Chilli Onion Jam – For sandwiches, soups, stir frys
I love making pastes and sauces at home. They’re really great to turn up flavours in any dish a few notches up. I’ve made harissa, bacon and onion jam, Thai peanut sauce and more. This chilli onion jam I made was essentially for sandwiches so they’re not just tasty but also have a hearty filling. It’s great on toast as it it or with a fried egg on top. There’s a lot more I can use it for but now let’s just enjoy a good egg sandwich with this delicious, sticky, sweet and spicy chilli onion jam.
A few days ago I ordered a pack of udon noodles from Amazon on a whim. I love trying different kinds of noodles as long as they’re not a pain to cook. I’d seen several udon noodle recipes but almost all of them were made with fresh udon noodles. Fresh ones are much plumper, thicker and whiter than their dried counterparts. They looked like they could soak up any sauce in seconds. The dried ones though didn’t disappoint. I absolutely loved them. They’re thicker, flatter and chewier than regular noodles. And tasted fantastic with the chicken I made.
I’ve made tahini before and only because all recipes of hummus calls for some. And without it, hummus is simply a chickpea mush without flavour. The last time I made it, I didn’t entirely grasp the versatility of tahini. I didn’t stop to take a whiff while it was freshly blitzed and still in the blender. This time I did and it smelled amazing. So nutty you might think it’s peanut butter or something. And it made it correctly this time as opposed to rushing it.
I’ve only tasted harissa in restaurant dishes and have always loved it. Harissa is basically a North African condiment made with different kinds of chillies, garlic and spices. There are multiple recipes out there and most of them have the same base ingredients but different chillies. I happen to follow a former Masterchef Australia contestant Rose Adam on Instagram and she posted an Insta story of harissa paste in the making. It was too easy to pass so I wanted to make some of my own.
Ever since I saw Nigella Lawson whizz some pineapple and plump red chillies in a processor on TV to make chilli jam, I’ve wanted to make something close. Hey, if you can have pineapple on your pizza, you can sure get through this one. I made this sauce with fresh pineapple (hate cutting it though) and fresh red chillies. And boy were those chillies hot. This sauce can be used in stir-frys, salads, sandwiches and more. It’s a tad chunky but quite delicious. The heat from the chillies and the sweetness from the pineapple work great together.
Bacon caught your attention, didn’t it? I’ll take that as a yes. Crisp bacon strips with eggs sounds like the perfect hangover curing breakfast. Yes, bacon does make anything better. But even you know it’s not good for you (such a buzzkill). That’s why I rarely pick a small packet of it at the supermarket. This time around, I wanted to try my hands on bacon jam. Sweet, salty and sticky bacon and onion jam.
It’s not always restaurants get pesto right. Not that they don’t know how to do it – because it’s pretty straight forward. But it’s probably because restaurants here are used to making pasta ‘sauces’ quite creamy. So they add a load of cream in their pesto and call it ‘pesto sauce’. That’s certainly not how I like my pesto. There’s nothing snobbish about it. Basil tastes great when it’s not cooked and diluted with cream. Just some cooked pasta tossed in pesto enough to coat it is perfect.
Remember that peanut sauce that comes with satay dishes in restaurants? This one’s like that. It’s a 5 minute job to whip it up and can be used as a sauce for a stir-fry or for dipping chicken and veggies. It’s sweet, spicy and has a strong peanut taste (of course!). Using peanut butter as a base, you can get really creative with this one. I simply love it and will keep making it as and when I need some quick fix Thai style comfort food. Just toast some vegetables or even chicken, and slather this sauce on them. Simple. You can make it ahead and keep it in your fridge. I say this with the hope that you’d use it all up in 3-4 days.
Remember my recent trip to the hills? Yes, Saattal it was. I brought back a bunch of jams. One of them was an apricot jam. Turns out, it’s my favourite. But how long will I just spread it over bread? That’s why I used it instead of honey for my sweet and spicy chilli sauce. This one’s a 3-ingredient sauce – chillies, garlic and apricot jam. Since there aren’t any other ingredients to give it volume, I used a lot of chillies. Don’t be alarmed, they were all deseeded. Except 2-3 I guess, for the heat.
When I made roasted pumpkin soup a couple of months ago, I had a revelation with roasted pumpkin. I don’t know why I never always made a batch and refrigerated it. Correcting that now. I roasted a kilo of pumpkin cubes to use multiple times. Just cube pumpkin into bite sized pieces and roast in an oven at 180 degrees C for 45 minutes. Coming to this dish, I started off making a basic marina (tomato + lots of garlic) for spaghetti. While I was pureeing the tomatoes I realized I didn’t have enough for two portions of spaghetti. I quickly remembered I had the pumpkin in the fridge. I added two cups of the roasted cubes into the tomato puree and then cooked it out some more with some basil and paprika.