We take a look at a super-hero of an ingredient and give you five simple ideas of how to use them. Here our favourite Peckham-based food blogger Helen Graves shares her best recipes using Scotch bonnet chillies.
Scotch bonnet chillies have a fierce heat but also a fruity, aromatic flavour. Harnessing the latter quality without too much of the bite is the key to using them successfully.
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Pierce a whole chilli and add it to soups, tagines or stews; the chilli will gently leach its flavour into the cooking liquid. It works really well in a Jamaican-style corn soup.
Blend 2 de-seeded scotch bonnets with 1 ½ tbsp allspice, 50g dark brown sugar, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp thyme leaves, 1 bunch spring onions, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves and the juice of 2 limes and 1 tsp salt to make a jerk marinade. Use on chicken, fish or pork.
Mix a de-seeded, finely chopped Scotch bonnet with some very finely chopped red onion, lime, orange juice and salt. Use this mix as a sauce for tacos. The acidity of the citrus will tame the heat of the chilli.
Sizzle finely chopped scotch bonnet chillies in olive oil and pour over tomato soup for a tropical punch.
Slice as many scotch bonnet chillies as you dare and steep them in vodka for 4-6 weeks to make chilli vodka. It will definitely make you feel alive.
Helen Graves is a food blogger and cookbook author. For more information visit helengraves.co.uk