Autumn is when the world looks to pickling & preserving to store flavours for a rainy depressing day when a hint of spice harkens back to summers of sun & seasonal tastiness… Jamaica is famous for it fairly hot and fiery preserves, some such as Jerk Sauce now world-famous. Many use both chilli and sweet bell peppers that are supposed to be great aphrodisiacs and good for the digestion. We think it is actually the combination of the various ingredients that have these positive effects, including onions, garlic and Jamaican ginger which is supposed to be best in terms of its strength and flavour.
At the moment Jamaican bird peppers are in season so we are busy picking and sun-drying them. We finish the drying process by leaving them overnight in the Mille Fleurs oven after we have finished dinner service. The warmth of a turned-off oven is just right and once the peppers are really dry we just store them in clean dry bottles or make pepper sherry with them. For the latter we just insert some garlic cloves, sprigs of thyme and some bird peppers and then let it stand for a while to draw the flavours. A few drops of this will spice up any soup or sauce.
The mango season is sadly over, but we luckily have some bottles of our Jamaican Mango Chutney to remind us during the winter season of the delicious tangy mango taste. A dollop of this is great with homemade burgers or added to homemade mayonnaise for a lovely tropical Chicken Salad with bits of tropical fruit such as Pineapple and Papaya. Next week we will be sharing our Chef Junior’s recipes for Solomon Gundy & Escoveitch Pickle Sauce, Pickled Beetroot & Banana Chutney.
Mango Chutney Recipe
12 mangoes, halved, stoned and sliced
250 gm ripe tamarind (or tamarind paste)
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
150 gm. seedless raisins
125 gm. Dates, stoned and chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. finely minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. finely chopped bird pepper
1 tbsp. salt
1 onion, sliced
3 stalks Scallion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. ground mustard seeds
2 tsp. each black peppercorns and pimento berries (allspice)
½ ltr. cider vinegar or malt vinegar
Combine the raisins, dates, sweet pepper and half of the vinegar and let stand for 24 hours.
Mix the tamarind paste with the rest of the vinegar.
Mix all the ingredients and boil gently for about 45 minutes in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally in between until the mixture is thick.
Bottle in sterilized bottles and seal immediately. If you do not wish to seal then place in a refrigerator…