My husband’s colleague grows veg in an allotment on an almost industrial scale, and one day he brought home from work a big brown paper bag of… chillies. I can’t say I’m a huge chilli fan. I buy a few per year, mostly to concoct my Miracle Brew (post coming!). But by chance I’d been flicking through a Jamie Oliver cookbook a few days earlier, and I’d seen a recipe for Chilli Jam, so I knew exactly what I’d do with them.
Jamie calls for roasting and skinning the chillis and peppers. That sounded like way too much work. I googled lots of chilli jam recipes and ended up combining Jamie’s with Ben’s Chilli Jam. So from Ben I took courage about just trimming and de-seeding the chillis and peppers and chucking them in the food processor. Also, adding garlic.
I also had about triple the amount of chillies, but I didn’t bother adjusting the rest of the ingredients. In fact, I used fewer peppers than called for, because they are a little bit expensive at the moment (50p each isn’t much, but I would have ended up using at least 12 if I’d followed the recipe to the letter).
It’s pretty mild, if I’m honest – although I’m not a lover of heat, if it says ‘Chilli Relish’ on the label, I expect it to be hot! I should probably have checked the ‘hotness’ of the chillies beforehand but I was a bit of a coward. Also, I wish I had skinned both the peppers and chillies. I think it would have been worth it as the tiny bits of skin spoil the texture – but it cooks down if you use it in a sauce of course. Although it isn’t quite as good as I’d hoped, it does add another great layer of flavour to bolognese sauces, chilli con carne and basic tomato sauces.