard by Tassie blogger Michelle Crawford. She has a recipe for hawthorn berry sauce, but sadly haw berries are not to be found in my patch of Queensland. I also came across a similar recipe from Karon of the blog Larder Love who suggests using plums instead. Both these ladies mention that the original recipe came from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - you know the curly-mopped, bespectacled, whole food, organic fella. Haw berries nil, plums the go for my hybrid, spicy version of this sauce. Mr P. couldn't wait and had some on his Chinese leftovers. He said it was great!
|my vinegar foodle|