I bookmarked Jacqueline’s bookmarked recipe challenge, originally started by Ruth, a couple of weeks ago. I have tons of bookmarked recipes: a long list in my browser bookmarks, a few more stashed in Evernote, a box full of magazine and newspaper clippings, cookbooks bristling with Post-Its and bookdarts. Where to start?
Well, my recent browse through Margaret Costa’s Four Seasons Cookbook provided inspiration in the form of tomato and pepper chutney, now maturing nicely in the larder. There’s something very satisfying about starting out with a pan full of chopped vegetables, reeking of vinegar, and finishing with these glowing jars of glossy red chutney, and it kickstarted me into more preserving. After a quick detour into Delia’s famous mincemeat, which I’ve had a printout of for ages and never made, I was prompted by the Cottage Smallholder site, fount of all knowledge about preserving, to make some sweet chilli jam using a recipe from the BBC Good Food site, a frequent source of bookmarked recipes. I love chilli jam and jelly — they make a lovely relish for cheesy and eggy things, and I’m also partial to them with scallops. I bet both jam and chutney will go very nicely with turkey too.
This is my version of the chilli jam recipe. I found the original rather imprecise in some ways. For example, it gives weights for some ingredients but then just specifies “8 red peppers”. Mine were huge, at least double the normal size, so I used four. Then it says “10 red chillies”, without any qualification — a little dangerous in my view. Throw in 10 Scotch Bonnet chillies with their seeds and the jam will blow your head off. I did like one comment on the BBC site which queried the “finger-sized piece of ginger” because “I have big hands”! As always, nothing beats tasting and adjusting as you go.