“Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.” ~ Lou Erickson
Last week I had a lovely long lunch. My father was visiting from interstate, the last time we caught up in person was a few years ago. I also don’t see my sister all that often, she lives about an hour and a half away in another town. The three of us made for a merry little party.
So now it is now a few days later, my liver has recovered from all the Prosecco and the Limeburners Honey Whiskey and I am inspired to head into the kitchen…
One of the courses at lunch was a delicious octopus ceviche topped with micro greens and candied chillies. (I do wish I had a photo for you but, I’m the weirdo who thinks it is rude to photograph your meals in a restaurant. My phone stayed in my purse!)
The candied chillies immediately caught my eye, glistening like bright red rubies on the plate. And they were delicious. I’ve always enjoyed candied fruit, but it had never occurred to me to attempt a candied chilli before.
I have jalapeño chillies fruiting in the garden at the moment so I pounced on them…
Candied Jalapeñ0 Chillies
You will need…
Half a dozen chillies you have at hand, I used red jalapeños. Any fleshy chilli will do, just don’t mix colours.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
A few strips of lemon zest.
Slice up your chillies and reserve the seeds for your seed bank.
Add the zest, water and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to the boil until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the sliced chillies and simmer for 20 minutes without stirring. Turn off the heat and separate chillis from the syrup using a metal sieve. Reserve the chilli syrup for use in cocktails or for desserts, mine was pretty spicy, but a teaspoon of it in a lime margarita would be delicious!
Remove chillies from the sieve and spread out on parchment paper to dry. When dry, (they will feel slightly tacky to the touch) pack into a sealed container and keep in the pantry.
They are just delicious. The candying process intensifies both the chillies colour and flavour. Try them served on top of a few scoops of dark chocolate ice cream. Or include them in home made rocky road. I am going to serve mine with a honey pecan tart I’m making to take to friend’s dinner party this weekend.
And now, let the experimenting begin! I’m going to try the same recipe using small slices of ginger, lime zest, thin slices of beetroot, fresh green fennel seeds and rosellas. Do you have any other suggestions?